The US government lost nearly $1 trillion in FY2017. Again

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:

There was a time, centuries ago, that France was the dominant superpower in the world.

They had it all. Overseas colonies. An enormous military. Social welfare programs like public hospitals and beautiful monuments.

Most of it was financed by debt.

France, like most superpowers before (and after), felt entitled to overspend as much as they wanted.

And their debts started to grow. And grow.

By the eve of the French revolution in 1788, the national debt of France was so large that the government had to spend 50% of tax revenue just to pay interest to its lenders.

Yet despite being in such dire financial straits the French government was still unable to cut spending.

All of France’s generous social welfare programs, plus its expansive military, were all considered untouchable.

So the spending continued. In 1788, in fact, the French government overspent its tax revenue by 20%, increasing the debt even more.

Unsurprisingly revolution came the very next year.

There are presently a handful of countries in the world today in similar financial condition– places like Greece, which are so bankrupt they cannot even afford to pay for basic public services.

But the country that has the most unsustainable public finances, by far, is the United States.

The US government’s ‘Fiscal Year’ runs from October 1st through September 30th. So FY2017 just ended last Friday.

During that period, according to the Department of Treasury’s financial statements, the US government took in $2.95 trillion in federal tax deposits.

And on top of that, the government generated additional revenue through fees and ‘investments’, including $62 billion in interest received on student loans, and $16 billion from Department of Justice programs like Civil Asset Forfeiture (where they simply steal property from private citizens).

So in total, government revenue exceeded $3 trillion.

That sounds like an enormous amount of money. And it is. That’s more than the combined GDPs of the poorest 130 countries in the world.

But the US government managed to spend WAY more than that– the budget for the last fiscal year was $4.1 trillion.

So to make up the shortfall they added $671 billion to the national debt– and this number would have been even larger had it not been for the debt ceiling fiasco.

Plus they whittled down their cash balance by $194 billion.

So in total, the federal government’s cash deficit was $865 billion for the last fiscal year.

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