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U.S. debt from the year you were born

  • U.S. debt from the year you were born
    1/ AgnosticPreachersKid // Wikimedia Commons

    U.S. debt from the year you were born

    Whether it's meant as a compliment or a diss, people often say that things are done bigger in America. American portion sizes are enormous, houses are larger here than almost anywhere else, and the national debt is the largest sovereign debt for any single country in the entire world. Debt as a percentage of GDP has grown from 17.6% in 1930 to 103.9% at end of 2017.

    Before taking a closer look at how the national debt has grown and changed over time, two terms need to be defined. The U.S. debt is a measure of how much the American government owes its creditors. Two-thirds of this debt is held by the public or those who buy U.S. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds. The remaining third of this debt is intergovernmental, meaning that the government owes it to various departments who hold Government Account securities. GDP is short for gross domestic product, and is the total value of everything produced in a country.

    Stacker took an in-depth look at the U.S. debt every year over the past 88 years. Using data from Treasury Direct (updated 2018) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (updated 2017) we've ranked the debt by year, starting with 1930 and finishing with 2018.

    Read on to find out how war has affected our economy, which tax changes actually stimulated the economy, and what year the national debt hit the $1 trillion mark (hint: it's more recent than you think).

    You may also like: States with the most debt

  • 1930: $16.2 billion
    2/ Arthur Rothstein // Wikimedia Commons

    1930: $16.2 billion

    - Nominal debt: $16.2 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $242.8 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 17.6%
    - Inflation rate: -2.7%

    The Great Depression officially started in 1929, and by 1930 more than 15 million Americans (one-quarter of all wage earning workers) were unemployed. In the midst of this steep economic downturn, the first Dust Bowl also hit the Midwest, almost completely destroying the agricultural industry in America. 1930 also saw the first shantytowns, called Hoovervilles, popping up around the country.

  • 1931: $16.8 billion
    3/ U.S. National Archives

    1931: $16.8 billion

    - Nominal debt: $16.8 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $276.9 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 21.7%
    - Inflation rate: -8.9%

    Herbert Hoover, who was in office at the start of the Great Depression, didn't do much to alleviate the crisis. Instead, he told Americans that patience and self-reliance were all that they really needed to get through this “passing incident in our national lives.” His pep talk didn't do much to reassure the masses, who would have preferred practical measures. Instead, they tightened their purse strings even more.

  • 1932: $19.5 billion
    4/ FDR Presidential Library & Museum // Wikimedia Commons

    1932: $19.5 billion

    - Nominal debt: $19.5 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $358.9 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 32.8%
    - Inflation rate: -10.3%

    1932 saw Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected president. He campaigned mostly on the promise that he'd use the power of the government to turn the economy around and make Americans' lives better. While people still didn't have much, the hope of someone new in office who was going to make an actual change did prompt a small bump in spending.

  • 1933: $22.5 billion
    5/ Wikimedia Commons

    1933: $22.5 billion

    - Nominal debt: $22.5 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $437.7 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 39.4%
    - Inflation rate: -5.2%

    By March of 1933, the economy had shrunk by 27%, the worst contraction in U.S. history. But it was also in this year that FDR's “New Deal” passed, pieces of which included banking reform laws, emergency relief programs, work relief programs, and agricultural programs. By June of 1933, FDR and Congress had passed 15 new laws (including the Home Owners' Loan Act and the National Industrial Recovery Act), which fundamentally reshaped our economy in ways we still see today.

  • 1934: $27.1 billion
    6/ New York Public Library // Wikimedia Commons

    1934: $27.1 billion

    - Nominal debt: $27.1 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $505.7 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 40.5%
    - Inflation rate: 3.5%

    While many industries experienced major shrinkage during the Great Depression, Hollywood was just at the beginning its golden age. Not many families had money to spare, but when they did they often spent it on outings to movie theaters. The studio system rose to mammoth status during this time, with major stars earning five- or six-figure salaries.

  • 1935: $28.7 billion
    7/ Wikimedia Commons

    1935: $28.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $28.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $524.8 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 38.7%
    - Inflation rate: 2.6%

    The second, more aggressive, half of FDR's New Deal launched in the spring of 1935. Programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration provided hundreds of jobs and inspired new hope in the American people that this might all be coming to an end sooner rather than later. Also in this year, the National Labor Relations Act gave workers the right to form unions and bargain collectively.

  • 1936: $33.8 billion
    8/ Sheldon Dick // Wikimedia Commons

    1936: $33.8 billion

    - Nominal debt: $33.8 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $608.7 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 39.8%
    - Inflation rate: 1%

    FDR won his second term by a landslide in 1936, but not everything was looking up. On Dec. 30, 1936 the United Auto Workers (a year-old union) launched a sit-down strike at a General Motors facility in Flint, Mich. After 44 days the strike ended in success, forcing General Motors to recognize the UAW and setting a precedent for unions in hundreds of other industries.

