A daily statement by the Treasury Department shows the US’ national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time in history.
The debt level stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017, and the new level reflects a rise of more than $2 trillion.
The data released by the Treasury Department Tuesday came as tax revenue has fallen and federal spending continues to rise.
The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.
The US is projected to rack up annual deficits and incur national debt at rates not seen since the 1940s, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year’s imbalance of $779 billion.
President Barack Obama’s administration racked up nearly as much debt in eight years than in the entire 232-year history of the country before he took office. He entered with $10.6 trillion in total debt and left with the country owing $19.9 trillion. That’s an average tab of $1.16 trillion a year.
Under President Donald Trump, the debt also has climbed. The $2.06 trillion increase works out to about $991 billion a year, or slightly less than the pace Obama had set.
Over the next 10 years, annual federal deficits — when Congress spends more than it takes in through tax revenues — are expected to average $1.2 trillion, which would be 4.4 percent of gross domestic product. That’s far higher than the 2.9 percent of GDP that has been the average for the past 50 years.
“Other than the period immediately after World War II, the only other time the average deficit has been so large over so many years was after the 2007–2009 recession,” the CBO said last month.
Almost exactly four years ago, Trump had said that if the national debt topped $21 trillion by the end of President Obama’s term in office, “Obama will have effectively bankrupted our country