Feb 1, 2022 - Economy

U.S. national debt exceeds $30 trillion for first time

Photo of Joe Biden from the side as he rests his chin on clasped hands at a meeting

President Biden speaks during an event at the White House with members of the National Governors Association on Jan. 31 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The U.S. gross national debt exceeded $30 trillion for the first time on Tuesday, according to new figures from the Treasury.

Why it matters: The nation arrived at the number far earlier than projected due to the pandemic, which amped up federal spending into the trillions, the New York Times writes. The new record comes as the U.S. struggles to deal with worsening inflation.

Yes, but: The national debt was already increasing prior to the pandemic. The U.S.'s budget deficit jumped 26% to nearly $1 trillion in late 2019, increasing for the fourth year in a row.

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