Commentary: Debt Is the Most Predictable Crisis in U.S. History

Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson issued a stern warning in last week’s Wall Street Journal: “A world-class financial system can’t exist in a country that fails to maintain the quality of its credit.”

America’s debt problem was already wildly out of control for the past 20 years, but we now face truly unprecedented additional levels of debt issued by Congress in response to the pandemic. From 2000 to 2019, the federal debt rose from $5.6 trillion to $22.7 trillion, and it is expected to top $27 trillion by year’s end, a whopping 19 percent increase this year. Another trillion in virus relief spending now seems to be at the low end of spending estimates going into 2021.

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