United States public debt: Wikis

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U.S. debt from 1940 to 2008. Red lines indicate the Debt Held by the Public (public debt) and black lines indicate the gross debt, the difference being that the gross debt includes funds held by the government (e.g. the Social Security Trust Fund). The second chart shows debt as a percentage of U.S. GDP or dollar value of economic production per year. Data from U.S. Budget historical tables at whitehouse.gov/omb and other tables listed when you click on the figure. Note that the top panel is deflated to 2008 dollars and not in nominal year dollars.

The United States public debt is the sum of all securities issued by the United States Treasury and is also referred to as the national debt.[1] State and Local Government Series securities are issued by state and local governments and are not part of the United States government debt.[2] The national debt is presented by the United States Treasury as "Debt Held by the Public" which includes all debt instruments issued by the United States Treasury that are held by institutions outside the United States Government itself (specifically excluding intra-governmental obligations such as the Social Security Trust fund), and then the "Gross Debt" which is the sum of all securities issued by the United States Treasury including the intra-government obligations.[1] At the end of fiscal year 2009, the gross debt was 83.4% of GDP (a measure of the size of the economy), composed of debt held by the public (53.0%) and of intra-governmental debt (30.4%).[3] Within the remainder of this article the phrase "Public Debt" is employed as a shorthand for "Debt Held by the Public".

The annual government deficit or surplus refers to the cash difference between government receipts and spending ignoring intra-governmental transfers. The gross debt increases or decreases as a result of this unified budget deficit or surplus. However, there is certain spending (supplemental appropriations) that add to the gross debt but are excluded from the deficit. The total debt has increased over $500 billion each year since FY 2003, with increases of $1 trillion in FY2008 and $1.9 trillion in FY2009.[4]

Contents

History

The US Federal Debt from 1800 to 1999

The United States has had public debt since its inception. Debts incurred during the American Revolutionary War and under the Articles of Confederation led to the first yearly reported value of $75,463,476.52 on January 1, 1791. Over the following 45 years, the debt grew, briefly contracted to zero on January 8, 1835 under President Andrew Jackson but then quickly grew into the millions again.[5]

The first dramatic growth spurt of the debt occurred because of the Civil War. The debt was just $65 million in 1860, but passed $1 billion in 1863 and had reached $2.7 billion following the war. The debt slowly fluctuated for the rest of the century, finally growing steadily in the 1910s and early 1920s to roughly $22 billion as the country paid for involvement in World War I.[5]

The buildup and involvement in World War II plus social programs during the F.D. Roosevelt and Truman presidencies in the 1930s and 40's caused a sixteenfold increase in the gross debt from $16 billion in 1930 to $260 billion in 1950. After this period, the growth of the gross debt closely matched the rate of inflation where it tripled in size from $260 billion in 1950 to around $909 billion in 1980. Gross debt in nominal dollars quadrupled during the Reagan and Bush presidencies from 1980 to 1992. The Public debt quintupled in nominal terms. In nominal dollars the public debt rose and then fell between 1992 and 2000 from $3T in 1992 to $3.4T in 2000. During the administration of President George W. Bush, the gross debt increased from $5.6 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008,[6] rising from 58% of GDP to 70.2% of GDP. During March 2009, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that gross debt will rise from 70.2% of GDP in 2008 to 100.6% in 2012.[7]

