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National Debt Hits $23 Trillion

Michael Rainey

Total federal debt has surpassed $23 trillion for the first time, according to data released by the Treasury Department Friday.

Of that amount, $17 trillion is debt held by the public, which is generally regarded as the most economically meaningful measure of the debt. The remaining $6 billion is largely intragovernmental debt, which has no net effect on government finances.

The national debt has risen by more than $1 trillion in just the past 10 months, driven by higher spending and reduced tax revenues in the wake of the 2017 Job Cuts and Jobs Act. President Trump once vowed to eliminate the debt in eight years, but it has risen by more than $3 trillion during his time in office. 

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