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Tue Oct 4, 2022, 08:03 PM

America's national debt has now surpassed $31 trillion

Source: CNN Business

America’s national debt has now surpassed $31 trillion

By Alicia Wallace, CNN Business
Published 6:31 PM EDT, Tue October 4, 2022

Minneapolis (CNN Business) — America’s national debt has climbed north of $31 trillion for the first time, a milestone that comes at a time of historically high inflation, rising interest rates and growing economic uncertainty.

The nation’s total public debt outstanding closed at $31.1 trillion on Monday, according to Treasury Department data published Tuesday.

The US government went on a borrowing spree during the Covid-19 pandemic to help shore up the nation’s economy as the deadly virus upended lives, labor markets and supply chains. Outstanding debt has climbed nearly $8 trillion since the beginning of 2020. And it has jumped by $1 trillion in just eight months.

The borrowing that occurred under the Trump administration and early on in the Biden administration came at a time when interest rates were low. Now, during a period of historically high inflation and a series of steep interest rates hikes by the Federal Reserve in its battle to tame rising prices, borrowing costs are far higher.

{snip}

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/04/economy/us-national-debt-31-trillion/index.html

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Reply America's national debt has now surpassed $31 trillion (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 4 OP
peppertree Oct 4 #1
LT Barclay Oct 4 #2
peppertree Oct 4 #9
roamer65 Oct 5 #34
Marthe48 Oct 4 #3
Alexander Of Assyria Oct 5 #25
madville Oct 4 #4
OtterDave Oct 4 #15
oldsoftie Oct 5 #24
madville Oct 5 #30
madville Oct 5 #32
DashOneBravo Oct 5 #35
DashOneBravo Oct 5 #36
Warpy Oct 5 #17
ck4829 Oct 4 #5
867-5309. Oct 4 #6
czarjak Oct 4 #7
louis-t Oct 5 #28
IronLionZion Oct 4 #8
DemocraticPatriot Oct 4 #10
MichMan Oct 4 #11
moondust Oct 4 #12
Celerity Oct 5 #19
MichMan Oct 5 #21
Johnny2X2X Oct 5 #37
MichMan Oct 5 #38
WarGamer Oct 10 #46
grantcart Oct 4 #13
Bayard Oct 4 #14
karynnj Oct 5 #33
Midnight Writer Oct 5 #16
oldsoftie Oct 5 #23
PSPS Oct 5 #18
Picaro Oct 5 #31
pbmus Oct 5 #20
oldsoftie Oct 5 #22
newdayneeded Oct 5 #26
oldsoftie Oct 5 #27
Zeitghost Oct 7 #42
oldsoftie Oct 7 #44
TeamProg Oct 5 #29
Mysterian Oct 6 #39
MichMan Oct 6 #40
oldsoftie Oct 7 #45
EX500rider Oct 7 #41
ancianita Oct 7 #43

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 08:08 PM

1. And to think the media was apoplectic when, in '81, it reached ONE trillion

But then - all those wars, defense boondoggles, bank bailouts, and tax cuts for the rich have to show up somewhere.

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Response to peppertree (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 08:25 PM

2. I think I remember something similar at 3 T, maybe because it was during Clinton's presidency?

But this seems untenable. I remember when it was much lower the interest on the debt was a exorbitant portion of the federal budget.

Sometimes I think the only upside to this is that the government has to make sure that most of us keep working because of there is a depression and large numbers are out of work, they'll have to tax the wealthy or have things collapse into austerity measures.

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 09:53 PM

9. $3 trillion? That would be the elder Bush

In February 1990, to be precise (cue the New Kids of the Block, and the poofy hair).

But what probably made it such a scandal - besides the number itself - was that total GDP was only $5.5 trillion at that time.

So it really helped drive home the Democrats' point that, no, Republicans weren't "fiscally conservative and good for the economy."

Of course though, that was before Hate Radio and Farce News.

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Response to LT Barclay (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 12:37 PM

34. Yes, $3T near the end of President Clinton's second term.

He left with a balanced budget as well.

We were so solid that the Treasury stopped selling 30 year Treasury paper.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 08:34 PM

3. Maybe someone knows something we don't

Else why borrow like there's no tomorrow?

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Response to Marthe48 (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 05:55 AM

25. I don't get it either. And yet the dollar currency soars!?? Bieing the world reserve currency is why

America can print money Willy Nilly, worlds reserve currency, no one else can do this kind of sovereign debt…when that is not true it all comes crashing down.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 08:38 PM

4. 8 trillion in two years is insane

We’re all paying for it now though through inflation, there aren’t enough people or things to tax to even keep it static, sort of depressing

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Response to madville (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 11:49 PM

15. Money is fake, just print more

 

The big corps get screwed. China gets screwed. Who cares?

