Depressing fact of the day: Interest payments bigger today than total federal budget in 1972

by Ryan Streeter on January 18, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

Via Republican Study Chairman Jim Jordan comes this factoid:

Interest payments on the national debt will cost more this year than the entire federal budget did in 1972, and that’s with interest rates at historic lows…The Congressional Budget Office expects the federal government to spend $238 billion on interest this year. In 1972, total federal spending amounted to $230 billion.

I’d also note that the $230 billion figure is less than half of what we’ll spend on Medicare this year.

I have plenty of friends who will tell me that there’s inflation and all that, and no signals from bond markets that these increases are much to worry about and all that…but I  seem to remember reading here and there that wages for men have been pretty stagnant since the 197os (some accounts put the precise year stagnation set in at 1972, in fact).

Doesn’t America’s “medium-income-to-federal-debt” ratio seem like a problem we should be worried about anyway?

  • Advisord

    Realizing that it may be an over-simplification of a complex issue, “federal-tax-receipts-to-federal-debt” seems to be what we should be worried about. If we ever start to zero in on that ratio, we may start to collectively throw up.
    Thanks to Dana Perino for letting me know about your site.