National debt for the first time passed $22 trillion this week — a big, scary number that really doesn’t pose much of a danger now but threatens to in the future.
The collective IOU had been rising steadily for decades but took a sudden leap in the years after the financial crisis as the government opened the financial spigots in an effort to spur growth.
President Barack Obama’s administration racked up nearly as much debt in eight years than in the entire 232-year history of the country before he took office. He entered with $10.6 trillion in total debt and left with the country owing $19.9 trillion. That’s an average tab of $1.16 trillion a year.
Under President Donald Trump, the debt also has climbed. The $2.06 trillion increase works out to about $991 billion a year, or slightly less than the pace Obama had set.