Year Gross Debt in Billions undeflated[8] as % of GDP Debt Held By Public ($Billions) as % of GDP
1910 2.6 unk. 2.6 unk.
1920 25.9 unk. 25.9 unk.
1928 18.5[9] unk. 18.5 unk.
1930 16.2 unk. 16.2 unk.
1940 60.6 52.4 42.8 44.2
1950 256.8 94.0 219.0 80.2
1960 290.5 56.0 236.8 45.6
1970 380.9 37.6 283.2 28.0
1980 909.0 33.4 711.9 26.1
1990 3,206.3 55.9 2,411.6 42.0
2000 5,628.7 58.0 3,409.8 35.1
2001 5,769.9 57.4 3,319.6 33.0
2002 6,198.4 59.7 3,540.4 34.1
2003 6,760.0 62.6 3,913.4 35.1
2004 7,354.7 63.9 4,295.5 37.3
2005 7,905.3 64.6 4,592.2 37.5
2006 8,451.4 65.0 4,829.0 37.1
2007 8,950.7 65.6 5,035.1 36.9
2008 9,985.8 70.2 5,802.7 40.8
2009 12,311.4 86.1 7,811.1 54.6
2010 (est.) 14,456.3 98.1 9,881.9 67.1
2011 (est.) 15,673.9 101.0 10,873.1 70.1
2012 (est.) 16,565.7 100.6 11,468.4 69.6
2013 (est.) 17,440.2 99.7 12,027.1 68.7
2014 (est.) 18,350.0 99.8 12,594.8 68.5

Debt ceiling

The Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917 established a statutory limit on federal debt.[10] Congress had previously approved each debt issuance separately. The debt limit provided the U.S. Treasury with more leeway in the administration of debt, allowing for modern management techniques in government finance.

The U.S. Treasury Department now conducts more than 200 sales of debt by auction every year. The Treasury has been granted authority by Congress to issue such debt as was needed to fund government operations as long as the total debt (excepting some small special classes) does not exceed a stated ceiling.

The United States Congress has raised the debt limit several times in recent years.[11] The debt limit was raised to $12.394 trillion by H.R. 4314, which was signed into law on December 24, 2009 (Pub.L. 111-123).[12]. A further increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion by H.J.Res. 45 was sent to the president on February 4, 2010. President Barack Obama signed this ceiling of $14.3 trillion on February 12, 2010.

Components

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Public and government accounts

The national debt is broken down into 2 main categories:[13]

  1. Securities held by the public
    • Marketable securities
    • Non-marketable securities
  2. Securities held by government accounts

The values for fiscal years 1999-2008 are published by the treasury[13] and about 60% of the debt is held by the public.

Detailed breakdown of government holders of treasury debt and debt instruments used of the public portion.

As of 2008, Social Security Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund holds about half of the government held portion of the debt at 2.2 trillion dollars, with other large holders including the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Savings and Loan Corporation's Resolution Fund and the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. Most of the public debt is in notes and bills with only about one trillion in bonds and inflation protected bonds.

Estimated ownership

Estimated ownership of US public debt in 2008
Estimated ownership each year through time.

Because there is a large variety of people who own the notes, bills, and bonds in the "public" portion of the debt, the U.S. Treasury also publishes information which groups the types of holders by a few, general categories to get a good picture of who owns United States debt. In this data set, some of the public portion is moved and combined with the total government portion because this amount is owned by the Federal Reserve as part of United States monetary policy. (See Federal Reserve System) As is apparent from the chart, a little less than half of the total national debt is owed to the "Federal Reserve and intragovernmental holdings". The foreign and international holders of the debt are also put together from the notes, bills, and bonds sections. Below is a chart for the data as of June 2008:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac obligations excluded

Although not included in the figures reported by the government, the U.S. government has moved to more explicitly support the soundness of obligations of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, starting in July via the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, and the September 7, 2008 Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) conservatorship of both government sponsored enterprises (GSEs). The on- or off-balance sheet obligations of those two independent GSEs is just over $5 trillion.[14] The government accounts for these corporations as if they are unconnected to its balance sheet. The U.S. Treasury contracted at the inception of the conservatorship to receive US$1 billion in senior preferred shares, and a warrant for 79.9% of the common shares from each GSE, as a fee to fund, as needed, up to US$100 billion total for each GSE (in exchange for more senior preferred stock), in order to maintain solvency and adequate capital ratios at the GSEs, thereby supporting all senior (normal) liabilities, subordinated indebtedness, and guarantees of the two firms. Some observers see this as an effective nationalization of the companies that ultimately places taxpayers at risk for all their liabilities[15][16] The net exposure to taxpayers is difficult to determine at the time of the takeover and depends on several factors, such as declines in housing prices and losses on mortgage assets in the future.[17] The Congressional Budget Office has recommended incorporating the assets and liabilities of the two companies into the federal budget due to the degree of government control over the entities.[18] The 5-year credit default swap spread for U.S. treasuries had risen to 18 basis points per annum as of 9 September 2008 as a result of market perception regarding the increased debt load of the government.[18]

