“If this year’s growth rate is sustained through the end of the year, it would be the biggest jump in percentage terms since the last year of President Barack Obama’s first term, at a time when the economy needed fiscal stimulus in the aftermath of the financial crisis. As of Monday, the nation’s debt stood at a record $21.9 trillion.”
USAGOLD note: For many years, Americans erroneously were led to believe that the national debt did not matter because we owed it to ourselves. That all changed when analysts began to point out that the growing expenditure for interest on the national debt necessarily was coming out of tax revenues. In short, the debt matters because the interest rate payments matter – now nearly the equivalent of what the nation spends on national defense, i.e., $610 billion in 2017 (compared to $521 billion paid in interest). Needless to say two factors will impact that number in 2019 – first, the rapid growth in additions to the aggregate national debt and the rising overall interest rate paid on the total. Note the spike in interest payments in the chart below for 2017. The 2018 number is yet to be posted at the St. Louis Federal Reserve.