The United States has now slipped past the $20 trillion mark for the first time in the history of our nation.
According to Treasury Direct, the U.S. is now some $20,162,176,797,904.13 in accumulated public debt as of Sept 8.
According to the Washington Examiner, the debt ceiling had kept the debt just below $20 trillion since March, but Trump signed that ceiling away, opening a flood gate of borrowing.
The debt ceiling had been frozen at about $19.84 trillion since mid-March, and the Treasury Department was forced to use “extraordinary measures” to prevent borrowing from exceeding that level.
But with Trump’s signature on Friday, the debt ceiling was suspended, and the Treasury Department immediately began borrowing money to fill the more than five months of pent-up demand.
According to the Baltimore Sun, no light has been spotted at the end of the debt tunnel, as we’re still slated to add $700 billion by the end of the fiscal year on on September 30. This is due to a number of things Trump has promised, or problems the government must soon deal with.
The Balitmore Sun highlights some of these:
The most pressing of these is the destruction and suffering in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Based on the cost of Katrina, estimates for Harvey alone begin with the price tag of $160 billion. The National Flood Insurance Program is in de facto bankruptcy. It has borrowed more than $24 billion from the U.S. Treasury to pay for past flood crises and now has less than $6 billion on its treasury line of credit.
Mr. Trump had earlier proposed a $60 billion increase in military spending. And now expanded operations in Afghanistan, at a per-troop cost of $4 million, present new demands.
Finally, Mr. Trump promised a new $1 trillion federal infrastructure program. According to The Economist, America spends less than 1.5 percent of GDP on infrastructure. Private sector infrastructure investment hovers at a meager $100 billion per year.
Our debt has also now exceeded our GDP according to the Daily Caller:
The nation’s debt also exceeds its gross domestic product, which was estimated to be roughly $19.23 trillion in the second quarter of 2017. The federal government is expected to pay some $474.5 billion in interest on the total outstanding debt in the 2017 fiscal year.
Trump has spoken of getting rid of the debt ceiling altogether, and said discussions have been held on the subject. This will likely be met with Republican resistance from those wishing to push spending reforms.