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President Trump meeting with members of Congress. (White House photo)
By Terence P. Jeffrey, CNSNews, February 14, 2018
(CNSNews.com) – In presenting a budget that would add $8.7 trillion to the federal debt over the next ten years, President Donald Trump noted that the “current fiscal path” the United States is following is “unsustainable.”
“The United States is laboring under the highest level of debt held by the public since shortly after the Second World War,” Trump said in his budget message to Congress, which was published Monday. “The current fiscal path is unsustainable and future generations deserve better.”
Following up on his message to Congress, Trump’s budget proposal laments the unwillingness of Congress to grapple with the debt and says the government must “change how it operates.”
“Washington has a spending problem,” says Trump’s proposal. “Debt and deficits are not only a problem in and of themselves, but they are also the symptoms of something much larger—little appetite in the Congress to restrain spending.”
“Yet public trust in the federal government continues to decline, sitting at near-historic lows,” says the president’s budget. “The nation faces a significant national debt and annual deficits that require government to change how it operates.
However, the budget tables at the end of the document show that under the president’s proposal, the federal debt held by the public would rise to $23.684 trillion by the end of fiscal 2028.
As of the close of business on Monday, the day Trump sent his budget proposal to Congress, the federal debt held by the public was $14.982 trillion, according to the Treasury.
That means from Monday until the end of fiscal 2028, if the federal government follows the fiscal trajectory envisioned by President Trump’s budget proposal, the federal debt held by the public would climb $8.707 trillion, according to the estimate made by Trump’s Office of Management and Budget.
The full federal debt, as of Monday, was $20.674 trillion. That consisted of the $14.982 trillion in debt held by the public and $5.692 trillion in “intragovernmental” debt, which is money the Treasury has borrowed out of federal trust funds (such as the Social Security trust funds) and spent on other things.
“The Debt Held by the Public [as opposed to the intragovernmental debt] is all federal debt held by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, Federal Reserve Banks, foreign governments, and other entities outside the United States Government less Federal Financing Bank securities,” says the Treasury. “Types of securities held by the public include, but are not limited to, Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, TIPS, United States Savings Bonds, and State and Local Government series securities.”
When President Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, the full federal debt was $19.947. By Monday, it had risen by $727 billion to the current $20.674.