Friday, September 7, 2012
According to the Daily Treasury Statement–the official daily accounting sheet for the federal government—withdrawals from the Treasury exceeded $10 trillion this year on Aug. 30, when they rose from $9.903 trillion to $10.035 trillion.
How can this be?
The answer: The federal government needs to churn through trillions of dollars each year above the level of current annual federal spending in order to maintain its $16 trillion debt—much of which is held in Treasury notes that mature in anywhere from 2 to 10 years and Treasury bills that mature in anywhere from a few days to less than a year.
The federal government has an interest—literally—in maintaining much of the debt in these short- and mid-term securities because it pays a lower interest rate on them than it does on Treasury bonds, which mature in 30 years.