$1 Trillion Debt Load Seen as "Warning"

The United States of America escalating debt challenge.Earlier this week, the United States national debt clock topped $34 trillion for the first time.

Strong economy, weak economy, Republican President, Democrat President - it doesn't matter. The US debt clock continues to march higher, and nobody seems to have a plan to stop it.

The days of balanced budgets are long behind us - now, the main concern is "managing" the debt so that it doesn't grow "too much".


On October 22nd, 1981, the United States debt clock touched $1 trillion for the very first time.

Inflation adjusted, this becomes about $3.07 trillion in today's dollars.

At the time, crossing the $1 trillion debt threshold was a very big deal.

In September of 1981, newly elected President Reagan said that one trillion dollars of debt was a "warning" to the country.

Reign in the government spending that had "run amok", President Reagan said, or else.


It took the US government nearly 200 years - from 1789 to 1981 - to run up $1 trillion in debt.

In 1789, the US government assumed $75 million in debt "run up during the Revolutionary War", and never fully wiped off the balance.

The government came close to fully paying off its debt in 1835, as the US government owed just $37,513 that year.

The government started to allocate more and more money towards military spending, which resulted in the national debt reversing course and moving up again.

A number of wars - namely, the Civil War, World War I and World War II - resulted in the national debt skyrocketing, at least in relative terms.


In this day and age, cutting spending in order to help to balance the budget is largely unsavory for a politician, so you will have deficits regardless of who is in the White House or Congress.

Spiking interest rates have helped to spike the debt load of the country.

It's hard to see that this will reverse course anytime soon, especially with the current geopolitical situation and an aging population in the country.

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown

Related Articles