On January 8, 2009, Moody's said that only 4 of the 12 Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) may be able to maintain minimum required capital levels and the U.S. government may need to put some of them into conservatorship. [4] According to Bloomberg, the FHLB is the largest U.S. borrower after the federal government. [5]

Guaranteed obligations excluded

Starting in late 2008, the U.S. federal government is guaranteeing large amounts of obligations relating to mutual funds, banks, and corporations under several new programs designed to deal with the problems initiated by the Liquidity crisis of September 2008. Guarantees are off-balance sheet and therefore excluded in the calculation of federal debt. The funding of direct investments made in response to the crisis, such as those made under the Troubled Assets Relief Program, are captured by the debt totals.

Foreign ownership

The US debt in the hands of foreign governments was 25% of the total in 2007,[19] virtually double the 1988 figure of 13%.[20] Despite the declining willingness of foreign investors to continue investing in US dollar denominated instruments as the US dollar fell in 2007,[21] the U.S. Treasury statistics indicate that, at the end of 2006, non-US citizens and institutions held 44% of federal debt held by the public.[22] About 66% of that 44% was held by the central banks of other countries, in particular the central banks of Japan and China. In May 2009, the US owed China $772 billion.[23] In total, lenders from Japan and China held 44% of the foreign-owned debt.[24] This exposure to potential financial or political risk should foreign banks stop buying Treasury securities or start selling them heavily was addressed in a recent report issued by the Bank of International Settlements which stated, "'Foreign investors in U.S. dollar assets have seen big losses measured in dollars, and still bigger ones measured in their own currency. While unlikely, indeed highly improbable for public sector investors, a sudden rush for the exits cannot be ruled out completely."[25]

On May 20, 2007, Kuwait discontinued pegging its currency exclusively to the dollar, preferring to use the dollar in a basket of currencies.[26] Syria made a similar announcement on June 4, 2007.[27] In September 2009 China, India and Russia said they were interested in buying IMF gold to diversify their dollar-denominated securities.[28]

The following is a list of the Foreign Owners of U.S. Treasury Securities as listed by the U.S. Treasury:[24]

Foreign owners of US Treasury Securities (December 2009)
Nation billions of dollars percentage
People's Republic of China (Mainland) 894.8 24.3
Japan 765.7 20.8
Oil exporters 207.4 5.6
United Kingdom 178.0 4.8
Brazil 169.3 4.6
Hong Kong 148.7 4.0
Russia 141.8 3.8
Caribbean Banking Centers 128.2 3.5
Republic of China (Taiwan) 116.5 3.2
Switzerland 89.7 2.4
All Others 848.9 23.0
Grand Total 3689.0

Statistics and comparables

Risks and obstacles

Risks to the U.S. dollar

A variety of factors are placing increasing pressure on the value of the U.S. dollar, increasing the risk of devaluation or inflation and encouraging challenges to dollar's role as the world's reserve currency. If another currency or basket of currencies replaced the dollar as the reserve currency, the U.S. would face higher interest rates to attract capital, reducing economic growth for the long-term. The Economist wrote in May 2009: "Having spent a fortune bailing out their banks, Western governments will have to pay a price in terms of higher taxes to meet the interest on that debt. In the case of countries (like Britain and America) that have trade as well as budget deficits, those higher taxes will be needed to meet the claims of foreign creditors. Given the political implications of such austerity, the temptation will be to default by stealth, by letting their currencies depreciate. Investors are increasingly alive to this danger..."[40]

