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Interest Payments Soar, as U.S. National Debt Passes $34 Trillion

The U.S. Treasury reported yesterday that the U.S. budget deficit, just in December, grew a record $129 billion, a 52% increase over December 2022. Receipts dropped by 6% and outlays climbed by 3%. The jump in the deficit pushed total U.S. government debt past the $34 trillion mark for the first time ever.

Interest costs on the federal debt in the 4th quarter soared up by 37% over the 4th quarter of 2022, a rise of $78 billion. At an average rise of $26 billion/month, it apparently swallowed up the rise in government outlays, e.g., the one-month (December) $16 billion rise in outlays. That is, government outlays actually decreased, but for the 37% rise in interest costs on the national debt.

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