National debt hits new milestone, topping $22 trillion

SHARE National debt hits new milestone, topping $22 trillion
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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, right, speaks with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, at the start of a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, at the Treasury Department in Washington. | AP Photo

WASHINGTON — The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

The Treasury Department’s daily statement shows that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.

The debt figure has been rising at a faster pace following 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.

Michael Peterson, head of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, says “our growing national debt matters because it threatens the economic future of every American.”

The national debt is the total of the annual budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects this year’s deficit will be $897 billion.

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