“I’m the king of debt,” Donald Trump once said. Apparently, he wasn’t lying.
The U.S. Treasury Department reported today that the national debt has increased by $2 trillion ($2,000,000,000,000) since President Trump took office on January 20, 2017. To be fair, the president didn’t do it all by himself: He had the full cooperation of the Republicans who controlled Congress.
I celebrated by buying some U.S. Treasury notes.
The federal government ran a deficit of $205 billion in November, a 48 percent increase from the $139 billion shortfall a year earlier, and the biggest November deficit on record. The self-proclaimed King of Debt, a/k/a President Trump, certainly delivered. And now our children and grandchildren can pay it back. With interest.
At least some of the voters are pleased. The ones who voted for him, that is. I guess they don’t have kids.
In case you missed the news earlier today, the federal government’s deficit jumped to $779 billion in the fiscal year just ended. That’s a 17 percent increase over the previous fiscal period.
An escalating deficit late in an expansionary economic cycle is unprecedented. But under the self-proclaimed King of Debt, it’s hardly surprising. All he needed was a Republican-controlled Congress that doesn’t give a damn about deficits. And that’s exactly what he got.
The obvious question is, how will the federal government be able to respond to the next recession? No one knows. We’re in unchartered waters. Close to shore. Where rocks can bash your ship into smithereens if you’re not careful. And extremely lucky.
In the meantime, keep an eye on that Medicare and Social Security. They’ll be coming for that next.