Borrowing $10 Billion A Day, Every Day – OpEd

On average, Uncle Sam borrows $10 billion a day, every day. If you stack $10 bills high enough to add up to $10 billion, the stack would rise 67.9 miles above the Earth’s surface. During much of the past year, Uncle Sam has been borrowing enough money to do that daily.

It’s like what former Senator Everett Dirksen is reputed to have once said. “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

How much real money are we talking about here?

Borrowing $10 billion daily to support the federal government’s excessive spending means $1 trillion gets added to the national debt every 100 days. CNBC’s Michelle Fox uses that dubious fiscal milestone to describe the growth of the national debt under the Biden administration during the last nine months.

The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days.

The nation’s debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It reached $33 trillion on Sept. 15, 2023, and $32 trillion on June 15, 2023, hitting this accelerated pace. Before that, the $1 trillion move higher from $31 trillion took about eight months.

U.S. debt, which is the amount of money the federal government borrows to cover operating expenses, now stands at nearly $34.4 trillion, as of Wednesday. Bank of America investment strategist Michael Hartnett believes the 100-day pattern will remain intact with the move from $34 trillion to $35 trillion.

If Hartnett’s projection is correct, the U.S. government’s total public debt outstanding will reach $35 trillion around April 13, 2024. Just ahead of when Americans’ income tax returns will be due.

Fox concluded her report with Moody’s Investors Service’s comments when the credit rating agency lowered its outlook on the U.S. government’s ability to manage its debt in November 2023.

“In the context of higher interest rates, without effective fiscal policy measures to reduce government spending or increase revenues,” the agency said. “Moody’s expects that the US’ fiscal deficits will remain very large, significantly weakening debt affordability.”

Nothing has been done to meaningfully change Moody’s negative assessment of Uncle Sam’s fiscal management.

This article was published in The Beacon