U.S. national debt hits $33 trillion for the first time

By Chelsey Cox

The U.S. Department of the Treasury building is seen in Washington, DC, January 19, 2023.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury building is seen in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2023.

Saul Loeb | Afp | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The national debt of the U.S. reached a historic milestone by passing $33 trillion for the first time, less than two weeks before the federal government faces a potential shutdown over a lack of funding authorization.

The debt, which equals the amount of money borrowed by the federal government to cover operating expenses, hit $33.04 trillion Monday, according to the Treasury Department.

A roughly 50% increase in federal spending between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2021 contributed to the debt topping $33 trillion, the department said.

Tax cuts, stimulus programs and decreased tax revenue as a result of widespread unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic were factors in driving government borrowing to new heights.

The issue of the debt is at the center of a standstill in Congress over a spending bill that would sustain the government until the next funding cycle.

Republican lawmakers are pushing for less spending, while Democrats back President Joe Biden’s programs, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, which is estimated to cost more than $1 trillion over the next decade, according to a University of Pennsylvania budget model.

House Republicans on Sunday released their own bill to fund the government until Oct. 31 in exchange for an 8% cut to domestic programs with exceptions for national security, according to NBC News.

But that bill is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

A White House spokesman told CNBC that the debt increase was driven by trillions of dollars in Republican tax cuts “skewed to the wealthy and big corporations” over the past 20 years.

“Congressional Republicans want to double down on trickle-down by extending President (Donald) Trump’s tax cuts and repealing President Biden’s corporate tax reforms,” said Michael Kikukawa, a White House assistant press secretary.

Kikukawa added that Biden’s policies to demand the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes and slash subsidies to oil and pharmaceutical companies would cut deficits by $2.5 trillion if approved.

Congress has until Sept. 30 to pass a spending bill.

Do you want the facts? – Click Here ToGetOur FREE Newsletter

ICH: Free for those who can’t afford it. Supported by those who can.

Not For Profit – For Global Justice – Since 2001

Views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.





5 responses to “U.S. national debt hits $33 trillion for the first time”

  1. philosophyofgoodnews Avatar

    Nothing posetive. New holes made trying to fill up the other ones. We are moving towards the confirmation of Cicero quote.

  2. the truth is freedom Avatar

    A debt this big can’t be paid.

  3. Disadvantaged Avatar

    The last three paragraph is not accurate. If you tax the wealthy and corporations, it will reduce the deficit by 2.5 trillion dollars. If that number is for one year, it is not accurate. If the 2.5 trillion dollars is over a number of years that is not true either for the simple reason that making projection more than two years out is not possible. Government policies changes from day to day and so does spending.

    As for the White House saying the Republican Tax cuts drove the national debt higher. The Democrats voted for it right along with the Republicans. Democrats and their buddies made a lot of money as well. Don’t forget it was Biden who had another stimulus program when he took office which cost over a trillion dollars. Don’t forget all those wonderful tax credits that the Democrats voted for such as the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit. That is why only 42% of the American people pay any Federal Income taxes. .

    1. Woopy Avatar

      Of course, it’s easy to agree with your assessment. However, overriding all this is that our plutocratic government is controlled by various and sundry oligarchs who ultimately determine who will pay the taxes, and the oligarchs don’t have a clue or care about the taxpayers. Ironically it’s the working classes and their taxes that support the oligarchy and their plutocracy. When the bubble eventually pops it’ll be the tax payers who will be hurt first and most. The tax payers are mostly still living in fantasy land and believe that their government is a democracy and they have a say in how taxes happen. It’s the stuff dreams are made of. 😉

      1. Disadvantaged Avatar


        The $42% of Americans who pay real taxes support the 56% who pay no taxes. The American people also receive food stamps, free phone service, a subsidy for internet connection, free legal services, rent subsidies, down payment grants for a home, and welfare money as well. Corporations do not receive those freebies.

        I agree that corporations and wealthy people do not pay their fair share of taxes as well. That is why the Federal Government is borrowing money like their is no tomorrow. In fact, for the U.S. government fiscal year ending September 20, 2023, the budget deficit will be around one and half trillion dollars. The interest on that debt will break the one trillion dollar mark as well. For next year from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024, the budget deficit will be even higher. They will have to borrow even more money.

        The day of reckoning is coming. Whether the United States collapses because of a banking crisis, high inflation, no one will lend the United States any money, the economy declines, World War III, the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency comes to an end, the inability of the U.S. to pay for its imports, and a few other factors as well. Take your pick. In my opinion based on everything I have read, and I read a lot of economic and financial reports, I think we will know what will happen within the next three years. Maybe ten million more illegal migrants might start the ball rolling downhill. The five million illegals who came over the last two and half years have cost the U.S. government billions of dollars already.

        We will have to wait and see. When it happens, America will be officially a third world country. Our influence in the world will be gone.