National Debt Tops $20 Trillion For The First Time In History

(Photo Illustration by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The total value of the U.S. national debt surpassed the $20 trillion mark Friday for the first time in the history of the nation.

The outstanding public debt is $20,162,176,797,904.13 as of Sept. 8, up nearly $200 billion since Dec. 30, 2016. The problem isn’t likely to get better anytime soon. The 2017 fiscal year budget ends Sept. 30, and is slated to add another $700 billion deficit to the over $20 trillion in outstanding debt.

The nation’s debt also exceeds its gross domestic product, which was estimated to be roughly $19.23 trillion in the second quarter of 2017. The federal government is expected to pay some $474.5 billion in interest on the total outstanding debt in the 2017 fiscal year.

The federal government is paying historically low rates of interest on its debt, in large part thanks to efforts by the Federal Reserve Bank to keep interest rates low in the wake of the Great Recession.

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