National debt tops $22 trillion for the first time

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The national debt has passed a new milestone, topping $22 trillion for the first time.

The Treasury Department's daily statement showed Tuesday that total outstanding public debt stands at $22.01 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017.

The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.

The national debt is the total of the annual budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year's deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year's imbalance of $779 billion. In the coming years, the CBO forecasts that the deficit will keep rising, top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029. Much of the increase will come from mounting costs to fund Social Security and Medicare as the vast generation of baby boomers continue to retire.

The Trump administration contends that its tax cuts will eventually pay for themselves by generating faster economic growth. That projection is disputed by many economists.

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A look at Trump's debt ceiling, disaster relief dealmaking with Democrats
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A look at Trump's debt ceiling, disaster relief dealmaking with Democrats
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (L) makes a point to President Donald Trump (2nd L) in the Oval Office as White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short (R) looks on towards the end of a meeting between the President and Congressional leaders prior to President Trump's departure from the White House for a tax reform event in North Dakota September 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump has struck a deal at the meeting with Sen. Schumer and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to fund the disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey, raise the debt ceiling for three months and keep the government open through the end of December. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with congressional leaders: House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (2nd L), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd R), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) and other congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump smiles during a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), center left, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), center right, as seen through a window of the Oval Office during a meeting with President Donald Trump, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: President Donald Trump, center left, meets with Hill leadership in the Oval Office, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. From left are House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-CA), Vice President Pence, Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-CA). (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), center left, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), center right, as seen through a window of the Oval Office during a meeting with President Donald Trump, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: President Donald Trump, center left, meets with Hill leadership in the Oval Office, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. From left are Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-CA). (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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