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US national debt tops $31 trillion for the first time

The United States national debt has passed $31 trillion for the first time ever.

According to Treasury Department data published on Tuesday, the United States’ total public debt outstanding stood at $31.1 trillion on Monday. Outstanding debt increased by nearly $8 trillion since the beginning of 2020 and has jumped by $1 trillion in just eight months.

The initial borrowing was done when interest rates were low, however due to skyrocketing inflation, interest rates have been increased by the Federal Reserve.

As noted by CNN, America’s debt levels have soared during the past decade.

The outstanding debt when Obama took office on January 20, 2009, was $10.6 trillion. It was $19.9 trillion when Trump took office on January 20, 2017; and $27.8 trillion when Biden took office on January 20, 2021, Treasury data has confirmed.

Alex Pelle, an economist for Mizuho Securities, said that while the national debt is important, inflation is the most pressing issue at the moment.

“Any type of debt issue is really a potential issue – I wouldn’t even say a certain issue – but a potential issue for five to 10 years down the road,” he said. “One of the benefits of being the world’s reserve currency is everyone wants to buy your debt for cheap.”

Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans have traded blame for the high debt caused by government spending.

In August, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took aim at Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, saying that it will “drive up inflation and prices, hammer small businesses and American manufacturing, increase the price of gas and sic the IRS on Americans, all while raising taxes on Americans in nearly every tax bracket, including those who make less than $400,000 a year.”

President Biden responded to GOP criticism, saying in September: “You know, Republicans talk about being fiscally responsible. Last year, I reduced the deficit $350 billion. You know how much this year, not counting the Medicaid changes? One trillion seven hundred billion dollars. So, I don’t want to hear it from Republicans about fiscal responsibility.”

The Committee for a Responsible Fiscal Budget (CRFB) recently estimated that Biden’s policies could add $4.8 trillion to deficits between 2021 and 2031.

The CRFB noted: “Excessive borrowing will lead to continued inflationary pressures, drive the national debt to a new record as soon as 2030 and triple federal interest payments over the next decade – or even sooner if interest rates go up faster or by more than expected.”

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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