Key drivers of these risks relate to the unwillingness of the U.S. to live within its means, both from a budget deficit and trade deficit standpoint. For example, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Federal Government's auditor, argues that the U.S. is on a fiscally "unsustainable" path and that politicians and the electorate have been unwilling to change this path.[41] The 2010 U.S. budget indicates annual debt increases of nearly $1 trillion annually through 2019, with an unprecedented $1.0 trillion debt increase in 2009. By 2019 the U.S. national debt will be $18.4 trillion, approximately 148% of 2009 GDP, up from its approximately 80% level in April 2009.[42] Further, the subprime mortgage crisis has significantly increased the financial burden on the U.S. government, with over $10 trillion in commitments or guarantees and $2.6 trillion in investments or expenditures as of May 2009, only some of which are included in the budget document.[43]

The U.S. also has a large trade deficit, meaning imports exceed exports. Financing these deficits requires the USA to borrow large sums from abroad, much of it from countries running trade surpluses, mainly the emerging economies in Asia and oil-exporting nations. The balance of payments identity requires that a country (such as the USA) running a current account deficit also have a capital account (investment) surplus of the same amount. In 2005, Ben Bernanke addressed the implications of the USA's high and rising current account (trade) deficit, resulting from USA imports exceeding its exports. Between 1996 and 2004, the USA current account deficit increased by $650 billion, from 1.5% to 5.8% of GDP.[44]

Long-term risks to financial health of federal government

Risks due to increasing entitlement spending, according to GAO's projections of future trends.

Several government agencies provide budget and debt data and analysis. These include the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Treasury Department. These agencies have reported that the federal government is facing a series of critical long-term financing challenges. This is because expenditures related to entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are growing considerably faster than the economy overall, as the population grows older. These agencies have indicated that under current law, sometime between 2030 and 2040, mandatory spending (primarily Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the national debt) will exceed tax revenue. In other words, all discretionary spending (e.g., defense, homeland security, law enforcement, education, etc.) will require borrowing and related deficit spending. These agencies have used such language as "unsustainable" and "trainwreck" to describe such a future.[45]

While there is significant debate about solutions,[46] the significant long-term risk posed by the increase in entitlement spending is widely recognized[47], with health care costs (Medicare and Medicaid) the primary risk category.[48][49] If significant reforms are not undertaken, benefits under entitlement programs will exceed government income by over $40 trillion over the next 75 years.[50] According to the GAO, this will cause debt ratios relative to GDP to double by 2040 and double again by 2060, reaching 600 percent by 2080.[51]

In 2006, Professor Laurence Kotlikoff argued the United States must eventually choose between "bankruptcy", raising taxes, or cutting payouts. He assumes there will be ever-growing payment obligations from Medicare and Medicaid.[52] Others who have attempted to bring this issue to the fore of America's attention range from Ross Perot in his 1992 Presidential bid, to motivational speaker Robert Kiyosaki, and David Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office.[53][54]

Thomas Friedman has argued that increasing dependence on foreign sources of funding will render the U.S. less able to act independently.[55]

Unfunded obligations

The U.S. government is committed under current law to mandatory payments for programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The GAO projects that payouts for these programs will significantly exceed tax revenues over the next 75 years. The Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) payouts already exceed program tax revenues and Social Security payroll taxes fully cover payouts only until 2017. These deficits require funding from other tax sources or borrowing.[45] The present value of these deficits or unfunded obligations is an estimated $41 trillion. This is the amount that would have to be set aside during 2008 such that the principal and interest would pay for the unfunded commitments through 2082. Approximately $7 trillion relates to Social Security, while $34 trillion relates to Medicare and Medicaid. In other words, health care programs are nearly five times as serious a funding challenge as Social Security. Adding this to the national debt during September 2008 of nearly $10 trillion and other federal commitments brings the total obligations to nearly $53 trillion.[56]