  • 1937: $36.4 billion
    9/ Marion Post Wolcott // Wikimedia Commons

    1937: $36.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $36.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $633.6 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 39.2%
    - Inflation rate: 3.7%

    A third New Deal was rolled out in 1937, but budget deficits saw this iteration get less funding than the two previous versions. Still, two major projects (the United States Housing Act which provided state-run public housing projects and the Farm Security Administration which provided loans and training for farmers) were funded. But overall, the cut in spending on the third New Deal brought the economy into a second contraction of 3.3%, which was major compared to the increases of 8.9% in 1935 and 12.9% in 1936.

  • 1938: $37.2 billion
    10/ Wikimedia Commons

    1938: $37.2 billion

    - Nominal debt: $37.2 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $660.3 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 42.5%
    - Inflation rate: -2%

    1938 saw government spending cut and unemployment rise to nearly 19%. While the national debt only increased by $1 billion, fewer people were employed than in previous years. Plenty worried that the depression was only going to worsen once again.

  • 1939: $40.4 billion
    11/ Sloan // Wikimedia Commons

    1939: $40.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $40.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $728.8 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 43.3%
    - Inflation rate: -1.3%

    After nearly a decade, the dust finally began to settle in the Midwest and the Dust Bowl ended. The storms had left nearly 500,000 Americans homeless and caused a mass migration to southern California (one year saw 86,000 people immigrate to the state from the Midwest). Land values in the region decreased by as much as 30%, and some areas never fully recovered, meaning the agricultural industry still feels the lingering effects today.

  • 1940: $43 billion
    12/ Selective Service // Wikimedia Commons

    1940: $43 billion

    - Nominal debt: $43 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $768.8 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 41.8%
    - Inflation rate: 0.7%

    The draft began in 1940 with the signing of the Selective Training and Service Act. All men between the ages of 21 and 45 were required to register, and those who were selected were required to serve at least one year. This also caused unemployment to shrink to 14.6%.

  • 1941: $49 billion
    13/ Imperial Japanese Navy // Wikimedia Commons

    1941: $49 billion

    - Nominal debt: $49 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $834.3 billion
    - Debt / GDP: 37.9%
    - Inflation rate: 5.1%

    The U.S. entered World War 2 on Dec. 7, 1941. The decision, and the need to quickly get the country ready for war brought the country out of the depression. Existing industries converted into wartime production, huge new factories were built, and an overall total change in consumption provided the boost the economy so desperately needed.

  • 1942: $72.4 billion
    14/ Wikimedia Commons

    1942: $72.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $72.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $1.1 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 43.6%
    - Inflation rate: 10.9%

    Defense spending was the main culprit in the near double of the U.S. debt in 1942. With the U.S. now fully immersed in World War II, the economy was focused on supplying soldiers with everything they'd need to win, from uniforms to guns to warplanes. The conversion of the economy caused unemployment to shrink to nearly zero, for the first time in over a decade.

  • 1943: $136.7 billion
    15/ Ninian Reed // flickr

    1943: $136.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $136.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 67.3%
    - Inflation rate: 6%

    1943 saw another huge jump in the country's debt when an additional $64.3 billion was added thanks to the war. While overall the American economy was booming, many local economies were struggling. Race riots in Harlem and Detroit saw millions of dollars in damages and set the stage for even bigger, more widespread issues to come.

  • 1944: $201 billion
    16/ Howard R. Hollem // Wikimedia Commons

    1944: $201 billion

    - Nominal debt: $201 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 89.6%
    - Inflation rate: 1.6%

    In 1944, with the entire world at war, the unemployment rate was the lowest it had been in the last century at 1.2%. With all hands needed, women joined the workforce at unprecedented levels (6 million women took first-time jobs during WWII), many of them doing jobs previously only held by men. It's safe to say that their presence in the working world has changed the economy forever.

  • 1945: $258.7 billion
    17/ George R. Caron / Wikimedia Commons

    1945: $258.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $258.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $3.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 113.5%
    - Inflation rate: 2.3%

    At the end of WWII, unemployment went up for the first time in years due to the influx of returning soldiers; Americans were spending at an increased rate. President Truman dropped the first atomic bomb, opening the floodgates for an entirely new industry to form.

  • 1946: $269.4 billion
    18/ Russell Lee // Wikimedia Commons

    1946: $269.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $269.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $3.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 118.4%
    - Inflation rate: 8.5%

    In April 1946, some 400,000 coal mine workers went on strike in an attempt to boost wages and benefits. Other industries followed suit, to which the government responded by taking over several of them in order to stop walkouts and continue the production of necessary resources. U.S. troops seized railroads and coal mines in May and took over oil refineries later that year.

  • 1947: $258.3 billion
    19/ Dorthea Lange // Wikimedia Commons

    1947: $258.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $258.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 103.5%
    - Inflation rate: 14.4%

    National debt actually went down in 1947. One major reason was the declaration of a national housing crisis in 1946. The executive branch of the U.S. government was given special powers to deal with it, and more housing was built in this year than in any year since 1928.

  • 1948: $252.3 billion
    20/ Orange County Archives // flickr

    1948: $252.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $252.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 91.9%
    - Inflation rate: 7.7%

    1948 saw the beginning of the decline of America's farming industry. In 1947 7.9 million people worked in farming, by 1998 only 3.4 million people remained in the industry. Up until this point, farming had always been one of the country's chief industries and one of its biggest peacetime employers.

