If the two-year budget deal that went into effect in late 2015 is factored in, the U.S.national debt will have nearly doubled during the Obama presidency, despite impassioned congressional budget debates, spending cuts, and sequestration efforts. The budget deal, arrived at jointly with the president and Congress, means that total U.S. debt will hit an astonishing $20 trillion in fiscal 2017 versus the $10.6 trillion level registered in fiscal 2009.
Many in Congress have attempted to hold the line on spending, although the administration argues that the increased spending is necessary expenditure — investment — for national security, job retooling, and education. In addition, it continues to fund rising Social Security and Medicare payments.
President Obama has in fact cut the deficit over his two terms, by roughly 65%. In fiscal 2015, the U.S. deficit was $439 billion; in fiscal 2009, it topped $1.4 trillion.
Payments and Interest Rising
Large debts work on the government just as they do individual households. The higher the debt, the greater the debt payments. Because of the rising amount of debt, the total payments are expected to be $1 trillion every year in a decade’s time.
And at that, the U.S. has been lucky in its debt payments, because interest rates have stood at historic lows for some time. When they rise, of course – which could happen as soon as the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which sets rates — debt payments will rise.
The total interest from the debt alone is expected to be roughly $775 billion in 10 years, versus $220 billion currently.
And, like a household, debt payments will eat up proportionately more of everyone’s pocketbook. Right now, U.S. debt payments make up 6% of total spending. By 2025, they are forecast to make up 13%, a more than 100% increase.
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