Headline RoundupFebruary 2nd, 2022

US National Debt Hits $30 Trillion for First Time

Summary from the AllSides News Team

A recent statement from the Treasury Department said as of Jan. 31, the U.S. had a national debt of $30 trillion.

That number equals just over $90,000 per citizen, or nearly $240,000 per taxpayer. Debt-fueled spending increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the U.S. government borrowed roughly $5 trillion to fund efforts to stave off economic fallout from lockdowns, restrictions, job losses, and reduced consumer spending. America's national debt exceeded $10 trillion for the first time ever in October 2008, and reached $20 trillion in September 2017. When the 2019 fiscal year ended, the total public debt outstanding was $22.7 trillion.

Coverage across the spectrum framed the number as concerning and a reason for President Joe Biden's failure to advance his $1.75T Build Back Better spending plan. Reports from some left- and center-rated sources pointed out economic experts who said extra spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic was a good idea, and cited low interest rates and continued economic growth as reasons that high national debt might not be a bad thing. Coverage of the news from right-rated sources often mentioned current high inflation and framed COVID-19 stimulus spending as excessive. One writer on the right argued that the debt is the result of politicians from both parties spending the last two decades borrowing money carelessly "to pay for everything from foreign wars to $1,200 checks for most Americans."

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