Interest Payments on National Debt: Chart

The current US National Debt is over $15.7 Trillion or 15,760,417,329,521.12 to be exact as of Sept 20, 2018 according to the US Treasury. The interest due on this huge mountain of debt is also huge. According to an article, the interest on this debt accounts for 7.4% of the US Federal Budget making it the fifth largest budget item. The only four expenses that are larger than the interest payments are Social Security benefits ($987 billion), military spending ($874.4 billion), Medicare ($582 billion), and Medicaid ($400 billion) according to a piece in The Balance.

As the accumulated debt continues to grow year after year so does the interest paid. The chart below shows the interest payments since 1950:

Click to enlarge

Source: FRED, St. Louis Fed

Here is another chart with recessions noted:

Source: Palisade Research

Rising interest rates should further exacerbate the interest issue. As the economy continues to grow the US should try to payoff and reduce outstanding public debt.


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