On February 11, the gross federal debt of the United States surpassed $22,000,000,000,000. Although the debt affects each of us, it may be difficult to put such a large number into perspective and fully understand its implications. The infographic below offers different ways of looking at the debt and its relationship to the economy, the budget and American families.
The $22 trillion gross federal debt includes debt held by the public plus debt held by federal trust funds and other government accounts. In very basic terms, this can be thought of as debt that the government owes to others plus debt that it owes to itself. Debt at these levels threatens our economic future. America’s high and rising debt matters because it crowds out job-creating investments, reduces confidence and puts pressure on important priorities in the budget. The interest that we pay on the federal debt is now the fastest growing part of the budget, and will total $7 trillion over the next decade. In fact, we’ll soon be spending more on interest annually than we do on children or national defense.
As we pass this unfortunate debt milestone, it’s important to understand our nation’s fiscal outlook and work together to implement sustainable fiscal solutions that promote stability in years to come. Read on to learn more.
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