FISCAL BLOG

GAO projects that debt held by the public could more than double over the next 30 years — rising from around 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of fiscal year 2021 to 217 percent in 2050.

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The words debt and deficit come up frequently in debates and conversations about the policy decisions that lawmakers face. The two concepts are similar, but are often confused.

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Last year, lawmakers in the House introduced the Improving Medicare Coverage Act in an effort to make healthcare more affordable for older Americans by lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 60.

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The federal government spent $90 billion on housing assistance in 2021, an increase of almost 70 percent from the preceding year, largely due to legislation enacted in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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The legislative response to COVID-19 has been an essential part of supporting Americans and the economy through the crisis. However, states are now navigating how to avoid a budget shortfall (sometimes referred to as a “fiscal cliff”) once federal aid wanes.

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Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic began, the U.S. Federal Reserve has significantly ramped up its holdings of Treasury securities as part of a broader effort to counteract the economic impact of the public health emergency.

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The primary deficit focuses on the difference between government revenues and spending, excluding interest payments. Learn more about the U.S. primary deficit.

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At the end of May, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released new projections of the nation’s fiscal and economic outlook, their first report since July 2021.

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Programs that millions of Americans depend on and care about may be feeling a squeeze from interest costs on our high and rising national debt.

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Unlike the federal government, which currently records $30 trillion in debt, most state governments have balanced budget requirements (BBRs) for their operating budgets which only permit borrowing for certain capital projects.

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What Does the Debt Mean for Our Future?

We all have a responsibility to build a brighter fiscal and economic future for the next generation.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.