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has indicated that: "Future growth in spending per beneficiary for Medicare and Medicaid—the federal government’s major health care programs—will be the most important determinant of long-term trends in federal spending. Changing those programs in ways that reduce the growth of costs—which will be difficult, in part because of the complexity of health policy choices—is ultimately the nation’s central long-term challenge in setting federal fiscal policy."[57]

Recent additions to the public debt of the United States

Deficit and debt increases 2001-2009
Recent additions to U.S. public debt
Fiscal year (begins
10/01 of prev. year)
Value % of GDP
2001 $144.5 billion 1.4%
2002 $409.5 billion 3.9%
2003 $589.0 billion 5.5%
2004 $605.0 billion 5.3%
2005 $523.0 billion 4.3%
2006 $536.5 billion 4.1%
2007 $459.5 billion 3.4%
2008 $1017.0 billion (proj.) 7.4%

There is a significant difference between the reported budget deficit and the change in debt. The key differences are: 1) The Social Security surplus, which reduces the "off-budget" deficit often reported in the media; and 2) Non-budgeted spending, such as for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The debt increased by approximately $550 billion on average each year during the 2003-2007 period, but then increased over $1 trillion during FY 2008.

The cumulative debt of the United States in the past 8 completed fiscal years was approximately $4.3 trillion, or about 43% of the total national debt of ~$10.0 trillion as of September 2008.[58][59]

Interest expense

Components of interest on the debt

Budgeted net interest on the public debt was approximately $240 billion in fiscal years 2007 and 2008. This represented approximately 9.5% of government spending. Interest was the fourth largest single budgeted disbursement category, after defense, Social Security, and Medicare.[60] This declined to $189 billion in 2009 to approximately 5% of spending, despite higher debt levels, because of lower interest rates. Average interest rates declined due to the crisis from 1.6% in 2008 to 0.3% in 2009.[61]

During FY2008, the government also accrued a non-cash interest expense of $212 billion for intra-governmental debt, primarily the Social Security Trust Fund, for a total interest expense of $454 billion.[62] This accrued interest is added to the Social Security Trust Fund and therefore the national debt each year and will be paid to Social Security recipients in the future.

Public debt owned by foreigners has increased to approximately 50% of the total or approximately $3.4 trillion.[63] As a result, nearly 50% of the interest payments are now leaving the country, which is different from past years when interest was paid to U.S. citizens holding the public debt. Interest expenses are projected to grow dramatically as the U.S. debt increases and interest rates rise from very low levels in 2009 to more typical historical levels. CBO estimates that nearly half of the debt increases over the 2009-2019 period will be due to interest.[64]

Should interest rates return to historical averages, the interest cost would increase dramatically. Historian Niall Ferguson described the risk that foreign investors would demand higher interest rates as the U.S. debt levels increase over time in a November 2009 interview.[65]

Debt clocks

In several cities around the United States, there are national debt clocks—electronic billboards which try to illustrate the amount of money owed by the government. Some also attempt to show the money owed per capita or per family. There is a significant level of fluctuation day-to-day, both up and down, so any "clocks" must be continually re-set with proper values.

The first and most famous debt clock, the National Debt Clock located near Times Square in New York City, was created by real estate investor Seymour Durst.[66][67] With Seymour's death, his son Douglas Durst took over responsibility for the clock through the Durst Organization.

Although the total debt continued to increase, the clock was deactivated in 2000 when the public debt began to decrease due to budget surpluses.[68] However, following large increases in the debt (total and public) a few years later, the clock was reactivated in July 2002.[69]

In 2004, the original clock was unmounted from its location near 42nd Street; the building has since made way for One Bryant Park. An updated model, which could run backwards, was installed one block away on a Durst building at 1133 Avenue of the Americas. Since September 30, 2008, when the debt surpassed $10 trillion, the clock's dollar sign has been replaced by the extra digit. An upgrade adding to the digits had been announced for 2009, but so far has not been undertaken.

