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U.S. government owes $5.2923 trillion to foreign interests

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 18th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

According to data released by the U.S. Treasury this week, the money the U.S. government owes to foreign entities rose to a record $5.2923 trillion in June. That very same month, the U.S. government borrowed an additional $34.2 billion from foreign entities in order to fund U.S. government operations.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During President Barack Obama's term in office, the U.S. government's indebtedness to foreign interests has grown by a whopping 72.3 percent. When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the U.S. government owed $3.0717 trillion to foreign entities, according to the Treasury Department, increasing by $2.2206 trillion - or 72.3 percent - to the record $5.2923 trillion reported this week.

The People's Republic of China remains the largest holders of U.S. government debt. The Japanese are on a swift track to eclipse the Chinese as the top holders of U.S. government debt.

The Chinese held $1.1643 trillion in U.S. government debt in June, slightly up from the $1.1640 trillion in U.S. government debt the Chinese held in May.

Chinese ownership of U.S. government debt did hit a historical peak of $1.3149 trillion in July of last year and has been on a downward trend since then.

The Japanese have been consistently increasing their ownership of U.S. government debt. The Japanese owned $1.1193 trillion in U.S. debt in June. The previous month, the Japanese owned $1.1089 trillion in U.S. debt. In June of last year, the Japanese owned only $881.5 in U.S. government debt.

Although the Chinese maintained their place as the top foreign owners of U.S. debt in June, they are not the top owners of U.S. debt in the world, which belongs to the U.S. Federal Reserve. According to its July monthly report, the Federal Reserve owned $1.667 trillion in U.S. government debt in June.

The total debt of the federal government was $15,856,367,214,324.44 at the end of June. However, of that debt, $4,812,182,369,712.78 was money the federal government owed to itself (i.e. money the Treasury had borrowed from federal trust funds such as the Social Security Trust Fund, etc.).

The Treasury describes this type of debt "intragovernmental" debt. The remaining $11,044,184,844,611.66 the federal government owed as of the end of June was debt held by the "public," debt in the form of Treasury securities the government is obligated to pay off in cash.

The combined $6.9593 trillion that U.S. Treasury owed both to foreign entities ($5.2923 trillion) and the Federal Reserve ($1.667 trillion) at the end of June equaled about 63 percent of the federal government's debt held by the public.

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