(CNSNews.com) - During the month of February--as President Barack Obama was warning Americans they would see dramatic effects in their lives if “sequestration” of some planned federal spending kicked in--the federal government’s debt climbed by $253.5 billion.
That one-month increase in the debt was nearly six times as much as the $44 billion in spending cuts the Congressional Budget Office estimates will take place in all of fiscal 2013 as a result of sequestration.
At the close of business on Jan. 31, 2013, the federal debt was $16,433,791,850,294.04, according to the U.S. Treasury. At the close of business on Feb. 28, 2013, the federal debt was $16,687,289,180,215.37. Thus, the federal debt increased $253,497,329,921.33 during the month.
In its Budget and Economic Outlook for Fiscal Years 2013-2023, published in February, the CBO explained that only $44 billion in planned federal spending will be cut during this fiscal year as a result of sequestration.
The CBO also says additional cuts that will be “attributable” to fiscal 2013 will actually take place “in later years”—not in fiscal 2013.
“By CBO’s estimate, budgetary resources for defense (other than spending for military personnel) will be cut by around 8 percent across the board, and nondefense funding that is subject to the automatic reductions will be cut by between 5 percent and 6 percent,” said CBO. According to that estimate, discretionary outlays will drop by $35 billion and mandatory spending will be reduced by $9 billion this year as a direct result of those procedures; additional reductions in outlays attributable to the cuts in 2013 funding will occur in later years.”
The combined $35 billion in discretionary cuts and $9 billion in mandatory cuts—or $44 billion--that will actually take place this year equal approximately one-sixth of the new debt the federal government accumulated in February.
Bottomline: In February alone, the government borrowed nearly 6 times as much as it intends to save with the sequester over the rest of the fiscal year.