Interest payments on national debt will exceed defense spending this decade, CBO says

The cost of interest payments on the national debt will continue to grow as a financial burden for the U.S. over the next decade, even surpassing what the nation spends on national defense within a few years, a newly released budget analysis shows.

The national debt hit $31 trillion last fall and is well on its way to $32 trillion this year. As that debt grows, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal government will shell out over $10 trillion in the next decade on interest payments alone.

“To put this $10.5 trillion total in perspective, this means that spending on net interest will exceed all defense spending over the next decade,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said in its analysis of CBO's data. “In addition, we estimate the net interest spending will surpass all federal spending on children this year, meaning that we will be paying more to service our debts of the past than to invest in future generations.

“For every dollar that the U.S. government will borrow over the next decade, 50 cents will be just to pay interest on our national debt,” the group added.

Janet Yellen by Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy University of Michigan is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
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