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Response to OtterDave (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 05:51 AM

24. "Just print more" will also bring you MORE inflation.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #24)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 11:42 AM

30. Yep, it's a tax on every consumer

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Response to OtterDave (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 11:47 AM

32. It doesn't hurt corporations or countries

Last edited Wed Oct 5, 2022, 07:02 PM - Edit history (1)

It hurts the consumer most of all. The consumer pays for it through inflation, the corps are simply a conduit that money flows through

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Response to madville (Reply #32)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 02:09 PM

35. I agree

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Response to madville (Reply #32)


Response to madville (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 12:31 AM

17. Tax cuts plus Covid relief money

most of which ended up pushing the stock market into the stratosphere.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 08:54 PM

5. A Democrat MUST be in the White House. The debt isn't "fuzzy math" or "money we owe ourselves"

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 09:02 PM

6. By my lousy math, that's about 100k for every man, woman, and child

 

Need higher taxes on higher incomes, imo.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 09:11 PM

7. DICK Cheney said, "Ronald Reagan proved debt doesn't matter" (Except when a D's in the WH)

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Response to czarjak (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 10:41 AM

28. Ronald Reagan tripled the debt of this country in 8 years.

Republicans say "Well, it was ONLY a trillion increase." And remember, 2009 was the year it was projected that our debt would have been paid off under Clinton's plan. If not for GWB handing out checks with his name plastered all over them in a huge PR move, then spending another trillion by lying us into war with Iraq.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 09:42 PM

8. Maybe some tax cuts and war will help this problem



America had low interest rates for the last decade or so it's relatively cheap debt.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 10:11 PM

10. Yeah, that sounds like a lot...

but as Vice President Dick Cheney once said,
"President Reagan PROVED that DEFICITS DON'T MATTER!"


(Nevermind that when the government was controlled by Democrats during the last 40 years, they were more fiscally responsible than the Republicans, that is a different topic.... or is it ???)







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Response to DemocraticPatriot (Reply #10)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 10:26 PM

11. Democrats were in charge of the house the entirety of Reagans two terms

They were just as responsible for the debt as he was.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 10:33 PM

12. It didn't have to be this way.

Bill Clinton's administration worked for years to reduce the Reagan/Bush deficits until they were actually running surpluses! The surpluses were projected to knock out the national debt within a decade or so!

Instead the SCOTUS installed Dubya & Co. who immediately started handing out tax cuts and then started two endless wars, all leading to the Great Recession.

On deficits:
"Reagan took the deficit from $70 billion to $175 billion. Bush 41 took it to $300 billion. Clinton got it to zero. Bush 43 took it from zero to $1.2 trillion. Obama halved it to $600 billion. Trump’s got it back to a trillion."
~
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/jul/29/tweets/republican-presidents-democrats-contribute-deficit/

PolitiFact rating: Mostly true.

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Response to moondust (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 01:38 AM

19. this is getting into the weeds, but each year the actual national debt still went up, regardless of

the surpluses, due to the way the budget was delineated on the overall accounting ledgers. There were 4 years (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) of budget surpluses, but there was an increase in 'intragovernmental holdings' (in other words they didn't count deficit spending from (mostly) the Social Security and Medicare trust funds, so the actual national debt still went up).

Fiscal year 2000 (Oct 1, 1999 to Sept 29, 2000) was the closest we ever came to an actual surplus in terms of overall germane balance sheets (we only increased the national debt by 17.9 billion usd, which is basically nothing).

Also, that all said, during the last 5 years of the Clinton administration, the national debt only went up by an average of 116 billion usd per year. That is a extremely responsible and sustainable level. IF that pace was maintained for ONE HUNDRED years, you are only looking at an national debt increase of only 11.6 trillion USD over that century, so when when fiscal year 2097 starts on October 1, 2096, (I would be be 99, almost 100, years old then) the total national debt would only be around 17 trillion usd, or basically HALF of what it will be only a couple years from now in reality.

https://www.thebalancemoney.com/us-deficit-by-year-3306306






https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intragovernmental_holdings

In public finance, intragovernmental holdings (also known as intragovernmental debt or intragovernmental obligations) are debt obligations that a government owes to its own agencies. These agencies may receive or spend money unevenly throughout the year, or receive it for payout at a future date, as in the case of a pension fund. Lending the excess funds to the government, typically on the accounts of its treasury, enables the government to calculate its net cash requirements over time.

In the United States, intragovernmental holdings are primarily composed of the Medicare trust funds, the Social Security Trust Fund, and Federal Financing Bank securities. A small amount of marketable securities are held by government accounts.





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Response to moondust (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 05:31 AM

21. Congress determines the federal budget and spending, not the president.

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Response to MichMan (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 02:28 PM

37. Not necessarily

If a President has a friendly Congress, he puts forth a budget that they can pass. Bush W got his own budget passed multiple times. Spending is originated and authorized in the House, but the President can and does submit his own budget as a starting point, and it can be passed basically as is.

