When will national debt become a crisis?

 I wrote this column on Tuesday, August 15.

At noon on Tuesday the national debt was $32,703,168,000,000.

Note: The last six digits on the Debt Clock were not a series of zeros. The numbers were spinning so fast, it was impossible to capture a precise total.

To see for yourself how fast the numbers are increasing visit


On June 6 of this year, as I reported in a previous column, the national debt was $31,831,161,000,000.

The debt per taxpayer was $248,041.


The national debt since June 6 has increased by $872 billion.

The debt per taxpayer has increased to $253,686.


During that 70-day period the amount owed by each taxpayer in the United States increased by $5,645.

On an annual basis that comes to $29,435 per taxpayer. For a household with two taxpayers the amount of increase is $58,870.


Does anyone think this rate of increase is not a problem?

Ask members of Congress this question.


In a previous column I mentioned that a few years ago U.S. Senator Chris Coons of Delaware introduced legislation to repeal the national debt ceiling.

A press release he issued at the time said in part:

 The time has come for Congress to eliminate the debt ceiling. Debt limit showdowns have become far too routine, and it's now considered almost normal to threaten default. That must change.

The United States is one of only two democratic countries with a statutory debt ceiling, and the only one that could single-handedly cause a global recession. Since 1960, Congress has acted more than 75 separate times to raise, temporarily extend, or revise the definition of the debt limit.

In 2011, the crisis surrounding raising the debt ceiling led credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the U.S. government’s credit rating for the first time ever.


As I’ve said before, increasing the national debt limit is NOT a solution. It’s an admission by members of Congress that they are incapable of managing the federal government in a responsible manner.

Congress in June increased the debt ceiling by $4 trillion under the misnomer, the ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act.’

Who do they think they are fooling with that title? Will they be bragging about this ‘responsible action’ during their next re-election campaign?

More than likely they will be trumpeting the federal dollars they sent into their districts, dollars made available by increasing the debt ceiling.

They will neglect to say that each taxpayer’s share of the national debt is more than a quarter of a million dollars.


In my column last week I reported on the Convention of States simulation held in early August week in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Space limitations prevented me from listing all of the amendment proposals that came out of the convention.

I do want to mention two other sections of the Balanced Budget amendment that I supported.

Taxes levied under the eighth section of Article One of this Constitution shall not be raised to increase the revenue of the United States unless two-thirds of both Houses of Congress by roll call vote concur.

Nothing in this amendment shall be construed to allow for an increase in taxes without the express approval of Congress.


As of July 2023 the cost to maintain the debt was $726 billion. This was 14% of the total federal spending.

This expense in the budget will continue to increase and make it even more difficult to achieve a balanced budget.


The title of this column is ‘When will the ever-increasing national debt become a crisis?’

Here are some other questions to think about:

What happens to middle class America when a crisis is declared?

What freedoms will we be asked to sacrifice to insure our security?


Your thoughts are welcome. Send them to bryant.richardson@delaware. gov