The Eye-Popping Interest Payment Spike On Our National Debt

Combined net worth of nation's most prominent billionaires wouldn't cover a single year's interest payment, analysis shows
Elon Musk Joe Biden
Getty Images: Jonathan Newton | Erin Clark

The combined net worth of the most prominent billionaires in the United States would not be enough to pay a single year’s interest payment on America’s ballooning national debt, which currently stands at an astonishing $34 trillion.

The combined net worth of some of America’s most prominent billionaires, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Ken Griffin, Mark Cuban, Ray Dalio, and George Soros, adds up to approximately $726 billion according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Meanwhile, the net interest on our national debt is currently at $730.8 billion, dwarfing the sum for previous years.

Interest payments on the United State’s national debt have risen sharply in recent years and remain on track to continue increasing. Net interest payments on the national debt hit a whopping $659 billion in fiscal year 2023, marking a massive 39% jump from 2022, when the government paid $475 billion in interest on the national debt.

The comparison signifies that increased taxation suggested by Democrats isn’t a viable path towards erasing the national debt, especially as interest payments pile up. The United States collected $4.4 trillion in federal taxes in fiscal year 2023, up from $4.19 trillion in fiscal year 2022, yet the debt increased by more than $2 trillion.

The debt interest payments continued to spike in October 2023, the first month of fiscal year 2024, when the government paid $76 billion on the national debt interest. The figure marked a shocking 77% increase from October 2022 when the government paid $43 billion on the interest.

Interest payments on the national debt are poised to reach an astonishing $1.4 trillion in just under a decade in fiscal year 2033, surging even higher to a projected $5.4 trillion in fiscal year 2053.

The projected growth does not just mark an increase in raw numbers, but also an increase relative to the size of the American economy. While the payments in fiscal year 2022 accounted for 1.9% of the United States gross domestic product (GDP), they are projected to account for 3.2% and 6.7% of GDP in 2030 and 2053 respectively. 

The national debt itself is also set to reach new highs in coming years, currently on a trajectory to reach over $46 trillion by 2028 at a ratio of over $300,000 in debt for every American taxpayer.

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