US Federal Debt


US Federal Debt, since 1900:

In 2013, it really looked like the US federal debt was on its way down to depression era levels. Since then, the value of the USD has stopped following the decay curve with a Half-life of about 4 years, and instead has begun to slowly grow in gold value, rising about 35% from 19.5 mg to 26.4 mg. This has allowed the Federal Debt to resume its growth, rising from 300 kt in 2012 to 500 kt in June 2015. Even so, it is still far below its 2001 peak of 660 kt.

US federal Debt since 1900

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Comments on US Federal Debt Leave a Comment

August 26, 2015

Dan Johnson @ 8:13 pm #

Dear Sir Charles:

As always, thanks so much for your work on Priced in Gold. I find it immensely useful and I appreciate your effort and perspective.

So, although federal debt has grown tremendously in dollar terms since 2000, the same debt measured in gold is -down-from 660 kilotonnes to around 500 (estimated) in 2015.

In dollars, fed debt went from $5.5T to $10T under Bush II to $18T under Obama (so far). That is what some media reports and it sounds awful, 327%.

Yet, it went -down- when measured in "real money," by about 25%.

What am I missing here? Has not the situation deteriorated badly since 2000. Are we deeply concerned about rising debt (in dollar terms) for no reason? It seems inconceivable to me that with what the politicians have been doing — wars, crazy entitlement spending, etc., ad naseum — debt might truly be declining when measured in gold.

I understand the dollar has been debased significantly since 2000, but if the government were mystically viewed as using gold for money, debt would be dropping?

I feel I'm missing something obvious here. Help me understand better, please?!


Dan Johnson

November 2, 2015

Dan Miller @ 9:04 am #

The key drivers of US Federal Debt are the big three entitlement programs, which denominate their spending in dollars. If those dollars fall faster in terms of gold, than the programs grow in terms of dollars, then the net is a decrease in terms of gold.

On a related note, it looks like the fiscal responsibility Gingrich & Clinton may have been a bit overstated.

June 9, 2016

Andy @ 8:19 am #

@Dan Johnson:

The debt is being inflated away.

July 15, 2016

Dan Johnson @ 9:13 am #

@Andy: You say that debt is being inflated away, yet on this website we are talking about the debt measured by gold. I'm not sure I agree with the debt being inflated away even in dollars terms and *even* when using Shadow Stats measurements that are considerably higher than the government CPI. Yet if we view the debt priced in gold, the debt appears to be going down. That's hard for me to accept but you can read it in black-and-white pixels.

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