The United States Passes the $14 Trillion Debt Mark

Illustration of a surprised national debt clockOn December 31st, 2010, the United States officially pushed past the $14 trillion debt mark for the very first time.

The exact total as of December 31st, 2010? $14,025,215,218,708.52.

Based on the results of the 2010 Census, the United States has a total population of 308,745,538 people. This means that every man, woman and child in the United States owes $45,426.45 as their share of the total national debt load.

In case you were wondering, the total debt load as of 12/31/2009 (one year ago) was $12,311,349,677,512.03. That's approximately a $1.7 trillion jump over just the last 12 months.

Of the $14.02 trillion total, $9.39 trillion is in the form of "public debt", while the remaining $4.63 trillion is "intragovernmental holdings".

"Public debt" is debt that is held by foreign governments, mutual funds, individual investors, etc. China and Japan are the two foreign governments that hold the highest amount of US debt, while the Federal Reserve also owns a very large amount. China currently holds around $884 billion worth of US Treasuries, while Japan owns about $864 billion. The Federal Reserve tops them both with $891 billion worth of US Treasuries.

"Intragovernmental holdings" is money that the government has borrowed from itself. For instance, the government borrows money from the Social Security fund with the promise to pay the money back at a later date. An IOU from the government to the government. An IOU from the American people to the American people.

It wasn't that long ago when the United States passed the $10 trillion mark for the first time. As a matter of fact, it was September 30th, 2008. On that day, the United States had total public debt outstanding of $10,024,724,896,912.49. So, in just 27 months, the United States has managed to add roughly $4 trillion in debt.

The $1 trillion debt mark was passed in late 1981.

The $5 trillion debt mark was passed in late 1995.

The $10 trillion debt mark was passed in late 2008.

The $20 trillion debt mark is expected to be passed sometime before 2020.

When will the $100 trillion debt mark be broken? Just asking.

Source: - United States Debt Clock

Filed under: General Knowledge

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