The U.S. National Debt Has Exceeded the Total Value of the GDP

The U.S. national debt now exceeds the size of America’s total gross domestic product and the milestone may have been met as early as June, according to a Friday New York Times report.

America’s federal debt stands at around $26.6 trillion — an approximate $7 trillion increase since 2016, according to fiscal data from the Treasury Department. Total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) was just over $19.4 trillion at the end of June, according to a July 30 release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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Analysis: National Debt Breaks Record for Highest Portion of U.S. Economy in Nation’s History

The U.S. national debt has just reached 120.5% of the nation’s annual economic output, breaking a record set in 1946 for the highest debt level in the history of the United States. The previous extreme of 118.4% stemmed from World War II, the deadliest and most widespread conflict in world history.

Today’s unprecedented debt-to-economy ratio—which is economists’ primary measure of government debt—includes $2.5 trillion in new debt since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it doesn’t account for the vast bulk of economic damage inflicted by government-mandated business shutdowns, which will soon make the debt ratio significantly larger by decreasing its denominator. Although this decline has already begun, most of it is not yet reflected in the official data on the size of the U.S. economy.

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Commentary: Our Coming Debt Crisis

Ten to 20 years from now, we will not be talking about impeachment, and believe it or not, we won’t still be talking about Donald Trump either. We will be talking about our debt crisis. For all the good that came from this era, the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations will all be remembered as the ones that caused the crisis that will hammer our children and grandchildren. To understand where we are, it’s helpful to review the past few years of this issue’s development.

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