Politics

National Debt Hits All Time Record, According to U.S. Treasury

Published on February 12, 2019 by Athena Pallas

Both the total U.S. debt and the annual deficit have shown marked increases during the Trump administration, and figures released today from the U.S. Treasury reveal that the national debt has exceeded $22 trillion for the first time in U.S. history. Just the interest payments on that debt are reportedly costing $1 billion a day. The annual deficit, the amount by which expenses outlay revenue in a given fiscal year, is expected to reach $1 trillion a year by 2020 according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if revenue and spending policies remain as they are now.

A big factor in the increases is the drop in revenue, particularly tax revenue from corporations, as a result of President Trump’s tax plan, which disproportionately benefited corporations and the rich. Trump and the GOP claimed that economic growth would compensate for the drop in tax revenues, but that has not proven to be the case, as both the national debt and national deficit continue to spiral ever upward, both of which put the economy in jeopardy, potentially for decades to come. According to The Hill:

The gross national debt has surpassed $22 trillion for the first time in the U.S. history, according to Treasury data released on Tuesday…Deficits have soared under President Trump, spurned on by the GOP tax law, bipartisan spending increases, and the forward momentum of mandatory spending programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Tuesday’s estimate put the total outstanding public debt at $22.013 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office projected that annual deficits would surpass $1 trillion a year starting in 2020 assuming current spending and revenue policies remain in place…“Our growing national debt matters because it threatens the economic future of every American,” said Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a budget watchdog group. “As we borrow trillion after trillion, interest costs will weigh on our economy and make it harder to fund important investments for our future. We already pay an average of $1 billion every day in interest on the debt, and will spend a staggering $7 trillion in interest costs over the next decade,” he added.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) further estimates that by the year 2025, the amount the country will spend just in servicing this massive debt, not paying it off, mind you, just making the continued payments, will exceed one of the largest items in the budget, namely military defense spending.

Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.