The United States Public Debt Tops Ten Trillion Dollars for the First Time

united states is under a big pile of debt - illustrationAccording to Treasury Direct (a United States Government website, link below), the total public debt outstanding for the United States of America topped ten trillion dollars for the first time as of September 30th, 2008. The total public debt outstanding? $10,024,724,896,912.49 and counting.

According to the site, approximately 58% of this debt (5,808,691,665,403.71) is "debt held by the public", while the remaining $4,216,033,231,508.78) is "intragovernmental holdings."

Debt held by the public, according to the site, is:

"The Debt Held by the Public is all federal debt held by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, foreign governments, and other entities outside the United States Government less Federal Financing Bank securities. Types of securities held by the public include, but are not limited to, Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, TIPS, United States Savings Bonds, and State and Local Government Series securities."

"Intragovernmental Holdings" are:

"...Government Account Series securities held by Government trust funds, revolving funds, and special funds; and Federal Financing Bank securities. A small amount of marketable securities are held by government accounts."

As of April 2008, Japan, Mainland China and the United Kingdom were the three largest holders of US Treasury Securities. Japan and China own a combined one trillion dollars plus of US debt, with Japan holding $592 billion and China holding $502 billion.

The ten trillion dollar figure works out to $32,895 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

The US government spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year just to service their national debt. It is projected that the United States government will pay $662 BILLION dollars in gross interest PER year by the year 2016 (that number is approximately $352 - $400 billion dollars now).

The total national debt hit one billion dollars for the first time in 1863.

In 1918, the debt jumped from $5.7 billion dollars to $14 billion dollars due to the cost of the first World War.

From 1939 to 1945, the debt jumped from $40.4 billion dollars to $258 billion dollars, due to the cost of the second World War.

The national debt hit the one trillion dollar level for the first time in 1982.

The national debt hit the five trillion dollar level for the first time in 1995.

From September of 2000 to September of 2008, the total national debt has nearly doubled (from $5.67 trillion to just over $10 trillion dollars today).

The total debt has increased over $500 billion dollars since the beginning of July of 2008.

Filed under: The Economic Meltdown | General Knowledge

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