By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
According to the United States Treasury, the United States spent $562.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2021 on interest payments alone. This money isn’t going towards paying off our current debt obligations, which currently stand at over $29 trillion, this just covers the cost of borrowing the money.
In the last two fiscal years, the U.S. spent nearly $1.1 trillion to pay interest on our national debt.
The U.S. hasn’t always held an insurmountable amount of debt. In fact, in 1835, President Andrew Jackson paid off the US national debt completely.
But in the modern era, America’s perpetual deficit spending since 2001 (the last year the U.S. brought in more money than it spent) has gone from $5.8 trillion at the beginning of the George W. Bush administration to $29 trillion (2021).
President Obama and President Trump both contributed to the debt, with Obama adding about $9 trillion in eight years, and Trump adding approximately the same in four years.
Where does the U.S. go from here?
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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposes a very reasonable a “penny plan,” where the U.S. could balance its budget (which means that we’re not adding more debt, not that were reducing our current debt) in five years by cutting 1% of all spending from the federal budget.
Paul first proposed the plan in 2015. Now, it would take a “five penny plan” to reduce spending by 5% to balance the budget in five-years.
While Congress continues to spend, our interest payments will continue to compound and grow. Economist Brian Riedl estimates that by 2051, the U.S. could be paying anywhere from $296 billion to $5.7 trillion just on interest payments. He also projects our debt could be anywhere from 130% to 357% of our gross domestic product by 2051.
Tax and spend policies by Republicans and Democrats need to be vigorously opposed before it’s too late.
The national debt needs fixing, and fast.
Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.
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