Treasury official: 'I’m troubled by the national debt'

Treasury official: 'I’m troubled by the national debt'

A top Treasury Department official on Wednesday expressed concerns about the growing national debt, as annual deficits are projected to reach $1 trillion in the near future.

"It’s a very challenging environment," Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass said on Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria." "I think the debt is too high now and is going higher." 

Malpass said the current budget process isn't good at helping to slow the growth of the debt and suggested that there be a three-year program to tackle the issue.


"I’m troubled by the deficit, I’m troubled by the national debt. And I think we need a three-year program to grapple with it, starting this month, next month and on forward," he said.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget is projecting that trillion-dollar deficits will return next year, due to recent legislation that cuts taxes and increases spending levels. The GOP's tax-cut bill is expected to add about $1.5 trillion to the deficit before accounting for economic growth, and the bipartisan budget deal Congress passed earlier this month raises spending caps by $300 billion over two years.

Malpass said that some of the debt-related issues are due to slow economic growth during the Obama administration. 

"There needed to be a change to make it begin to recover," he said. "Once that happens, that’s going to help slow the growth in the debt." 

Malpass also said it is important to boost resources for national security.

"We have to go with the priority of national security, peace through strength, and that’s going to be costly," he said.