U.S. Public Debt

The total public debt outstanding has been growing at an accelerating rate the past several months. As of February 2nd, the total public debt outstanding was $10,667,963,268,393.28 (yes, that is ten point six trillion dollars). The figures have become so big that most citizens cannot comprehend them. Another way to illustrate the recent increase in debt spending is to compare the year-over-year increase in the level of the public debt. In late 2000 & early 2001, the U.S. was running a slight budget surplus and began retiring a tiny portion of the outstanding debt, resulting in a negative year-over-year growth rate. This period was short lived. By late 2002, we were increasing the public debt at a 7% to 8% annual rate. In recent months, the growth rate has skyrocketed to a 15%-17% year-over-year growth rate.

pubdebt

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