Reports that the federal government will put a little bit of money toward the massive federal debt for the first time in six years make for an interesting tidbit, but Washington’s spending and debt problem is only getting bigger.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Treasury Department said that it expects to retire a net $35 billion in bonds, notes and bills from April to the end of June.”

That’s great, but we need about 24 times that much to eliminate the 2013 deficit alone.

The federal government is still expected to run up about an $850 billion deficit this year, heaping yet more debt onto the $16.7 trillion national debt mountain.

Even though deficits are expected to dip slightly over the next few years as the economy improves and the fiscal cliff tax hikes, the Obamacare taxes, and the slight reduction in spending from sequestration continue to phase in, it’s the nation’s long-term spending trajectory that is most troubling. Spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare is on track to overwhelm the federal budget and to grow federal spending to economy-crushing heights. The long-term unfunded obligations in Social Security and Medicare alone are triple the size of the current outstanding national debt.

It’s encouraging that there was some money left over this April to put toward the national debt, but it’s merely a temporary drop in the bucket. To see significant reductions in the national debt, lawmakers need to show greater fiscal discipline, reducing federal spending and reforming the major entitlement programs.