Calculating and projecting the debt

2010 Budget: Projected deficits and debt increases in President Obama's 2010 Budget
2010 Budget: Total Debt $ and % to GDP

Tracking current levels of debt is a cumbersome but rather straightforward process. Making future projections is much more difficult for a number of reasons. For example, before the September 11, 2001 attacks, the George W. Bush administration projected in the 2002 budget that there would be a $1.288 trillion surplus from 2001 through 2004.[70] In the 2005 Mid-Session Review, however, this had changed to a projected deficit of $850 billion, a swing of $2.138 trillion.[71] The latter document states that 49 percent of this swing was due to "economic and technical re-estimates", 29 percent was due to "tax relief", (mainly the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts), and the remaining 22 percent was due to "war, homeland, and other enacted legislation" (mainly expenditures for the War on Terror, Iraq War, and homeland security).

Projections between different groups will sometimes differ because they make different assumptions. For example, in August 2003, a Congressional Budget Office report projected a $1.4 trillion deficit from 2004 through 2013.[72]

However, a mid-term and long-term joint analysis a month later by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Committee for Economic Development, and the Concord Coalition stated that "In projecting deficits, CBO follows mechanical 'baseline' rules that do not allow it to account for the costs of any prospective tax or entitlement legislation, no matter how likely the enactment of such legislation may be." The analysis added in a proposed tax cut extension and Alternative Minimum Tax reform (enacted by a 2005 act), prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D, enacted in a 2003 act), and further increases in defense, homeland security, international, and domestic spending. According to the report, this "adjusts CBO's official ten-year projections for more realistic assumptions about the costs of budget policies", raising the projected deficit from $1.4 trillion to $5 trillion.[73]

