Sen. Shelby: The $28.4 Trillion Federal Debt Will Affect the Standards and Opportunities of Young Americans

By Ashlianna Kreiner | August 12, 2021 | 3:23pm EDT
Senator Richard Shelby speaks during a meeting with members of the Russian Federation Council in Moscow on July 3, 2018. (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Senator Richard Shelby speaks during a meeting with members of the Russian Federation Council in Moscow on July 3, 2018. (Photo by YURI KADOBNOV/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – When asked if the $28.4 trillion federal debt was too much, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, “That is too much, and it is staggering,” and “it’s going to affect, especially the young people, standards of living, your opportunities, America’s standings in the world, economically and otherwise if we don’t bring it under control.”

At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked the senator, “The debt of the federal government is now $28.4 trillion dollars. Is that too much?”

“That is a huge debt. That is too much, and it is staggering, and it’s—it’s probably the biggest challenge that the American people and the young people in America are going to have, because entitlements are running away. We are spending too much money right now tearing the regular process,” Shelby said.

“There seem[s] to be no stopping, and it took 200 years for us to break the first trillion-dollar debt in 1982 or something. In 200 years, look what’s happened since. It’s going to affect, especially the young people, standards of living, your opportunities, America’s standings in the world, economically and otherwise if we don’t bring it under control.”

CNSNews.com asked the follow up question: “Is there any federal program or agency that you would want to reduce or eliminate to help the spending?”

Shelby responded, “We’ll probably have to go through and scrutinize every agency.”

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the total public debt outstanding as of Aug. 9, 2021, was $28,427,651,083,061.54, or roughly $28.4 trillion.

The federal debt did not surpass $1 trillion until fiscal 1982. That fiscal year, according to the Treasury, the debt started at $997,855,000,000 and ended at $1,142,034,000,000.

Over the last 39 years, the debt has ballooned, from $1.1 trillion to $28.4 trillion. The federal debt did not surpass $1 trillion until fiscal 1982. That fiscal year, according to the Treasury, the debt started at $997,855,000,000 and ended at $1,142,034,000,000.

Over the last 39 years, the debt has ballooned, from $1.1 trillion to $28.4 trillion. In the 1994 Contract With America, conservative Republicans called for eliminating the Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Education, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

In the federal government, in addition to the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, there are 15 departments, such as Defense, HHS, Commerce, and Education. Also, there are approximately 453 agencies

According to The Hill, “The federal government employs nearly 9.1 million workers, comprising nearly 6 percent of total employment in the United States. The figure includes nearly 2.1 million federal employees, 4.1 million contract employees, 1.2 million grant employees, 1.3 million active duty military personnel, and more than 500,000 postal service employees.” 

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