The national debt is out of control and if something isn't done, it could cost us more and more in the years to come. Now the Federal Reserve has joined the ranks of those who are sounding the alarm.
Right now, the national debt stands at a whopping $23 trillion and growing every minute.
That means US taxpayers will waste almost $480 billion this year alone, just to cover the interest payments. That's 10 percent of the US budget. If the interest rate were to go up just one point, those interest payments could jump to $720 billion.
You can watch the US debt rise every second by clicking here on www.usdebtclock.org.
The chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell delivered a blunt warning to Congress on Tuesday, saying lawmakers must cut deficit spending while interest rates are low or pay the price later.
"Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path when the economy is strong would help ensure that policymakers have the space to use fiscal policy to assist in stabilizing the economy during a downturn," he said. In other words, it's important to do something now while the economy is doing well.
Economist Steve Moore also warns that the massive interest payments on America's debt will go up as interest rates start to rise.
"We have the lowest interest rates now in 50 years, and that's a good thing for the United States government because we're the largest borrower, you know," he said.
"We're only borrowing at a 2 percent interest rate. The thing we have to worry about, the thing that would keep me up at night if I were president, is what would happen if those interest rates start to climb back to 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 percent. Then, all of a sudden, the cost of servicing a $20 trillion debt goes through the roof," Moore explained.
The Congressional Budget Office projected last year that 10-year bond rates would remain below 3.8 point percent.
But the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget says if rates go up by just one point over those estimates, that could add $1.9 trillion more in interest payments over the next decade. And the interest payment in the 2029 budget year would be $1.2 trillion.
At that point, the government would have even less money to spend on programs that Americans have come to rely on.
Bottom line: spending on the interest on the national debt is set to grow faster than anything else in the budget - including health care and defense spending.