  • 1949: $252.8 billion
    21/ Roger W // flickr

    1949: $252.8 billion

    - Nominal debt: $252.8 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 92.8%
    - Inflation rate: -1.0%

    The automobile industry was another major economy booster. Each year from 1946 until 1950, the number of automobiles produced quadrupled. And as more families began to own cars, a widespread migration from cities to suburbs began to take place.

  • 1950: $257.4 billion
    22/ Wikimedia Commons

    1950: $257.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $257.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 85.8%
    - Inflation rate: 1.1%

    In 1940, the gross national product—or the measure of all goods and services produced in a country—was $200 million. By 1950, the gross national product was just over $300,000,000. Much of this was thanks to government spending; the ‘50s would see the launch of some major national projects that provided a huge stimulus to the economy.

  • 1951: $255.2 billion
    23/ Russell Lee // Wikimedia Commons

    1951: $255.2 billion

    - Nominal debt: $255.2 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 73.6%
    - Inflation rate: 7.9%

    The 1950s were a “boom” time for the American economy. The suburbs were booming, industries like automobiles and television were booming, and most of all, babies were booming. An estimated 4 million babies were born in America each year during the entirety of the 1950s.

  • 1952: $259.1 billion
    24/ Nationalaal Archief // Wikimedia Commons

    1952: $259.1 billion

    - Nominal debt: $259.1 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 70.5%
    - Inflation rate: 2.3%

    Between having children and moving to the suburbs, many women who had been a part of the workforce during WWII were leaving it in order to become stay-at-home wives and mothers. While this felt stifling for many, it allowed the unemployment rate to remain low. Many of the jobs that women had taken over during the war years reverted to men during the ‘50s.

  • 1953: $266.1 billion
    25/ US Air Force

    1953: $266.1 billion

    - Nominal debt: $266.1 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 68.4%
    - Inflation rate: 0.8%

    The Cold War was another defining factor of the 1950s. While military spending was lower than it was during WWII, it still remained higher than in previous peacetimes and was a major factor in the country's growing debt.

  • 1954: $271.3 billion
    26/ John T. Bledsoe // Wikimedia Commons

    1954: $271.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $271.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 69.5%
    - Inflation rate: 0.3%

    In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case, calling segregated schools “inherently unequal.” While the ruling was important as it was the first nail in Jim Crow's coffin, it also was the first step toward closing the wage gap between black and white people. The wage gap remains a problem today, but not to the same extent as in 1954.

  • 1955: $274.4 billion
    27/ Evert F. Baumgardner // Wikimedia Commons

    1955: $274.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $274.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 64.5%
    - Inflation rate: -0.3%

    By 1955, half of all American homes had a television set—a huge jump from the 6,000 homes that had one in 1946. The '50s was the golden age of TV, with families settling in to watch shows like “I Love Lucy,” “The Mickey Mouse Club,” and “The $64,000 Question” each night. Both the industries that were creating the actual television sets and the shows that aired on them were bringing in huge money and changing American culture for better or worse.

  • 1956: $272.8 billion
    28/ Seattle Municipal Archives // Wikimedia Commons

    1956: $272.8 billion

    - Nominal debt: $272.8 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 60.7%
    - Inflation rate: 1.5%

    The post-war economy saw a change in the construction of the American workforce. The war made America a very goods-oriented country, but peacetime saw a huge growth in service-oriented jobs. By 1956, more Americans held white collar jobs than blue collar jobs.

  • 1957: $270.5 billion
    29/ Public Roads Administration // Wikimedia Commons

    1957: $270.5 billion

    - Nominal debt: $270.5 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 57.1%
    - Inflation rate: 3.3%

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, which called for the construction of a national interstate system, in 1956. However, things didn't really begin to take off until 1957. The proposed system was called “the greatest challenge that has ever been given to any peace-time public works agency,” and provided thousands of new jobs for American workers.

  • 1958: $276.3 billion
    30/ Florida Memory // Wikimedia Commons

    1958: $276.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $276.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 57.4%
    - Inflation rate: 2.7%

    In 1958, the U.S. economy hit its first major downturn since the Great Depression. It forced nearly 5 million people, around 7% of the workforce, out of a job. The auto sales industry was hit the hardest, but the effects were also felt across national borders—mines in Canada were forced to shut down production temporarily until the economy got its groove back.

  • 1959: $284.7 billion
    31/ Abbie Rowe // Wikimedia Commons

    1959: $284.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $284.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 54.6%
    - Inflation rate: 1.1%

    The Eisenhower recession didn't last long. Even as inflation and prices continued to climb into 1959, unemployment shrank back to 5.3%. Additionally, the strong U.S. dollar contributed to a foreign trade deficit.

  • 1960: $286.3 billion
    32/ James Bond // Wikimedia Commons

    1960: $286.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $286.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 52.8%
    - Inflation rate: 1.5%

    By 1960, America was back in a recession. The “rolling adjustment” recession, which lasted 10 months was sparked by a decline in the number of American-made automobiles being purchased. Preferring foreign-made, compact cars, the demand for American-made cars declined, which pulled down the gross national product and upped unemployment rates to 6.9%.