The 2010 Budget proposed by President Barack Obama projects significant debt increases, both in terms of dollars and relative to GDP.[74][75] The debt is projected to nearly double to $20 trillion by 2015, but is expected to increase to nearly 100% of GDP by 2020 and remain at that level thereafter. These estimates assume real GDP growth (after inflation) ranging from 2.6% to 4.6% annually from 2010 through 2019, which exceeds Blue Chip consensus estimates.[76] During FY 2008, approximately 76.6% of federal spending was in the following categories: Departments of Health and Human Services (19.8%), Defense (20.3%) and Veterans Affairs (11.8%); Social Security Administration (18.2%); interest on the public debt (6.6%).[77] As of June 2009, Obama's policies enacted into law were only a minor influence on debt and deficit projections.[78]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b [1] Treasury Faq
  2. ^ US GAO Financial Audit: Bureau of the Public Debt's Fiscal Years 2004 and 2003 Schedules of Federal Debt GAO-05-116 November 5, 2004.
  3. ^ United States Budget - Section 7 - Table 7.1
  4. ^ Treasury Direct
  5. ^ a b TreasuryDirect. Government - Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual. United States Department of the Treasury.
  6. ^ Bureau of the Public Debt - Input Dates 1/1/2001 and 12/31/2008
  7. ^ Table 1-1 : Comparison of Projected Revenues, Outlays, and Deficits in CBO’s March 2009 Baseline and CBO’s Estimate of the President’s Budget
  8. ^ FY 2010 Budget Historical Tables Pages 127-128
  9. ^ Frank H. Vizetelly, Litt.D., LL.D., ed (1931). "DEBT, National" (in English). New Standard Encyclopedia of Universal Knowledge. Eight. "New York and London": Funk and Wagnalls Company. pp. 471. "Debt of Principal Nations and Aggregate for All Nations of the World at Various Dates (in millions of dollars): "1928........18,510"". 
  10. ^ P.L. 65-43, 40 Stat. 288, enacted September 24, 1917. Currently codified as amended as 31 U.S.C. § 3101.
  11. ^ A list of all increases in the debt limit can be found at the Office of Management and Budget website: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/hist07z3.xls.
  12. ^ "Public Law 111-123". http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:HR04314:. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  13. ^ a b Back Issues: Treasury Bulletin: Publications & Guidance: Financial Management Service
  14. ^ Paulson readies the 'bazooka', CNNMoney, 6 September 2008
  15. ^ US rescue of Fannie, Freddie poses taxpayer risks, Associated Press, 8 September 2008
  16. ^ Fannie Mae Enron, the Sequel, 17 Aug 2009, Wall Street Journal
  17. ^ Taxpayers take on trillions in risk in Fannie, Freddie takeover (October 20, 2008), USA Today.
  18. ^ a b Kopecki, Dawn (2008-09-11). "U.S. Considers Bringing Fannie, Freddie on to Budget". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=adr.czwVm3ws&refer=home. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  19. ^ Just who owns the U.S. national debt? - Answer desk - MSNBC.com
  20. ^ Amadeo, Kimberly. "The U.S. Debt and How It Got So Big". About.com. http://useconomy.about.com/od/fiscalpolicy/p/US_Debt.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-07. 
  21. ^ ParaPundit: Foreign Investment In US Declines With Dollar Decline
  22. ^ Analytical Perspectives of the FY 2008 Budget
  23. ^ "Retired Military Personnel". Patrick Air Force Base, Florida: The Intercom (publication of the Military Officers Association of Cape Canaveral). June 2009. pp. 4. 
  24. ^ a b Major Foreign holders of U.S. Treasury Securities (2008), U.S. Treasury Department.
  25. ^ BIS says global downturn could be 'deeper and more protracted' than expected - Forbes.com
  26. ^ Kuwait pegs dinar to basket of currencies - Forbes.com
  27. ^ "Bloomberg.com: Worldwide". http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ahGpyu4D9xBk&refer=worldwide. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  28. ^ The Associated Press. "IMF takes up gold sales to expand lending". http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gnGzlhHF6ANMbHrkPv0CNDKo5lJAD9APUM1G0. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  29. ^ "Status Report of U.S. Treasury-Owned Gold". http://www.fms.treas.gov/gold/current.html. Retrieved 2009-12-18. 
  30. ^ Spot Gold Price, goldprice.org
  31. ^ Time Series Data on International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity : Official Reserve Assets, International Monetary Fund.
  32. ^ Strategic petroleum reserve Inventory, Department of Energy;
    ^ "Sweet and sour crude". http://www.econbrowser.com/archives/2005/08/sweet_and_sour.html. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  33. ^ Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey Overview
  34. ^ GAO Audit Report 2007-2008 Schedules of Public Debt
  35. ^ FRB: Z.1 Release- Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States, Release Dates
  36. ^ "FRB: G.19 Release-Consumer Credit". http://www.federalreserve.gov/RELEASES/g19/. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  37. ^ Third World Debt, by Kenneth Rogoff: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics: Library of Economics and Liberty
