Debt Clock Has Been Stuck at $18.152 Trillion For Months

United States Debt Clock 2015 - Frozen - IllustrationOne of the questions that I am seeing asked all the time these days is - why isn't the United States debt clock moving at all?

After all, people ask - isn't the country spending hundreds of billions of dollars more than it takes in each and every year? If so, why isn't the nation's debt load growing on a daily basis?

Since mid-March, the United States debt clock has essentially been stuck at approximately $18.152 trillion. Sure, it will rise and dip a bit every day, but it seems unwilling to move off of the $18.152 trillion mark.

Remember - 128 Stat. 1011, which was signed into law on February 15th, 2014, suspended the debt limit from February 15th, 2014 through March 15th, 2015. The summary of the statute, courtesy of the US government, reads like this:

"Notes: Suspended the existing debt limit from February 15th, 2014, through March 15th, 2015, and prospectively increased the limit to accommodate the increase in such debt outstanding as of March 16th, 2015."

So, as of March 15th, 2015, the Republicans and Democrats needed to come to terms on a new debt limit deal - one that would further extend the nation's ability to borrow.


On March 13th, 2015, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew revealed that he would be able to use "extraordinary measures" to continue paying the nation's bills, even though the country was about to hits its debt limit.

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, this move by Lew, coupled with strong tax receipts this year, will likely allow the country to operate into November or even December without raising the debt ceiling.

Some of the moves utilized by Lew during this period includes a "debt issuance suspension period" with respect to investments of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, as well as the suspension of daily reinvestment of Treasury securities held by the Government Securities Investment Fund of the Federal Employees' Retirement System Thrift Savings Plan.


While there will be some posturing from either side, nobody expects that the Republicans and Democrats will fail to agree to an increase in the debt ceiling limit when the day of reckoning appears. Doing so would be disastrous for the nation (and the entire world, for that matter), and nobody wants to be the party that plunges the country into a deep recession.


Once the two sides agree to an increase in the debt ceiling, the total debt of the United States will skyrocket once again.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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