At $21 TRILLION, the national debt is growing 36% faster than the US economy

Simon Black–Well, it happened again.

On Friday afternoon, the national debt of the United States hit another major milestone, soaring past $21 trillion for the first time ever.

Clearly that is an enormous number… it’s actually larger than the size of the entire US economy, which is pretty incredible.

But what’s always been the more important story about America’s pile of debt is how rapidly it’s growing.

For example, in the span of a SINGLE DAY, from Thursday to Friday, the national debt grew by $73 BILLION. In a day.

To put that number in context, $73 billion is larger than the size of most major companies like General Motors, Ford, and Southwest Airlines.

And in the month of February alone, the national debt grew by an astounding $215 billion.

$215 billion is larger than the GDP of New Zealand. Greece. Oregon. More than twice the size of the GDP of New Mexico. Just in a single month.

Most disturbingly, the national debt has grown by more than $1 TRILLION… just in the last SIX MONTHS.

I’m scratching my head right now wondering– where did they spend all that money? Was there a major economic crisis, wave of bank failures, or severe depression that required massive fiscal stimulus?

Nope. It was just business as usual.

Even better, the economy was supposedly doing totally awesome over the last six months.

And yet, even with all that positivity, the government still managed to rack up an extra trillion dollars in debt.


One important point to make is that debt growth is VASTLY outpacing GDP growth. And this is critical to understand.

Last year, for example, the US economy grew by 2.5% in ‘real’ terms, i.e. stripping out inflation.

Even if you include inflation in the calculation, the size of the US economy increased by 4.4%. Yet the national debt grew by 6%.

Now that might not seem like a big difference. But it is. On a proportional basis, the national debt expanded 36% faster than the US economy (even if you include inflation).

Over the course of several years, that effect compounds into something that’s quite nasty.

At the end of 2008, for example, the size of the US economy was $14.5 trillion. A decade later, the size of the economy is $19.7 trillion, 36% greater.

Yet over the past ten years, the national debt has grown from $9.4 trillion to over $21 trillion– a growth rate of 123%!

It’s really, really hard to pretend that this is good news.

But that doesn’t stop people from trying.

We’re constantly being told the same old nonsense that “the debt doesn’t matter” because we owe it to ourselves.

And, sure, it’s true that the US government owes a lot of this money to various institutions across America. Like Social Security. Or the US banking system. Or the Federal Reserve.

I find it difficult to see the good news here… as if it would somehow be beneficial to default on (and hence bankrupt) Social Security. Or the US banking system. Or the Federal Reserve.

Doing so would cause the most drastic financial cataclysm ever before seen in the United States.

So… yeah, the debt does matter.

Yet these major milestones are simply yawned off now, as if trillions of dollars in new debt is just par for the course. And that’s pretty sad.

Most people are in one of three camps when it comes to the debt.

#1: They ignore it altogether, and stick their heads in the sand (or up somewhere else).

#2: They acknowledge the debt, but tell themselves fairy tales that it doesn’t matter… or that the government is going to somehow ‘fix’ it. (which is ridiculous given that the government is the one causing the problem to begin with.)

#3: They view the situation rationally and understand that, maybe, just maybe, at some point in the future, there might possibly be some consequence to arise from the largest debt pile that has ever been accumulated in the history of the world… and they make sensible preparations just in case.

Which group are you in?

7 Replies to “At $21 TRILLION, the national debt is growing 36% faster than the US economy

  1. Holy Crap Batman! If I racked up 1/1000th of that debt, I would be jailed forever!
    Whatever happened to the $6 Trillion SURPLUS which Bill Clinton announced publicly on CNN June 2000?
    When you still didn’t have a president……Hmmmmm? “SHOW ME THE MONEY”.

  2. It is past time for us to get back to the basics of our country’s founding and one of those basics is that the federal government is responsible for the issuing of money and the safeguarding of its value. The establishment of the Federal Reserve was tantamount to treason against the American people in favor of private banking interests whose objective is profit and control – not the well being of “We the People”.
    It is time to declare the debt and interest being paid to the Federal Reserve with its valueless fiat money as null and void. It is time for the U.S. to get back to its roots on many issues that are today dragging us down to the level of 3rd world countries. Money is at the heart of the vast majority of them.
    Of course John F Kennedy tried to accomplish this and was murdered for his efforts.

  3. The FED should announce that the interest on that debt will be erased permanently…after all haven’t they made enouch money on our dime already?

    1. “The COMMON SENSE way to get out of debt IS TO STOP GETTING INTO DEBT!”?

      And how do you do that? You do it by printing our National Currency as “UNITED STATES NOTES” via the U.S. Treasury, totally by-passing the so-called “Federal” “Reserve”, which is, in reality, the 3rd (((Rothschild))) “Bank of the United States”, the first having operated 1791-1811, the second having operated from 1816-1836. The so-called “Fed” has been in operation since Dec. 23, 1913, over 100 years now.

      1. I neglected to mention ONE KEY DETAIL: “You do it by printing our National Currency as “UNITED STATES NOTES” ~ WITH NO INTEREST (USURY) ATTACHED ~ via the U.S. Treasury…”

Join the conversation. Unlike most websites, we value your opinion. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.