Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget
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Dunking on the Debt

Jul 7, 2020 | Budgets & Projections

Concern about the national debt came from an unexpected corner when Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie announced that he would bring the issue to the basketball court when the NBA resumes play later this month.

Dinwiddie tweeted that he will replace his name on his jersey with "Trillion." His number is "26." This ties nicely with gross national debt, which currently stands at $26.4 trillion. The NBA is allowing players to include certain social justice statements on their jerseys in place of their names for the shortened season.

His statement brought the issue of high and rising debt to a new audience; even the financially lucrative world of professional basketball is not in the same league as the debt.

As high as the debt is now, it will grow much larger over the coming years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent policy response. Fiscal irresponsibility in the lead up to the crisis vastly compounded the situation. Our latest budget projections show debt held by the public reaching 120 percent of GDP by 2030 and continuing on an upward trajectory indefinitely.

After the current crisis is over, we will have to address the unsustainable path of our national debt. It is good to see public figures like Dinwiddie raising awareness.