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National Debt Tops $19.9 Trillion for First Time

Image: National Debt Tops $19.9 Trillion for First Time

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By F McGuire   |   Wednesday, 30 Nov 2016 09:00 PM

The national debt moved deeper into the red, surpassing $19 trillion, and staying above that dreadful number ironically on “Black Friday.”

CNSNews.com reported that the federal debt moved above $19.9 trillion for the first time as of the close of business, Nov. 22, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, according to data released by the Treasury.

However, on Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving, the debt dropped back to $19,897,994,347,700,50, according to the Treasury.


And by the close of business “Black Friday,” the debt had climbed back above $19.9 trillion, hitting $19,928,118,193,162.55.

“Thanksgiving week of 2016 marked the first time since the United States declared independence on July 4, 1776 that the debt of the federal government exceeded $19.9 trillion,” CNS reported.

And if experts are correct, a dismal threshold will be hit early in the new year - and under a new administration.

The national debt will hit $20 trillion after the next president is sworn in next year — a figure double that of when Barack Obama assumed the presidency in 2008, The Daily Signal reports.

The forecast comes from Washington think tank, the Bipartisan Policy Center, which projects the debt cap limit to be reinstated on March 16 at $20.1 trillion.

Shai Akabas, the center's director of fiscal policy, told the Daily Signal that while it is uncertain what new revenues and outlays will be, "we project the total gross debt will hit $20 trillion sometime in February."

February, Akabas noted, is when most income tax refunds are sent out.

The Congressional Budget Office expects the gross debt to hit $20.15 trillion in 2017.

And beyond that, the situation doesn’t look like it will improve anytime soon, Barron’s warned.

"If the Trump administration were to add no spending programs and cut no taxes, the rising costs of existing programs like Medicare and Medicaid would likely push the national debt to $45 trillion in 20 years’ time. So says the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office," Barron's reported.

The annual interest on a $45 trillion debt load would be about $750 billion at today’s superlow interest rates. If rates rise to a more typical level, the interest on a $45 trillion debt would be about $1.5 trillion a year. That’s right, $1.5 trillion a year in interest payments, as much as the federal government’s total spending over the past five months.


"And that’s before President-elect Trump launches his ambitious spending programs and tax cuts, which are expected to add $6 trillion to the national debt over the coming decade. We expect some, but not all, of those proposals will be blocked by the Republican Congress," Barron's reported.

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The national debt moved deeper into the red, surpassing $19 trillion, and staying above that dreadful number ironically on "Black Friday."
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