US national debt jumps $2.6 trillion in six months

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The overall figure is approaching $34 trillion, according to the Treasury

US national debt has continued to mount, jumping by $2.6 trillion in the six months through December to reach $33.8 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

The Treasury indicated that factors such as tax cuts, stimulus programs, increased government spending, and decreased tax revenues have been driving up debt.

“The national debt just exceeded $100,000 per citizen,” Republican Congressman John James said last week. “This should send a message to the White House that this reckless federal spending is at a breaking point.” 

The latest fiscal data showed that as of November 2023, it cost $169 billion for the US to maintain the debt, which equates to 16% of total federal spending.

Interest payments on the national debt are estimated to have surged above $1 trillion on an annualized basis as of the end of October, according to Bloomberg calculations based on US Treasury data.

According to Bank of America (BoA), public debt could surge by $20 trillion over the next decade. It is likely to grow by $5.2 billion daily for the next ten years, which would put it at around $54 trillion by 2033, BoA warned last month.

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The US exceeded its debt ceiling, which was legally set at $31.4 trillion, in January 2023. After months of warnings of a potentially disastrous default from the Treasury, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan debt bill in June that allowed the limit to be lifted until January 2025. This effectively permitted the government to continue unlimited borrowing through next year. Debt spiked to $32 trillion less than two weeks after the bill was approved, and has been piling up ever since.

The situation has caused major international credit ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s to cut their outlooks for the US this year.

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