The gross national debt is over $20 trillion and will keep rising unless action is taken. You can show Washington how to act responsibly using the Debt Fixer interactive budget tool.
Here are 20 good reasons to fix the debt.
Where the debt and deficits stand.
1. National debt held by the public is currently 77% of the economy; it was 35% as recently as 2007.
2. Harry Truman is the only President to enter office with debt at a higher level as a share of the economy than Donald Trump did.
3. The federal budget deficit was $666 billion in fiscal year 2017 and it will be near $1 trillion next year, which will drive up the debt.
4. The last time the federal budget ran a surplus was in 2001.
Where debt and deficits are headed.
5. National debt is forecast to grow by more than $13 trillion over the next decade.
6. National debt held by the public is projected to exceed the size of the U.S. economy by 2031 and surpass the all-time record by 2034.
7. It will take about $7 trillion of deficit reduction to balance the budget by 2028 and $5.4 trillion to stabilize it at 78% of the economy. Meeting these goals is even harder if tax and spending policies currently due to expire are continued.
8. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office forecasts that we will reach permanent $1 trillion deficits by 2020.
9. Deficits and debt will be even higher than projected if Congress continues tax and spending policies that are currently scheduled to expire. Under this scenario, debt will exceed the size of the economy by 2027 and hit a new record by 2029.
What’s driving the growth of the debt.
10. An aging population, rising health care costs, growing interest payments on the debt, and insufficient revenue will be the primary drivers of the debt going forward.
11. Interest payments on the debt represent the fastest growing major part of the federal budget and will nearly triple in dollar terms over the next decade.
12. We already spend more on interest on the debt than we do on the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security combined.
13. We also currently spend more on interest than on the Departments of Education, Energy, Labor, and Transportation combined.
14. Interest on the debt will reach 13% of government spending by 2028 and will continue rising, crowding out critical investments like education, infrastructure, and basic research.
15. Our tax code’s wide array of deductions, exemptions, and loopholes – known as tax expenditures, or spending through the tax code – represented over $1.5 trillion in lost revenue for the Treasury last year alone.
16. Tax expenditures would make up just over one-quarter of federal spending if included in the budget.
17. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that more than two-thirds of the government spending growth over the next decade will come from Social Security, Medicare, and interest on the debt.
18. By 2031, 100 percent of the revenue we collect will go towards autopilot spending like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and interest payments.
Why high and rising debt matters.
19. Families will feel the effects of rising debt through increased costs of home loans, automobile loans, credit cards, and educational expenses because of higher interest rates. For example, a typical family with a $300,000 mortgage can expect to pay at least $45,000 more over the course of the mortgage due to the growing debt.
20. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, average income will grow more slowly over the next 30 years than if Congress put debt on a downward path. In today’s dollars, that’s $6,000 less income per person. Over 30 years of working starting today, it represents $60,000 in lost income.