  • 1961: $289 billion
    33/ NASA

    1961: $289 billion

    - Nominal debt: $289 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 51.4%
    - Inflation rate: 1.1%

    In 1961, the national minimum wage went up 15 cents to $1.15. Also in this year, John F. Kennedy was elected president, and the Soviets sent the first man into space, launching the “space race” and igniting a new industry in America.

  • 1962: $298.2 billion
    34/ Cecil Stoughton // Wikimedia Commons

    1962: $298.2 billion

    - Nominal debt: $298.2 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 49.4%
    - Inflation rate: 1.2%

    The 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 sparked a small panic in the stock market, with the S&P dropping 7%. This triggered an even bigger crash, as stocks like Texas Instruments and Polaroid, which had been trading at up to 115 times their earnings, couldn't recover. By the time the world at large had recovered from the crisis, the American stock market had lost nearly a quarter of its value.

  • 1963: $305.9 billion
    35/ Cecil W. Stoughton // Wikimedia Commons

    1963: $305.9 billion

    - Nominal debt: $305.9 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 48.%
    - Inflation rate: 1.2%

    In 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the presidency after JFK was assassinated. Minimum wage went up another 10 cents under his leadership, reaching $1.25.

  • 1964: $311.7 billion
    36/ Wikimedia Commons

    1964: $311.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $311.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 45.5%
    - Inflation rate: 1.3%

    The Revenue Act of 1964 dropped the marginal tax rate from 91% to 70%, and decreased the corporate tax rate from 52% to 48%. Citing the old tax rates' drag on spending and growth, JFK had pushed for a change in his 1963 State of the Union address. In the wake of the “Kennedy Tax Cuts,” federal revenue actually increased, and by 1968 reached $153 billion.

  • 1965: $317.3 billion
    37/ U.S. Army // Wikimedia Commons

    1965: $317.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $317.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 42.7%
    - Inflation rate: 1.6

    In 1965, America entered the Vietnam War. Once again, the economy entered a war-time state, with things like defense spending ramping up. While the anti-war movement wasn't yet in full effect, its roots were growing as many vocalized disapproval over America's involvement in the war.

  • 1966: $319.9 billion
    38/ U.S. Information Agency // Wikimedia Commons

    1966: $319.9 billion

    - Nominal debt: $319.9 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 39.3%
    - Inflation rate: 3%

    The war continued to help the economy expand, while also increasing the country's debt. The number of troops in Vietnam was nearing the 500,000 mark. Many factories that had been producing consumer goods were now producing military goods, which lead to a drop in shopping and a hit to the economy.

  • 1967: $326.2 billion
    39/ Wikimedia Commons

    1967: $326.2 billion

    - Nominal debt: $326.2 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 37.9%
    - Inflation rate: 2.8%

    Meanwhile, on the home front, the 1960s saw a huge conglomerate boom. Alternating bear and bull markets made it easier for wealthier companies to buy out smaller, sometimes unrelated, companies. For example, International Telephone and Telegraph, bought Sheraton Hotels, Continental Banking, Hartford Fire Insurance, Avis Rent-a-Car, and other companies, making it one of the biggest conglomerates of the ‘60s.

  • 1968: $347.6 billion
    40/ Kennedy for President // Wikimedia Commons

    1968: $347.6 billion

    - Nominal debt: $347.6 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 36.9%
    - Inflation rate: 4.3%

    By 1968, the minimum wage had gone all the way up to $1.60. Many middle-class Americans were living more comfortably than ever before. For the first time a full-time, minimum wage worker could support a family of three over the poverty line—something that was not true for minimum wage levels in this country as recently as 2014.

  • 1969: $353.7 billion
    41/ Wikimedia Commons

    1969: $353.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $353.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 34.8%
    - Inflation rate: 5.5%

    The first draft lottery drawing since 1942 was held on Dec. 1, 1969. Studies have shown that the effects of this lottery are more serious than anyone initially imagined. Well into the 1980s and beyond, earnings of white Vietnam veterans were 15% lower than comparable non-veterans, with the difference even more distinct among those of color. So in some ways, the economic effects of the war are still being felt by us today.

  • 1970: $370.9 billion
    42/ Hartmann // Wikimedia Commons

    1970: $370.9 billion

    - Nominal debt: $370.9 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 34.6%
    - Inflation rate: 5.8%

    The Nixon Recession began in December 1969 and didn't end until November 1970. Increasing inflation caused the government to put a restrictive monetary policy in place. In December of 1970, the unemployment rate remained at 6.1% and inflation was 5.8%.

  • 1971: $398.1 billion
    43/ The U.S. National Archives

    1971: $398.1 billion

    - Nominal debt: $398.1 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 34.2%
    - Inflation rate: 4.3%

    On July 12, 1971, in the midst of a struggling job market, Nixon signed the Emergency Employment Act. Meant to alleviate layoffs in the aerospace and defense industries, it created 150,000 jobs over the next two years in other, understaffed industries like education, public safety, and transportation. It also provided training that would help workers move from the public to private sector (leaving many entry-level jobs open for new employees), and offered assistance for returning veterans who intended to move back into the workforce.

