US national debt tops $31 trillion

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The United States’ public debt has soared past $31 trillion, according to a Department of the Treasury report that was released this week.

The “grim milestone,” The New York Times explained, “comes at an inopportune moment, as historically low interest rates are being replaced with higher borrowing costs as the Federal Reserve tries to combat rapid inflation. While record levels of government borrowing to fight the pandemic and finance tax cuts were once seen by some policymakers as affordable, those higher rates are making America’s debts more costly over time.”

The ever-accumulating balance – $31,123,887,781,401.34 as of Monday – comes at the start of the federal government’s fiscal year, which began on Saturday, October 1st. Last December, Congress raised its borrowing power or “debt limit” to $31,381,462,788,891.71.

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This development has economists concerned that rising interest rates coupled with steep inflation could trigger a recession and make future repayment efforts more difficult. They noted that these predictions are despite President Joe Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law.

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