By the end of 2021, the federal government had $28.43 trillion in federal debt.
Over the past 100 years, the U.S. federal debt has increased from $373.7 B in 1921 to $28.4 T in 2021. Comparing a country's debt to its gross domestic product (GDP) reveals the country's ability to pay down its debt.
Every fiscal year since 2002, the federal government has run a deficit—meaning spending exceeds its revenues—and added to its debt. Going forward, spending, including for Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and net interest on the debt, is projected to continue to outpace revenue by increasing amounts.
Tax Cuts. Large tax cuts passed by Congress during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Donald Trump have played a large part in the subsequent deterioration of government finances and the resulting growth in the national debt.
What is the current U.S. National Debt amount? The current U.S. debt is $23.3 trillions as of February 2020.
Your life savings could be reduced to nothing almost overnight. Your taxes will skyrocket. Your life could be in danger. Your payments from the government will dramatically decrease or stop altogether.
China has steadily accumulated U.S. Treasury securities over the last few decades. As of October 2021, the Asian nation owns $1.065 trillion, or about 3.68%, of the $28.9 trillion U.S. national debt, which is more than any other foreign country except Japan.
The public holds over $24 trillion of the national debt. 1 Foreign governments hold a large portion of the public debt, while the rest is owned by U.S. banks and investors, the Federal Reserve, state and local governments, mutual funds, pensions funds, insurance companies, and holders of savings bonds.
There are countries such as Jersey and Guernsey which have no national debt, so the pay no interest. All this started with the Napoleonic wars when the government borrowed money to fund the war.
Japan, with its population of 127,185,332, has the highest national debt in the world at 234.18% of its GDP, followed by Greece at 181.78%. Japan's national debt currently sits at ¥1,028 trillion ($9.087 trillion USD).
A government economist puts that figure, from sea to shining sea, at $22.98 trillion. That's William Larson's estimate for the value of the 1.89 billion acres of land that accounts for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.
And yet, over half of Americans surveyed (53%) say that debt reduction is a top priority—while nearly a quarter (23%) say they have no debt. And that percentage may rise.
Raising taxes and cutting spending are two of the most popular solutions for reducing debt, but politicians may be hesitant to do both. Diverting spending from the military to other sectors may boost job growth, which could spur consumer spending and help the economy.
According to the Bank of Russia's estimate, external debt of the Russian Federation as of June 30, 2022 totaled $472.8 billion, having decreased by $9.2 billion, or by 1.9%, since the last year-end.
What is global debt? Global debt is borrowing by governments, businesses and people, and it's at dangerously high levels. In 2021, global debt reached a record $303 trillion, according to the Institute of International Finance, a global financial industry association.
China's debt is more than 250 percent of GDP, higher than the United States.
Foreign governments who have purchased U.S. treasuries include China, Japan, Brazil, Ireland, the U.K. and others. China represents 29 percent of all treasuries issued to other countries, which corresponds to $1.18 trillion.
At the end of July 2021, 53% of federal debt was owned by investors from the United States, including the Federal Reserve. The various trust funds operated by the United States government, like the Social Security and Medicare trust fund accounts, held another 22% of federal debt.
China alone accounted for 26 percent of the global debt surge. Emerging markets (excluding China) and low-income countries accounted for small shares of the rise in global debt, around $1–$1.2 trillion each, mainly due to higher public debt.
If China ever did call in its debt, it slowly would begin selling off its Treasury holdings. Even at a slow pace, dollar demand would drop. That would hurt China's competitiveness by raising the yuan's value relative to the dollar. At some price point, U.S. consumers would buy American products instead.
Continuing a trend that began early in 2021, China's portfolio of U.S. government debt in May dropped to $980.8 billion, according to Treasury Department data released Monday. That's a decline of nearly $23 billion from April and down nearly $100 billion, or 9%, from the year-earlier month.
It would greatly impact the economy and people in the U.S. A default would increase interest rates, which could then increase prices and contribute to inflation. The stock market would also suffer, as U.S. investments would not be seen as safe as they once were, especially if the U.S. credit rating was downgraded.
As a result, the U.S. actually did become debt free, for the first and only time, at the beginning of 1835 and stayed that way until 1837. It remains the only time that a major country was without debt.
While public debt remains a concern for countries that borrow US dollars, it is less of an issue for the US itself. The dollar is the world's reserve currency and more debt doesn't decrease outside investors' demand for it. Economists sometimes believe that increasing the federal debt weakens the dollar during crises.