  • 1972: $427.3 billion
    44/ Alden Jewel // flickr

    1972: $427.3 billion

    - Nominal debt: $427.3 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 33.4%
    - Inflation rate: 3.3%

    The 1970s introduced economists to a new term: stagflation. Prior to this decade, they'd believed that inflation was a positive sign of a growing economy and low unemployment rate. But by 1972 they were experiencing the first of several years where inflation was increasing while economic growth remained slow.

  • 1973: $458.1 billion
    45/ Leena A. Krohn // Wikimedia Commons

    1973: $458.1 billion

    - Nominal debt: $458.1 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 32.1%
    - Inflation rate: 6.2%

    The Vietnam War ended: The direct cost to the United States for the war was $168 billion, and a total of $350–$900 billion was spent when things like Veteran's benefits and interest are considered. The war was certainly an expensive one, and it triggered a tough economic climate throughout the rest of the 1970s.

  • 1974: $475.1 billion
    46/ White House Photo // Wikimedia Commons

    1974: $475.1 billion

    - Nominal debt: $475.1 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 30.7%
    - Inflation rate: 11.1%

    Watergate took place in 1972; Nixon didn't resign until 1974. In the meantime, the S&P fell 500 points, or about 50%. The chaotic headlines coming from the White House during this time left many uncertain about the country's future and the stability of their fortunes.

  • 1975: $533.2 billion
    47/ David Falconer // Wikimedia Commons

    1975: $533.2 billion

    - Nominal debt: $533.2 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 31.6%
    - Inflation rate: 9.1%

    In March 1975, the 16-month-long Oil Crisis finally came to an end. Oil prices had more than quadrupled, the government was overspending in Vietnam, and employment was nearing 9% (the highest it had been since Pearl Harbor). By May, spending was beginning to return to normal and the economy finally looked as if it may be on the up and up.

  • 1976: $620.4 billion
    48/ Gerald R. Ford White House

    1976: $620.4 billion

    - Nominal debt: $620.4 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 33.1%
    - Inflation rate: 5.7%

    In 1976, America was celebrating its bicentennial. Even more notably, Microsoft registered its trademark, marking the earliest days of personal computers and the internet: Something that would forever change the way we do business and interact with the economy.

  • 1977: $698.8 billion
    49/ Wikimedia Commons

    1977: $698.8 billion

    - Nominal debt: $698.8 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 33.6%
    - Inflation rate: 6.5%

    1977 saw two huge things happen for the nuclear weapons industries. First, the formation of the Department of Energy, whose responsibilities include the design, construction, and testing of nuclear weapons, happened in August, creating dozens of new jobs. Second, President Jimmy Carter signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act, which defined specific conditions for U.S. nuclear weapons exports, and kept America at the forefront of the nuclear arms race.

  • 1978: $771.5 billion
    50/ Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums // Wikimedia Commons

    1978: $771.5 billion

    - Nominal debt: $771.5 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $3 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 32.8%
    - Inflation rate: 7.6%

    In 1977, the unemployment rate was 6.4%; the GDP grew by 4.6%. Meanwhile, inflation still continued to rise to 7.6%.

  • 1979: $826.5 billion
    51/ Warren K. Leffler // Wikimedia Commons

    1979: $826.5 billion

    - Nominal debt: $826.5 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 31.5%
    - Inflation rate: 11.3%

    Inflation reached double digits in 1979. In response, the Fed funds rate reached an all-time high of 20%. The rate remained this high through 1980 and didn't revert to its “sweet spot” (between 2–5%) until 1991.

  • 1980: $907.7 billion
    52/ Rdsmith4 // Wikimedia Commons

    1980: $907.7 billion

    - Nominal debt: $907.7 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.8 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 31.8%
    - Inflation rate: 13.5%

    When inflation hit an all-time high of 13.5% in 1980, the government was forced to take massive steps. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates and slowed the money supply. This caused spending to slow and unemployment to rise, but eventually got the economy over the hump, dropping inflation by more than 3% by the next year.

  • 1981: $997.9 billion
    53/ néznamy // Wikimedia Commons

    1981: $997.9 billion

    - Nominal debt: $997.9 billion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $2.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 31.1%
    - Inflation rate: 10.3%

    In 1980, Iraq and Iran went to war. At this point, America imported almost all of its oil from the region, but the war made it increasingly difficult to get what was needed. In response, Reagan fully deregulated crude prices, allowing U.S. producers to raise their prices to market levels.

  • 1982: $1.1 trillion
    54/ Harald Hoffmann // Wikimedia Commons

    1982: $1.1 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $1.1 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $3 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 34.2%
    - Inflation rate: 6.1%

    In 1982, America's debit hit a major milestone: the trillion mark. Also in 1982, the Job Training Partnership Act was passed. The act allocated federal funds for implementing a variety of employment services (like job and skills training) for disadvantaged individuals. The idea was that the act would help unemployment levels.

  • 1983: $1.4 trillion
    55/ White House photo // Wikimedia Commons

    1983: $1.4 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $1.4 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $3.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 37.9%
    - Inflation rate: 3.2%

    The 1970s had been an incredibly unstable time, both economically and socially. In response, Americans acted much more conservatively under the leadership of Ronald Reagan. One major place we see this reflected is in the Reagan tax cuts, the first of which happened in 1981.

