National debt tops $22 trillion; further increase expected with baby boomer retirements

Postado Fevereiro 13, 2019

The national debt - the total of annual budget deficits - has reached a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

The US public debt has reached a record high of more than $22 trillion, according to data released by the US Treasury Department.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is projecting the deficit for fiscal year 2019 to be $897 billion, a 15 percent increase over last year's $779 billion - and greater than the entire Pentagon budget, for comparison's sake.

Much of the increase will come from rising costs to fund Social Security and Medicare as baby boomers retire.

National debt stood at $21.974 trillion as of December 31, representing an increase one year after President Donald Trump signed a tax reform bill in which a lower corporate tax rate lowered Treasury revenues.

The CBO projected that the deficit will keep rising in coming years and will top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029.

The deficit almost doubled during the administration of President Barack Obama, growing by $9.3 trillion as the Federal Reserve engaged in massive "quantitative easing" programs to bail out the financial sector from the crash of 2008.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has warned that the rising public debt in the United States could lead to the next economic recession.

One expert has pointed out that just the current unfunded liabilities amount to over 500 percent of last year's gross domestic product, and paying them down would require 10 percent of the GDP for more than five decades, which is unlikely to actually happen at best.

More bad news came from the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, which published the USA household debt and credit report on Tuesday showing the private debt of Americans reached the record $13.5 trillion at the end of 2018.

The national debt also rose by $8.5 billion during President Obama's two terms in office.