A few days ago, the federal debt of the United States rather quietly and unceremoniously passed the $19.5 trillion mark.
And while that figure may seem absolutely confounding, what’s even more alarming is how rapidly the US government is racking up this debt.
In fact, for the 2016 fiscal year that ends in just ten more days, the US government’s debt growth of $1.36 trillion is on track to be the third biggest annual increase ever.
The only two years in all of US history that posted higher US debt growth were 2010 and 2011– the peak of the financial crisis.
Even more acutely, last month the US federal debt grew by $151.5 billion.
Not counting the financial crisis, and a few anomalous months following a debt ceiling reset, August 2016 was the single biggest expansion of US debt EVER.
In other words, US federal debt is expanding at its fastest rate since the financial crisis, and one of the fastest rates in all of US history.
This isn’t supposed to be happening. We’re in ‘peacetime’. The financial crisis is over. The economy is supposedly growing, and unemployment is supposedly falling.
None of the normal big deficit triggers exists; if you read the mainstream press, the news about the US economy is all rainbows and buttercups.
You’d think they would actually be running a surplus at this point and paying down the debt. Or at a minimum the rate of debt growth would be shrinking.
But no. Despite all of this good economic news, the government is still piling up debt at record levels.
If the debt is growing this quickly in good times, just imagine how dire the debt situation will become once the economy slows down and recession kicks in.