  • 1984: $1.6 trillion
    56/ White House photo // Wikimedia Commons

    1984: $1.6 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $1.6 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $3.8 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 38.9%
    - Inflation rate: 4.3%

    The decade is ultimately defined by Reaganomics. Policies called for tax cuts, decreased social spending, increased military spending, and the deregulation of foreign markets. The decrease in domestic spending, however, was offset by the increase in military spending. While economists still debate the merit of these policies, there's no denying that they were followed by one of the longest and strongest periods of American prosperity.

  • 1985: $1.8 trillion
    57/ PH2 Michael D.P. Flynn/U.S. Navy // Wikimedia Commons

    1985: $1.8 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $1.8 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $4.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 42.%
    - Inflation rate: 3.5%

    The movie industry was booming in the 1980s. Many consider the decade to be “the age of the blockbuster” with films like “E.T.,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” being released. Many of these films earned hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office and remain classics today.

  • 1986: $2.1 trillion
    58/ Wikimedia Commons

    1986: $2.1 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $2.1 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $4.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 46.4%
    - Inflation rate: 1.9%

    1986 saw the second tax cuts from President Reagan. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 lowered the top tax rate for ordinary income from 50% to 28% and raised the bottom tax rate from 11% to 15%. This was the first time in history that the top tax was lowered as the bottom tax was raised.

  • 1987: $2.4 trillion
    59/ Roger Hsu // flickr

    1987: $2.4 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $2.4 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $5.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 48.4%
    - Inflation rate: 3.7%

    World markets came tumbling down on Oct. 19, 1987. Known as Black Monday, the Dow shed nearly 22% that day. Mechanical trading ended up taking most of the blame for the blip, but slick, behind-the-scenes moves from the Fed had markets returned to their starting point just days later.

  • 1988: $2.6 trillion
    60/ Thomas Wolf // Wikimedia Commons

    1988: $2.6 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $2.6 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $5.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 49.7%
    - Inflation rate: 4.1%

    The television industry was experiencing a golden age, the likes of which it hadn't seen since the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. Millions of viewers were tuning in each night to watch shows like “Roseanne,” “Married… with Children,” and “The Cosby Show.” Those working in the TV industry were making more than they ever had before.

  • 1989: $2.9 trillion
    61/ Smithsonian Institute // flickr

    1989: $2.9 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $2.9 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $5.8 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 50.6%
    - Inflation rate: 4.8%

    Overall, the 1980s were an important time of economic policy change and growth. The decade ended with the lowest unemployment rate America had seen in years, and inflation was back to a manageable rate. However, the ‘80s were also the last time we'd see a national debt in the billions.

  • 1990: $3.2 trillion
    62/ Staff Sgt. Vance // Wikimedia Commons

    1990: $3.2 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $3.2 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $6.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 54.2%
    - Inflation rate: 5.4%

    The Gulf War recession began in 1990. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, oil prices spiked and manufacturing trade sales declined. Combined with the effects of North American Free Trade Agreement, which had just kicked in, inflation and unemployment increased while the overall GDP decreased.

  • 1991: $3.7 trillion
    63/ Anwar Ahmed // Wikimedia Commons

    1991: $3.7 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $3.7 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $6.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 59.5%
    - Inflation rate: 4.2%

    Operation Desert Storm began in January 1991, and the Gulf War ended a month later. Later that year the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (B.C.C.I)—then the seventh largest private bank in the world—was indicted in New York City for the biggest bank fraud in history. The scandal left many questioning the faith they'd put in the banking system.

  • 1992: $4.1 trillion
    64/ Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

    1992: $4.1 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $4.1 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $7.3 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 62.3%
    - Inflation rate: 3%

    In 1992, Bill Clinton won the presidency. The 27th amendment was passed, which dictates that any law passed by Congress that affects their compensation won't take effect until the next batch of representatives has been elected. The same year, IBM announced they had lost $5 billion, more than any company has ever lost in a single year.

  • 1993: $4.4 trillion
    65/ U.S. National Archives // flickr

    1993: $4.4 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $4.4 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $7.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 64.3%
    - Inflation rate: 3%

    In 1993, Clinton raised the top tax rate from 28% to 36% for those earning more than $115,000, and to 39.6% for those earning more than $250,000. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 also changed the corporate tax for businesses that earned more than $10 million each year and taxed Social Security benefits for high-income earners. Finally, it created the earned income tax credit for those who made under $30,000.

  • 1994: $4.7 trillion
    66/ Ralph Alswang // Wikimedia Commons

    1994: $4.7 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $4.7 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $7.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 64.4%
    - Inflation rate: 2.6%

    The North American Free Trade Act, which had been passed years before, finally went into effect in 1994. Creating a free trade zone between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, the act became an integral part of the American economy, especially in sectors like agriculture. The act essentially got rid of all tariffs between the countries, while still protecting intellectual property.

