On Thursday, the United States debt spiked $328 billion, setting a new record. Our debt has now officially surpassed $17 trillion.
The previous high of $238 billion was set two years ago.
The Washington Times reports that the sudden increase can be attributed to the government’s “replenishing its stock of ‘extraordinary measures’ – federal funds it borrowed from over the last five months as it tried to avoid bumping into the debt ceiling.”
Since May, the federal debt barely increased, staying right around $16.7 trillion. But Congress’s recent deal, which went into effect on Wednesday, completely suspended the government’s borrowing limit.
When the debt ceiling increased on Wednesday, the Treasury Department was subsequently able to refund pensions and programs that had been unfunded since May.
The government can now borrow as much money as it needs to until February 7 (the deadline set by Congress).
During the government shutdown, House Republicans fought to attach some limits to the debt increase, but eventually gave in and accepted the Senate’s deal. Not one spending cut was included in that deal.
Democrats argued that the “clean” debt ceiling suspension does not encourage out-of-control spending.
It may not encourage sky-high spending, but it certainly allows for it.
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