• By The Financial District

U.S. DEBT SURGED $7 TRILLION UNDER TRUMP

President Donald Trump certainly lived up to his self-proclaimed status as the King of Debt during his term in office. The national debt spiked by $7 trillion during Trump's tenure -- and it's about to soar much higher under his successor, Matt Egan reported for CNN Business.

Armed with a slim majority in the US Senate, President-elect Joe Biden is expected to make the case Thursday for a $2 trillion fiscal package to repair and rebuild the economy. That would be on top of the $900 billion relief package launched last month.


The proposal, made up of $2,000 stimulus checks, state and local aid, and unemployment insurance, aims to shore up a recovery that looks increasingly fragile. The Biden team's package is a "shoot for the moon" approach, one lawmaker told CNN.


Adding to America's $27 trillion mountain of debt may be painful, but it's the wise move given the scale of the problems and dirt-cheap borrowing costs.


"This is not the time to tighten the belt. The economy is in no condition for austerity," said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM.


Another 965,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, up sharply from 784,000 the previous week. Jobless claims remain well above the worst levels of the Great Recession.


The United States lost 140,000 jobs in December, the first decline since the spring. "This is the time to hit the fiscal accelerator to get the animal spirits moving and get the economy back on track," Brusuelas added. "It's a no-brainer."



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