  • 1995: $5 trillion
    67/ Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

    1995: $5 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 65.1%
    - Inflation rate: 2.8%

    The World Trade Organization was founded in 1995, which allowed international trade to flow more smoothly and freely than it had in the past. As America was exporting more, jobs grew shrinking unemployment to 5.6%. Overall, the gross domestic product rose a strong 2.7% that year.

  • 1996: $5.2 trillion
    68/ ITU Pictures // flickr

    1996: $5.2 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5.2 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.3 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 64.7%
    - Inflation rate: 2.9%

    The World-Wide-Web was invented by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1991. The most common means of accessing data online, the web had a slow start, but by the mid-'90s had changed the world. Yahoo! and Amazon were founded in 1994, AOL joined in 1996, and Google took its first steps towards becoming the mammoth it is today in 1998.

  • 1997: $5.4 trillion
    69/ alan.light // Wikimedia Commons

    1997: $5.4 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5.4 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 63.1%
    - Inflation rate: 2.3%

    In 1997, minimum wage was raised to $5.85. The bump affected the wages of almost 10 million workers, 58% of whom were women. Studies found that there was no systematic job loss across any number of demographic groups, proving that raising the minimum wage doesn't typically have a negative impact on job opportunities as many of its opponents claim.

  • 1998: $5.5 trillion
    70/ alessandrodandrea // Pixabay

    1998: $5.5 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5.5 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 61.%
    - Inflation rate: 1.6%

    Long-Term Capital Management was a hedge fund with $126 billion in assets. In 1998, it almost collapsed. If it had, it would have set off a global financial crisis, the likes of which we've never seen before. LTCM took some risky trades in order to provide its investors with good returns, but in September 1998, it got too close to the edge, and the Federal Reserve was forced to take steps to bail it out.

  • 1999: $5.7 trillion
    71/ Max Pixel

    1999: $5.7 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5.7 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 58.7%
    - Inflation rate: 2.2%

    In 1999, the euro was introduced. Intended as an exchange currency to be used between the E.U. member states, it quickly replaced domestic currencies and maximized the economic power of the E.U. Backed by a central bank, just like the dollar, the euro often fluctuates with the dollar as to which has more buying power.

  • 2000: $5.7 trillion
    72/ John Swindells // flickr

    2000: $5.7 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5.7 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.3 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 55.3%
    - Inflation rate: 3.4%

    Massive Y2K panic had people starting out the new millennium prepared for the worst. A computer bug left many thinking that as the year changed from 99 to 00 most computers would stop working, and the world would essentially end. In the end, things continued on as normal, but this doomsday panic definitely affected how people spent their money toward the end of 1999 and at the beginning of 2000.

  • 2001: $5.8 trillion
    73/ Wikimedia Commons

    2001: $5.8 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $5.8 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 54.9%
    - Inflation rate: 2.8%

    When two planes crashed into the two World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange didn't open for business in order to prevent a meltdown. When they did reopen on the 17th, the market fell 684 points—the biggest trading loss for a single day in exchange history. At the end of the week, the market had lost an estimated $1.4 trillion in value, sparking an eight-month recession.

  • 2002: $6.2 trillion
    74/ Paul Morse // White House

    2002: $6.2 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $6.2 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $8.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 56.9%
    - Inflation rate: 1.6%

    In 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 into law. In doing so, he attempted to restore a budget surplus. Instead, he set the stage for tax debate over the next decade, but the bill—which focused on tax relief instead of structural reform—has mostly been signed into permanent law. The effects of this bill weren't actually felt by Americans until 2002.

  • 2003: $6.8 trillion
    75/ Eric Draper // White House

    2003: $6.8 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $6.8 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $9.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 59.2%
    - Inflation rate: 2.3%

    In 2003, Bush authorized another tax bill. The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends. It also increased tax deductions for small businesses.

  • 2004: $7.4 trillion
    76/ Sergeant Joseph R. Chenelly, United States Marine Corps // Wikimedia Commons

    2004: $7.4 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $7.4 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $9.8 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 60.4%
    - Inflation rate: 2.7%

    By 2004, the U.S was two years into the War on Terror. So far, the war has added $2 trillion dollars to America's national debt. Unlike other wars in the past, the War on Terror hasn't pushed the economy into overdrive, instead, the nation has maintained a steady, or slightly slow, pace.

  • 2005: $7.9 trillion
    77/ Paul Morse // White House

    2005: $7.9 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $7.9 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $10.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 60.8%
    - Inflation rate: 3.4%

    In a move to reform bankruptcy systems, President Bush signed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention And Consumer Protection Act in 2005. The overall goal is to make it more difficult for a company to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy and instead to be forced to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, a company must pay a portion of their debt in order to be granted debt discharge.

  • 2006: $8.5 trillion
    78/ rawpixel // Pixabay

    2006: $8.5 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $8.5 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $10.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 61.6%
    - Inflation rate: 3.2%

    2006 was a relatively steady year for the American economy. Unemployment was at 4.4%, and the inflation rate was 3.2%. The country's GDP also grew by 2.9%.

  • 2007: $9 trillion
    79/ Michael Raphael // Wikimedia Commons

    2007: $9 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $9 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $10.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 62.3%
    - Inflation rate: 2.9%

    Things began to slow in 2007. Unemployment jumped to 5%, and the GDP only grew by 1.9%. Inflation, however, dropped to 2.9%, a three-year low.

