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US national debt passes $31 trillion; November deficit hit $249 billion

The U.S. Treasury Department building in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 22, 2013. (Chuck Myers/TNS)
December 14, 2022

The U.S. national debt is approaching the current $31.4 trillion debt limit and the national deficit during just the month of November hit $249 billion.

On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department released its monthly report on its tax receipts and expenses. The treasury stated the U.S. spent $501 billion in the month of November, while taking in $252 billion in tax revenue.

The $249 billion deficit leftover after November represents a record-setting year-on-year change for the month of November. The deficit for November of this year is $57 billion more than it was in November of 2021.

The yearly deficit fell from fiscal year 2021 to 2022 as COVID-19 pandemic era spending programs ended and the economy grew with the relaxing of pandemic-related business closures ended. With those pandemic-era effects out of the way, the U.S. government isn’t likely to rapidly reduce its deficit spending again.

The U.S. is quickly approaching its current debt limit of $31,381,462,788,891, or just under $31.4 trillion. As the U.S. government approaches the debt ceiling, lawmakers will either have to vote to raise the debt limit or face a government shutdown. In December of 2021, Congress voted for a $2.5 trillion debt limit increase from about $28.9 trillion to the current limit.

According to the Treasury Department, Congress has voted 78 separate times to raise the debt limit since 1960, including 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents.

In a Sunday interview with CBS’ Margaret Brennon, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said Democrats should raise the debt ceiling before Republicans take control of the House in January to avoid a government shutdown.

“I’d get it done now,” Dimon said. “Take it off the table.”

Dimon has previously called for getting rid of the debt limit. Democrats, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, have said they support abolishing the debt limit all together.

A recent Moody’s Analytics report found that just the interest payments on the national debt could cost as much as the entire U.S. military budget by 2025.