This is Why US Gov. Deficit Numbers are a BIG Lie

But where did the money go? Fume and gnash your teeth. The US gross national debt – after having been successfullydisappeared from public discussion – has jumped by $1.38 trillion in fiscal 2016, which ended Friday. Ironically, this is not one of my infamous typos.
So OK, there were some timing issues with the debt ceiling and so forth a year ago, after which the debt jumped $340 billion in one day.
To smoothen out those factors, we look at fiscal 2016 and 2015 combined: the gross national debt ballooned by $1.71 trillion over those two years, $850 billion on average each year. There were only four years in the history of the US, when deficits exceeded this average: 2009-2012.
Not too shabby, for a booming economy. But follow me. This is just to lay down some basic numbers, as we’re drilling into the mystery of how the government borrowed $4 trillion more than it said it spent since 2003. Those $4 trillion in borrowed money – the bonds are still out there – went up in smoke, according to government numbers. But money doesn’t go up in smoke. It flows somewhere. So follow me.

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ October 1, 2016.