Intragovernmental Holdings Currently Total $4.6 Trillion





United States Government Accountability Office logoThe current total public debt outstanding of the United States is approximately $14.22 trillion dollars.

Of this total, $9.6 trillion is "debt held by the public", while the remainder (approximately $4.6 trillion) is in the form of "intragovernmental holdings".

"Debt held by the public" is debt that has been purchased by pension funds, foreign governments, foreign investors, American investors, etc. If you buy a US savings bond, then this goes into the "debt held by the public" category.

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Let's look to the GAO's (United States Government Accountability Office) audit of the consolidated financial statements of the US government for the definition of "intragovernmental holdings". The GAO defines "intragovernmental holdings" like this:

"Intragovernmental debt holdings represent balances of Treasury securities held by over 230 individual federal government accounts with either the authority or the requirement to invest excess receipts in special US Treasury securities that are guaranteed for principal and interest by the full faith and credit of the US Government".

It continues..

"The majority of intragovernmental debt holdings are Government Account Series (GAS) securities. GAS securities consist of par value securities and market-based securities, with terms ranging from on demand to 30 years."

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As of September 30th, 2010, gross intragovernmental debt holdings totaled approximately $4.53 trillion.

Which federal government accounts were owed the largest amounts of money as of September 30th, 2010? Let's take a look:

Social Security Administration
(Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund) - $2.399 trillion

Office of Personnel Management
(Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund) - $770 billion

Department of Defense
(Military Retirement Fund) - $282 billion

Department of Health and Human Services
(Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund) - $279.4 billion

Social Security Administration
(Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund) - $187.2 billion

Department of Defense
(DOD Medicare-Eligible Retiree Health Care Fund) - $142.2 billion

Department of Health and Human Services
(Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund) - $71 billion

Department of Energy
(Nuclear Waste Disposal Fund) - $47.6 billion

Office of Personnel Management
(Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund) - $42.1 billion

Office of Personnel Management
(Employees Life Insurance Fund) - $37.6 billion

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
(The Deposit Insurance Fund) - $37.4 billion

Department of Transportation
(Highway Trust Fund) - $24.4 billion

Department of the Treasury
(Exchange Stabilization Fund) - $20.4 billion

Department of Labor
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) - $19.8 billion

Department of Labor
(Unemployment Trust Fund) - $18.7 billion

Office of Personnel Management
(Employees Health Benefits Fund) - $16.2 billion

Department of State
(Foreign Service Retirement and Disability Fund) - $15.8 billion

Department of Housing and Urban Development
(Federal Housing Authority - Liquidating Account) - $4.2 billion

Other Programs and Funds - $112.35 billion

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Of the $4.53 trillion in gross intragovernmental debt holdings outstanding as of 09/30/2010, 91% was held by Social Security, Medicare, Military Retirement and Health Care, and Civil Service Retirement and Disability Trust funds. A full 57% of the $4.53 trillion in gross intragovernmental debt holdings outstanding as of 09/30/2010 was held by Social Security trust funds.

Source: GAO Financial Audit for 09/30/2010 (*.pdf)

Source: United States Debt Clock




Filed under: General Knowledge

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