Debt surpasses $22 trillion for first time

The gross national debt has surpassed $22 trillion for the first time in the U.S. history, according to Treasury Department data released Tuesday.

“This milestone is another sad reminder of the inexcusable tab our nation’s leaders continue to run up and will leave for the next generation,” said Judd Gregg and Edward Rendell, co-chairman of the debt watchdog group Campaign to Fix the Debt.

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 (CBO) projected that annual deficits would surpass $1 trillion a year starting in 2020 assuming current spending and revenue policies remain in place.

Budget watchdogs say spiking levels of debt can inhibit economic growth.

“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 CBO projected that the costs of servicing the debt will surpass defense spending by 2025.

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