The U.S. national debt reached $33 trillion for the first time ever on Monday.
This historic milestone occurred less than two weeks before the federal government faces a potential shutdown over a lack of funding authorization.
“The United States has hit a new milestone that no one will be proud of: our gross national debt just surpassed $33 trillion,” said Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Debt held by the public, meanwhile, recently surpassed $26 trillion. We are becoming numb to these huge numbers, but it doesn’t make them any less dangerous.”
“The Congressional Budget Office confirmed just last week that the underlying deficit is going to roughly double from last fiscal year to this one,” said MacGuineas. “Instead of hearing about solutions, we hear promises of which programs our leaders are unwilling to touch and which taxes they are unwilling to raise. That kind of talk is not only pandering, but it’s also downright irresponsible when we have a mess like this on our hands.”
The historic debt level comes as lawmakers in Congress race to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the month. A short-term funding measure has dominated the September agenda, but negotiations on Capitol Hill have faltered with just days until government’s fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
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