U.S. National Debt increasing at unprecedented rate
Putting the debt increase in context & examining the four drivers causing it
Remember the debt ceiling? From January until the start of June, politicians put on political theater pretending to fight over whether or not the U.S. would be allowed to raise its absolute maximum allowed debt of $31.4T.
Now, we’re at $33.5T. In just 4 months, the U.S. has added $2.1T of additional debt.
While you were enjoying the summer, the U.S. was adding $18B to the National Debt every single day.
That’s $12M of new debt every. single. minute.
(Note: this post contains a paid section. 1/2 of the analysis is free and I think you’ll get a lot out of it. 1/2 is for paid subscribers and the motivation for me to write this in the first place. Thanks for your support!)
Putting the U.S. National Debt acceleration in context
To put that in context, if the pace of National Debt expansion that we’ve seen since the debt ceiling was lifted in Q2 continues… the US National Debt will increase $6.5T in one year. That’s a 20% increase in a single year.
It took the United States 225 years to add its first $6T in National Debt; now, we are on track to add that amount in a single year.
And this isn’t even a crisis — we’re not even in a recession (yet), officially.
Hopefully, these abstract numbers have pissed you off. But let’s bring it down to the human scale, just to drive it home. There are 134M full-time employees in the U.S. Assuming a 50-year career for each of them, this means that 7,300 retire on average each day. If the daily issuance of new National Debt this summer was instead given to retiring workers, every single one would go home with $2.5M.
Doesn’t sound possible? Check my math!
That is the scale of the incremental debt spending going on. Instead of your last day at work ending with you riding off into the sunset with a $2.5M check to help you enjoy your retirement, the U.S. Government is spending that $2.5M on who knows what instead. But don’t worry… they’ll add it to your children’s tab to pay for it.
The only reason there’s not rioting in the streets is because nobody bothers to do the math shown here.
What does this all add up to? Well, the U.S. National Debt is getting worse, fast.
When the gentlemen on the All-In Podcast talked about my charts detailing the U.S. fiscal situation, Chamath Palihapitiya called this chart at $31T “a nothing.”
Well, EOY 2023 is already looking considerably worse. If we continue adding to the debt at the rate we have been since June, we will add an additional $1.35T by the end of the year, for a total of ~$35T in U.S. National Debt at EOY 2023.
For paid subscribers, let’s dig into the four forces that are together driving this unprecedented expansion of the U.S. National Debt:
normalized annual deficits
new interest expense
falling tax receipts, and
increased spending categories.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Once-in-a-Species to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.