- “I think the greatest threat domestically to the country is this $21 trillion debt hanging over the cloud of America and future generations,” Schultz tells CNBC.
- He also says “the economy is strong” and gives Trump “some” credit for the gains.
- He also cautions that “I don’t believe that the stock market is going to continue to grow at the level it has between now and 2020.”
Howard Schultz, Starbucks‘ outgoing executive chairman, singled out the national debt as the biggest domestic threat to the U.S. in a critique that spared neither Democrats nor the Trump administration’s economic policies.
Schultz, a past critic of President Donald Trump‘s landmark tax legislation signed in December, acknowledged in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC that “the economy is strong,” and he gave Trump “some” credit for the gains.
“I give President Obama credit for that. I give President Trump some credit for that,” Schultz said during the interview on “Squawk Box.”
But he added that “systemic problems in the country,” including mental health and opioid crises, racial tensions and income inequality, are at levels “the likes of which we have not had in a long time.”
The total U.S. public debt hit a new record high of $21.145 trillion on the last day in May. As the U.S. debt increased, so did the interest expense which jumped by more than $26 billion in the first seven months of the fiscal year. That’s correct; the United States government forked out an additional $26 billion to service its debt (Oct.-Apr) versus the same period last year.
While the U.S. debt reached a new high on May 31st, it took nearly two months to do it. Let me explain. During tax season, the total U.S. public debt actually declined from a peak of $21.135 trillion on April 10th to a low of $21.030 trillion on May 1st. Since then, the U.S. debt has been steadily moving higher (including some daily fluctuations):
If you spend some time on the TreasuryDirect.gov site, you will see that the total public debt doesn’t go up in a straight line. There are days or weeks where the total debt declines. However, the overall trend is higher.
Now, a rising debt level impacts the interest the U.S. Treasury must pay on this debt… especially when the average interest rate also increases. According to the TreasuryDirect.gov, the interest expense rose from $257.3 billion (Oct-Apr) 2017 to $283.6 billion (Oct-Apr) this year:
As I mentioned, the U.S. government paid an additional $26 billion to service the debt than it did last year. Now, $26 billion may not seem like a lot of money these days, but it could buy the total global Registered Silver inventory:
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