In the time since the National Debt Clock was installed near Times Square in 1989, Americans have watched the number tick higher and higher, soaring from $2.1 trillion at the clock’s debut to more than $21 trillion this year.
And with the tax policies of the Trump administration in place, that number can only go higher, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Federal debt now equals 78 percent of gross domestic product, the highest since we had just finished fighting World War II. The CBO says that under current policies, it can be expected to “approach 100 percent of GDP by the end of the next decade and 152 percent by 2048. That amount would be the highest in the nation’s history by far.”
Despite this warning, the Trump administration insists its tax cuts will unleash such economic prosperity that the cuts will pay for themselves.
Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, bragged the other day that the deficit “is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly.”
Later, he amended his false claim, saying that he “probably should have said future deficits.” But that would also have been false. The CBO projects the deficit will balloon from $804 billion this year to $1.3 trillion in 2022.
President Trump reportedly is also investigating whether the U.S. Treasury has the authority to slash capital gains taxes, which would provide another $100 billion in tax relief for those who least need it.
Unless Republicans find a way to make serious spending cuts, the National Debt Clock won’t be hitting retirement any time soon.