  • 2008: $10 trillion
    80/ Senior Airman Savannah L. Waters // U.S. Air Force

    2008: $10 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $10 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $11.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 68.1%
    - Inflation rate: 3.8%

    In 2008, President Bush made his last adjustment to the tax laws. In an attempt to stimulate the economy, he proposed a $168 billion tax rebate. When Congress approved it, everyone received a check in the mail for the first $6,000 of taxable income for individuals and the first $12,000 of income for couples. In the end, it didn't stimulate the economy as much as experts had hoped, due to the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the bailout of Fannie Mae.

  • 2009: $11.9 trillion
    81/ sachab // flickr

    2009: $11.9 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $11.9 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $13.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 82.4%
    - Inflation rate: -0.4%

    In one of the most massive bankruptcies in American history, Lehman Brothers lost over $600 billion in assets when they collapsed in 2008. Triggered by the housing crisis, the collapse set off widespread panic. In 2009, the unemployment rate reached 9.9%, and GDP growth put up a negative number for the first time in years.

  • 2010: $13.6 trillion
    82/ Chuck Kennedy // White House

    2010: $13.6 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $13.6 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $15.6 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 90.5%
    - Inflation rate: 1.6%

    In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a $858 billion tax cut into law. Without his cuts, the tax bill for the average American would have increased by about $3,000. The bill also extended unemployment insurance for many Americans.

  • 2011: $14.8 trillion
    83/ Obama White House // flickr

    2011: $14.8 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $14.8 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $16.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 95.2%
    - Inflation rate: 3.2%

    In 2011, America faced a debt ceiling crisis. Fierce debates swirled around how much the government should be allowed to borrow. In the end, the Budget Control Act of 2011 was passed by Congress, which immediately raised the debt ceiling by $400 billion. This downgraded America's credit rating from AAA to AA+, even though they didn't default.

  • 2012: $16.1 trillion
    84/ Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy // flickr

    2012: $16.1 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $16.1 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $17.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 99.2%
    - Inflation rate: 2.1%

    Another crisis in 2012: the fiscal cliff. A combination of five tax increases and two spending cuts scheduled to occur on the same day, meant that taxes would have increased and government spending decreased at the same time. It was estimated that this would have removed $607 billion from the economy in nine months, throwing America back into the Great Recession.

  • 2013: $16.7 trillion
    85/ rawpixel // Pixabay

    2013: $16.7 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $16.7 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $18 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 99.7%
    - Inflation rate: 1.5%

    2013 marked the beginning of a steady stream of growth for the American economy. Unemployment shrank to 6.7%, the lowest it had been since 2007. Inflation also slowed to 1.5%.

  • 2014: $17.8 trillion
    86/ mohamed_hassan // Pixabay

    2014: $17.8 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $17.8 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $18.9 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 101.7%
    - Inflation rate: 1.6%

    In 2014 unemployment shrank by another percent. GDP grew 2% from the year before, and inflation held steady.

  • 2015: $18.2 trillion
    87/ Pete Souza // White House

    2015: $18.2 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $18.2 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $19.2 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 99.6%
    - Inflation rate: 0.1%

    For the first time in nearly a decade, the unemployment rate hit a natural rate. Calculated by a variety of factors, the natural unemployment rate lies between 4% and 5%. Hitting it meant that America was finally back to full employment of qualified and educated workers—a huge accomplishment for an economy that was in the midst of a Great Recession a little over five years prior.

  • 2016: $19.6 trillion
    88/ Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

    2016: $19.6 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $19.6 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $20.4 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 104.6%
    - Inflation rate: 1.3%

    Presidential races always affect the economy. With candidates campaigning on the changes they'd make—tax cuts or additions, regulations, plans to add jobs, etc.—many Americans get a little over-excited, making huge adjustments in order to prepare for what the next four years may hold. The 2016 presidential race was particularly explosive and had many holding on to their wallets a little tighter in order to retain a sense of security.

  • 2017: $20.2 trillion
    89/ Office of the President of the United States // Wikimedia Commons

    2017: $20.2 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $20.2 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $20.7 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: 103.9%
    - Inflation rate: 2.1%

    The U.S. dollar is the world reserves' currency. When it loses value, the effects are felt around the world. In 2017, the dollar lost 12% of its value. Much of that had to do with the political climate in the country and the uncertainty this caused for other nations. There was uncertainty about whether or not America would hold up old trade deals, tiptoe towards war, or remain the stable economic powerhouse it had been for years.

  • 2018: $21.5 trillion
    90/ The White House

    2018: $21.5 trillion

    - Nominal debt: $21.5 trillion
    - Debt in 2018 dollars: $21.5 trillion
    - Debt / GDP: data not available
    - Inflation rate: 2.2%

    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act took effect in 2018. It changed the tax rates, increased the standard deduction, increased child tax credits, and lowered the corporate tax rate among other things. The taxes many Americans file at the beginning of 2019 will be the first income taxes affected by the new bill, and it remains to be seen how the changes will affect the economy down the line.

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