U.S. National Debt Exceeds $16 Trillion

By:  Brian Koenig
09/05/2012
       
U.S. National Debt Exceeds $16 Trillion

 The U.S. national debt eclipsed the $16-trillion mark on August 31, the Treasury Department reported September 4, adding to Republicans’ growing criticisms of President Obama’s purportedly failed economic policies. In the fiscal year ending September 30, the government is estimated to spawn a deficit of more than $1.1 trillion, leaving tax revenue far behind government spending and nudging the national debt closer to its $16.394-trillion borrowing limit.

 

The U.S. national debt eclipsed the $16-trillion mark on Friday, August 31, the Treasury Department reported Tuesday, September 4, adding to Republicans’ growing criticisms of President Obama’s purportedly failed economic policies. In the fiscal year ending September 30, the government is estimated to spawn a deficit of more than $1.1 trillion, leaving tax revenue far behind government spending and nudging the national debt closer to its $16.394-trillion borrowing limit.

Despite the common belief that China holds an enormous portion of U.S. debt, two-thirds of the bankrolling comes from the Social Security Trust Fund, American investors and future retirees, and pensions for public-sector workers and military personnel. Meanwhile, China bankrolls less than 8 percent of the U.S. government’s current borrowing.

“It is true that China is the largest foreign owner of our debt,” asserted Josh Gordon, policy director of the Concord Coalition, a debt-watchdog based in Virginia. “But the vast majority of our debt is held by us.” Fox News explains:

Economists differ on when the National Debt actually crested the $16 trillion mark, with some saying it occurred on Friday and others saying it happens on Tuesday. But none doubt that the federal government's tab is immense and growing. Just under $5 trillion of the national debt is owed to the Social Security Trust Fund and federal pension systems. A little more than $11 trillion is owed to foreign and domestic investors and the Federal Reserve, which buys up treasuries in order to drag down interest rates through quantitative easing.

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Photo: United States Department of the Treasury building, Washington

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