The US has owed money from its founding, however in recent years the national debt has skyrocketed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, growing $5 trillion between 2019 and 2020, and another $6 trillion since then.
In an interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she was "not really concerned about the impact" the Biden administration's spending programs were having on the national debt, claiming all will be well if the federal government "make[s] sure that we stay on a sustainable course."
She did admit, however, that if leaders fail to keep things on the right track, it could become an issue.
Universa Investments founder Mark Spitznagel told Fortune that he was concerned about the impact of a US government that continues to drown in debt.
"We've never seen anything like this level of total debt and leverage in the system," he warned. "It's an experiment. We know that credit bubbles have to pop. We don't know when, but we know they have to."
According to the annual report compiled by the Congressional Budget Office in June, the trend is expected to continue. By the end of 2023, it predicted, federal debt held by the public will equal 98 percent of gross domestic product.
After that, debt is predicted to rise in relation to GDP, surpassing its historical high of 107 percent of GDP in 2029, and ballooning to 181 percent of GDP by 2053.
"Such high and rising debt," the report's authors argued, "would slow economic growth, push up interest payments to foreign holders of US debt, and pose significant risks to the fiscal and economic outlook; it could also cause lawmakers to feel more constrained in their policy choices."
The national debt first hit $1 trillion in 1981, and since then the intervals between succeeding trillions have gotten progressively shorter.
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