Has the National Debt Been Static for 56 Days?

Michelle Bachman

On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee at the semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, as WND reports. Michelle Bachmann, a member of that committee, asked a very pointed question of Mr. Bernanke which boiled down to ‘are you cooking the books?’

The prompt for that question was the fact that the federal government has not reported any increase in the national debt in 56 days despite the fact that it is borrowing and spending about $4 billion per day. That level of spending would not result in a static number- yet that’s what the Feds debt balance sheet shows.

“I asked whether the Treasury Department was cooking the federal government’s books as it was reported that the Feds debt balance sheet remained at $16,699,396,000,000 for 56 days straight, presumably so the Treasury Department wouldn’t officially register that once again the Congress had exceeded its legal borrowing limits,” said Rep Bachman. It ‘strains credulity’ for it to stay there for that amount of time, she said.

Mr. Bernanke said he had no explanation for the static number but suggested it was it was one of the ‘unusual special measures’ used by the Treasury Department ‘to deal with the debt limit.’ When pressed further by Rep. Bachman, a tax attorney, Mr. Bernanke said the Fed’s move ‘might be an accounting device to give some extra head room.’

Has the U.S. exceeded its debt limit, Ms. Bachman asks? Mr. Bernanke said, “I don’t think so.”

However, back in May, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew sent a letter to Speaker Boehner informing him the Treasury was resorting to ‘the standard set of extraordinary measures’ allowing the Treasury to continue to borrow and spend past the legal debt limit.

As Rep. Bachmann wonders, is there a political motive?

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