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Debt growth outpaces GDP

Higher interest rates sped up increase
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Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 27, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The US national debt topped $33 trillion for the first time in history last week, and that record high debt level comes at a cost to Americans.

The federal government has spent more money than it brings in for decades. All of those years of deficit-spending contributed to the debt growth.

Bill Craighead, Ph.D., Program Director for the UCCS Economic Forum, explained one reason the scale of our national debt has become a bigger political problem today is that inflation rates are higherl.

The Federal Reserve began raising interest rates last March to combat rising inflation. Congress currently spends more than $700 billion a year to pay the interest on the debt. The 2022 defense budget is $777 billion.

"The thing that I think people are rightly concerned about now is how much we're adding to that with the deficit every year, how much that is growing," Craighead said. "Basically, the debt is growing faster than GDP. So, that burden, relative to the size of the economy is getting bigger over time."

He said many economists do not see interest rates dropping any time soon. Deficit spending will make the problem. However, Craighead said is is a slow moving problem, not one that need immediate correction.

He is concerned about the impact of a government shutdown on the Colorado Springs economy. Many people here are employed directly by the military or as civilian contractors. In previous shutdowns, all non-essential government employees were furloughed until Congress could reach a budget deal.
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