Trump signs legislation to add $4.7tn to national debt

Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed legislation that would ultimately add $4.7 trillion to the national debt from 2017 to 2029, according to the non-partisan watchdog group Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“The $4.7 trillion of debt signed into law by President Trump is on top of the current $17.2 trillion debt held by the public and the $9.2 trillion we were already expected to borrow over the next decade absent these proposals,” Xinhua news agency reported on Friday citing the watchdog as saying.

Since Trump took office in 2017, the US national debt has risen from under $20 trillion to over $23 trillion.

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The national debt is projected to be about 97 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP) in 2029, compared to 82 percent if none of this debt-increasing legislation had been passed, according to the group.

“The nation is facing trillion-dollar annual deficits for the foreseeable future and without action is almost certain to surpass the record debt levels set after World War II in the coming years,” the watchdog group said, warning that the country’s national debt was “rising on an unsustainable path”.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of the country’s key fiscal challenges, on Tuesday also urged the administration and Congress to address the unsustainable fiscal outlook, a high priority for US voters.

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“While lawmakers are adding red ink, voters are calling for them to manage the debt, invest in our future and address national challenges.

“Getting our fiscal house in order is essential to maintaining our economic prosperity and leadership role in the world,” Michael A. Peterson, CEO of the foundation, said.

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