Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly."
Howmuch.net, a website that provides visualizations about money, recently published a new report that shows a unique perspective, breaking down debt into the deficits of each U.S. President has added throughout history.
Hemingway’s warning looks strikingly similar when it comes to the U.S. national debt, which now stands at a whopping $21 trillion.
When President Trump was elected, the National Debt Clock at 1133 Sixth Ave., New York, NY, where it has flashed sobering stats on America's indebtedness from the Durst Organization-owned office tower since 2004, was quickly removed.
Now, one must check Twitter @NationalDebt for daily sobering tweets about the debt. And, as of October 29, the U.S. national debt officially stood at $21,694,906,926,249.
$21,694,906,926,249.19 (-) #NationalDebt— National Debt Tweets (@NationalDebt) October 29, 2018
Before the Reagan administration, the combined cumulative U.S. debt stood at $750 billion, which Reagan almost tripled over eight years, said Howmuch.net.
After Reagan, his successors did not slow down, with George H.W. Bush adding $1.55 trillion in a single term, followed by Clinton at $1.4 trillion, Bush at $5.85 trillion, and Obama at $8.59 trillion.
Estimates already show that Trump is expected to add a total $4.78 trillion during his first term.
So the trajectory of the deficit is out of control. Reagan inherited a national debt of $750 billion, and Trump added almost $779 billion in fiscal 2018 alone.
What does all this mean? Is the country ever going to change course?... The answer: Not until something breaks, as we addressed this sensitive topic a few weeks back:
And more bad news: in order to finance the soaring budget gap, the US Treasury will aggressively increase the pace of debt issuance, borrowing $769 billion in the second half of the current calendar year. That would be the most since 2008. The full year number for 2019 is expected to be well over $1 trillion, and has been cited by some as the reason behind the recent blow out in interest rates.
Cited by Bloomberg, Trump’s top economist, Kevin Hassett, said this month the president will unveil measures soon to address the shortfall, although he did not provide specifics.
"The deficit is absolutely higher than anyone would like,” Hassett said. And, looking ahead, it's set to keep rising indefinitely until finally, something breaks.