As the economy slowly recovered from the Great Recession over the past decade, the United States government borrowed trillions of dollars at some of the lowest interest rates on record.
Thanks in part to the recently enacted tax cuts, another borrowing binge is getting underway: This fiscal year, the Treasury Department is expected to borrow $955 billion from investors, a sharp increase from last year.
The price this time around will probably be steeper — both for the government, and quite possibly for you.
Economists and analysts warn that in the current environment, all that government borrowing is likely to push interest rates higher, making it more expensive for companies and consumers to get loans and potentially hurting the economy.
It is a phenomenon that economists call "crowding out." Large-scale government borrowing sucks up the supply of available capital, driving up financing costs for just about everyone else.
And there are signs it's already playing out.