America's National Debt and Our Children's Future

Mar 23, 2012

Our children and grandchildren have a lot at stake when it comes to our national debt. Discover the facts and share what you know.

As parents, we know that the choices we make today will have a big impact on our children's future. That's not only true in our family lives; it's also true when it comes to the policy choices Washington makes. Unfortunately, our country has made little progress in coming to terms with serious budget challenges, which, if left unaddressed, will drive our national debt so high that it will threaten future economic prosperity. That means stronger headwinds for younger generations as they enter the workforce, start families, and plan for their own futures.

We have a responsibility to educate ourselves and share what we know with our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others. Learning more about what is driving the national debt is a first step to getting our elected leaders to take responsible action to improve the fiscal outlook and make the future a better place for our children.

Check out the videos and other resources below to learn more about America's long-term fiscal challenges—and share what you know!

Debt 101: The Basics

Learn the facts about our national debt and what it means for the next generation.

Today's national debt is more than $14 trillion and will quadruple over the next 25 years.

Debt Burdens our Economy

Discover the effects rising debt could have on economic growth and opportunity.

Economists say a country's debt should ideally be 60% of GDP or less. Ours is 70% and growing rapidly.

Health Care, Retirement, and the Debt

Health care and retirement costs are a major part of the federal budget—and they'll only get higher.

America spends twice as much as other advanced nations on health care, with outcomes that are generally no better.

Rising Debt, Rising Interest Payments

The national debt doesn't come free. America pays interest, and interest costs reduce our ability to fund other priorities.

The United States spends more than $200 billion a year on debt interest alone.

Keeping America Safe and Fiscally Sound

The national debt is a threat to our national security. Keeping America safe requires keeping our economy strong.

The United States spends more on defense than the next 17 nations combined.

Higher Debt Means Fewer Investments

A healthy and growing economy requires investments in the future.

If we continue with current policies, by 2035 the federal government will spend 4x as much on interest as on education, R&D, and infrastructure combined, limiting our economic competitiveness.

How Do We Solve This Challenge?

Bipartisanship is a rare word in Washington these days, but we'll need it if we hope to reduce debt and secure a brighter economic future for our children.


Download our "Cheat Sheet"

All of the key information contained in our videos, in one handy page you can share with others.


Fiscal Terms Glossary

Not quite sure about the meaning of one of the terms you heard? Check our glossary for the answer.

Stay up to date on our nation's long-term fiscal challenges by subscribing to PGPF's "Fiscal News"!

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.