Remember all the hoopla about “Clinton gave us surpluses”? And, it still goes on today. That was how the so-called non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget reported it. The truth of the matter is they did not add Intra-governmental Holdings in their calculations; therefore, there was no “surplus”. Intra-governmental holdings are debt.
The equation: Public Debt + Intra-governmental Holdings= Total Public Debt Outstanding.
What is the Debt Held by the Public?
The Debt Held by the Public is all federal debt held by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, foreign governments, and other entities outside the United States Government less Federal Financing Bank securities. Types of securities held by the public include, but are not limited to, Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, TIPS, United States Savings Bonds, and State and Local Government Series securities.
What are Intra-governmental Holdings?
Intra-governmental Holdings are Government Account Series securities held by Government trust funds, revolving funds, and special funds; and Federal Financing Bank securities. A small amount of marketable securities are held by government accounts. Intragovernmental Holdings is still debt.
SOURCE: US Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt
Calculation is simple. Just take any fiscal year and subtract if from the previous year. All data here is freely available to the public so there is no spin. Click on image for larger view.
As you can see in the chart above, the Clinton administration left deficits in each Fiscal Year and increased Total Public Debt by $1,395,974,529,061. Add column of numbers in red. There is a trend downward in the deficit numbers because the Republican controlled Congress. The Republicans most certainly did work toward a balanced budget. FY ending in 2000 was the best year with a relatively small $17.9 billions deficit.
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or
the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence;
nor is the law less stable than the fact”
-John Adams, 2nd President of the United States.