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Response to Johnny2X2X (Reply #37)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 09:32 PM

38. Yet, it still has to pass congress before being signed by the president.







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Response to moondust (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 10, 2022, 01:25 AM

46. A reminder... deficits are NOT the national debt.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 11:20 PM

13. The numerical amount of debt is not relevant. What is relevant is debt/yearly gdp

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDGDPA188S

Ideally you want it to be around 80% of annual GDP in a non recession economy

Under Obama it skyrocketed following the 2008 (Bush collapse) and the need to stimulate the economy, It stabilized during his second term at 100% of one year GDP and would have declined under his budget/taxes.

Under Trump it immediately jumped 30% to 130%.

By comparison Japanese government debt is 250% of annual GDP. (a little like apples to oranges becuase of private Japanese savings but nevertheless it provides a useful context)

The best way to eliminate the debt is to continue to grow the economy and raise tax rates on the super rich ala Obama/Biden

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Oct 4, 2022, 11:30 PM

14. And once again, its all Biden's fault!

They just ignore, "borrowing that occurred under the Trump administration."

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Response to Bayard (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 11:56 AM

33. Not just the bottoming under Trump

The long term permanent cut in taxes means more money must be borrowed that would have been paid by those taxes,

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 12:09 AM

16. The top 1% have about 41.5 trillion in wealth. (2021 number)

A Right Wing talking point is that if we took everything away from the top 1% it wouldn't make a dent in the National Debt.

Not only would it pay off the National Debt, those 1% would still be the richest people in the richest country in history.

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Response to Midnight Writer (Reply #16)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 05:47 AM

23. But the huge majority of that wealth isn't actual "money".

You can't cash in all of Musk's Tesla stock & actually get what its worth today or even close to it. Same with all the rest of the super wealthy. And thats even getting past the fact that no one anywhere taxes everything of the top people.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 12:57 AM

18. So? Pandemic + war + not taxing the wealthy for 40 years produces big debt.

The billionaires alone have hidden over $21T in untaxed wealth offshore.

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Response to PSPS (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 11:44 AM

31. Bingo

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 02:31 AM

20. American annual GDP is 23 trillion....

31 trillion is like a year and a half of GDP…

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 05:38 AM

22. And we will never do what's needed to reduce it. NEVER.

No, it doesnt matter which party is in the WH. It takes painful changes to our system to deal with this in a drastic way & we simply are NOT willing to do most of those things. President Obama commissioned a panel to come up with how to deal with it. They submitted their report & it was ignored by both parties. Thats just the way it is & it wont change until the public begins to really pressure politicians.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #22)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 09:08 AM

26. A 4 tier flat tax

20k to 80k - 10% tax

80k to 250k - 20% tax

250k to 5mil - 30% tax

5mil plus - 40% tax



no tax for 20k or less

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Response to newdayneeded (Reply #26)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 10:03 AM

27. Add a sales tax to that. Far too easy to evade income taxes.

I know TONS of people who never pay on all their earnings because if its not W2 or 1099 you can say whatever you want.

Add a minimum tax on all 1031 real estate transactions. Add a transaction fee to HFTs on Wall St.

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Response to oldsoftie (Reply #27)

Fri Oct 7, 2022, 06:37 PM

42. Sales taxes

are incredibly regressive.

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Response to Zeitghost (Reply #42)

Fri Oct 7, 2022, 07:40 PM

44. I dont care. It works well in the EU & elsewhere. EVERYONE should pay into the system.

There are some ways to mitigate the impact. But Sales taxes are used successfully all over the country for local programs because they WORK. Its a piece of the puzzle. What we're doing now DOES NOT WORK. And we ignore what does.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 5, 2022, 11:00 AM

29. "Deficits don't matter" - V.P. Dick Cheney in a TV interview. n/t

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 6, 2022, 08:54 AM

39. Info on deficit and debt


----------------------------------

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Response to Mysterian (Reply #39)

Thu Oct 6, 2022, 08:19 PM

40. Since all spending must be authorized by congress, it would be interesting to see the same data

broken down by which party controlled the House at the time

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Response to MichMan (Reply #40)

Fri Oct 7, 2022, 07:42 PM

45. Thats a fair point. And 2020 HAS to be looked at as an outlier.

It was a messed up year all over the world.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Fri Oct 7, 2022, 01:43 PM

41. Pretty small compared to China's

Chinese has around $117 trillion of government debt, which is nearly four times the size of the U.S. debt. This Chinese debt is 6.5 times GDP while the American debt around is 1.26 times GDP. It’s worse when you take population size into account. China has about four times the population of the U.S. meaning the average Chinese has about 16 percent of the income of an American while carrying far more government debt per capita.

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #41)

Fri Oct 7, 2022, 07:06 PM

43. Yep. And it's lower than the debt/gdp of a number of other countries, as well.

Sometimes a pie chart gives perspective, and when factoring in the relative debt of other countries, doesn't feel so overwhelming as news. Because as news this is always a Big f'n Deal every single time a Democratic president's in the WH.

https://hubbardobrieneconomics.com/2022/02/07/%EF%BF%BCthe-national-debt-just-hit-30-trillion-who-owns-it/


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