  38. ^ FTD - Statistics - Trade Highlights - 2004 Annual Highlights
  39. ^ 2008 WFE Annual Report, p. 84 (World Federation of Exchanges)
  40. ^ Economist-A New Global System is Coming Into Existence
  41. ^ Citizen's Guide 2008
  42. ^ 2010 Budget-Schedule S-14
  43. ^ CNN Bailout Tracker
  44. ^ "Bernanke-The Global Saving Glut and U.S. Current Account Deficit". Federalreserve.gov. http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/speeches/2005/20050414/default.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  45. ^ a b GAO Citizens Guide
  46. ^ Bittle, Scott & Johnson, Jean. "Where Does the Money Go?" Collins; New York: 2008.
  47. ^ FRB: Speech-Bernanke, The Coming Demographic Transition: Will We Treat Future Generations Fairly?-October 4, 2006
  48. ^ U.S. Heading For Financial Trouble?, Comptroller Says Medicare Program Endangers Financial Stability - CBS News
  49. ^ 2007 Report of the U.S. Government
  50. ^ 2007 Report of the U.S. Government Page 47
  51. ^ GAO Citizen's Guide
  52. ^ Is the United States Bankrupt?
  53. ^ Yahoo! Personal Finance: Calculators,Money Advice,Guides,& More
  54. ^ America The Bankrupt, GAO Head Takes Fiscal Show On The Road To Warn Of Trouble Ahead - CBS News
  55. ^ Friedman - Loss of Sovereignty
  56. ^ GAO Presentation by Dave Walker
  57. ^ CBO Testimony
  58. ^ U.S. Treasury website
  59. ^ Bureau of Economic Analysis
  60. ^ President's Budget Page 26
  61. ^ GAO Audit Report-FY2009
  62. ^ GAO Audit Report
  63. ^ Treasury-Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities
  64. ^ CNN $4.8 trillion-Interest on U.S. debt-Nov 2009
  65. ^ Charlie Rose Interview-Niall Ferguson-November 3, 2009
  66. ^ Haberman, Clyde (March 24, 2006). "We Will Bury You, in Debt". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/2006/03/24/nyregion/24nyc.html?scp=16&sq=National%20Debt%20Clock&st=cse. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  67. ^ The $8.3 Trillion Debt Clock | TheLedger.com
  68. ^ Budget Tables pp. 127-128
  69. ^ Storey, Phil (Summer 2005). "Casting a Long Shadow". greenatworkmag.com. http://www.greenatworkmag.com/gwsubaccess/05summer/cover.html. Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  70. ^ "Fiscal Year 2000: Budget of the United States Government." Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President. Government Printing Office 2003. 2002 U.S. Budget.
  71. ^ "Fiscal Year 2005 Mid-Session Review: Budget of the United States Government." Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President. 2005. Fiscal year 2005 : Midsession Review : Budget of the U.S. Government, Office of Management and Budget, July 30, 2004 (archived from http://a255.g.akamaitech.net/7/255/2422/30jul20041200/www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy05/pdf/05msr.pdf the original] on 2008-02-27).
  72. ^ "The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update." Congressional Budget Office, Congress of the United States. August 2003 [2]
  73. ^ "Mid-term and long-term deficit projections." Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Committee for Economic Development, and Concord Coalition. 29 Sept. 2003.[3]
  74. ^ 2010 Budget
  75. ^ Washington Post-Montgomery-Battle Lines Quickly Set Over Planned Policy Shifts
  76. ^ 2010 Budget-Schedules S13 and S14
  77. ^ Chart 4 in A citizen's Guide to the Financial Report of the U.S. Government, General Accounting Office.
  78. ^ NYT-Sea of Red Ink was Years in the Making
  • Wright, Robert (2008). One Nation Under Debt: Hamilton, Jefferson, and the History of What We Owe. Mc-Graw Hill. ISBN 0071543937. Argues that America completely paid off its first national debt but is unlikely to do so again.
  • Bonner, William; Wiggin, Addison (2006). Empire of Debt: the Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis. Wiley. ISBN 047178253X.  Argues that America is a world empire that uses credit in lieu of tribute and that history shows this to be unsustainable.
  • Cavanaugh, Frances X. (1996). The Truth About the National Debt: Five Myths and One Reality. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 087584734X.  Argues that the US is in good economic condition and that talk of the consequences of its debt is unduly alarmist.
  • Hargreaves, Eric L. (1966). The National Debt. 
  • Macdonald, James (2006). A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-12632-1.  Argues that democracies eventually defeat autocracies because "countries with representative institutions are able to borrow more cheaply than those with autocratic governments" (p. 4). Bond markets also strengthen democracies internally by giving citizens some of the proverbial power of the purse and by aligning their interests with those of their governments.
  • Rothbard, Murray Newton (1994). The Case Against the Fed. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute. ISBN 094546617X.  Describes the process of debt monetization by a nation's central bank and it's unfortunate consequences on society.
  • Taylor, George Rogers (ed.) (1950). Hamilton and the National Debt. 

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