Just who does the U.S. owe $16 trillion to?
National debt chiefly from the U.S. government, American investors and future retirees
A national debt of $156 trillion has been a major sticking point among republicans, who are taking aim at U.S. President Barak Obama as the Democrats hold their national convention this week. Obama's critics say that this points out the president's failure to tame the national deficit. Just who does the U.S. owe that staggering amount to? You may be surprised -
While common opinion has the nation of China's as doing most of the bankrolling, it turns out that the problem lies mainly from within.
Fully two-thirds of the national debt is on the account of the U.S. government, American investors and future retirees through the Social Security Trust Fund and pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel. China - most surprisingly - holds less than eight percent of the money our government has borrowed over the years.
"It is true that China is the largest foreign owner of our debt," Josh Gordon, policy director of the Concord Coalition, a Virginia-based nonprofit says. "But the vast majority of our debt is held by us."
Few doubt that the federal government's tab is immense and spiraling out of control. 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.
In fact, China has actually decreased its holdings of U.S. debt over the past year, dropping from $1.31 trillion in June 2011 to $1.16 trillion a year later. Japan holds nearly as much, at $1.12 trillion.
Dozens of other nations, including Brazil, Russia, Taiwan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom hold trillions more.
Inside the U.S., private investors hold nearly $1 trillion in federal debt, while mutual funds, insurance companies and state and local governments hold nearly double that amount.
In spite of these cold, hard statistics, China continues to be viewed as the demon must responsible for financing our deficit spending.
During his 2008 campaign, President Obama criticized President Bush for taking "out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents . so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back."
Obama has since been unable to slow the rapidly mounting debt. The nation owed $10.6 trillion on Jan. 20, 2009, at the start of his administration, and has added another $5.4 trillion since, which is more than President George W. Bush piled up in two terms.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Business & Economics News
- $30 trillion increase from $70 trillion between mid-2007 and mid-2013 sends global debt over $100 trillion
- Wowza! Restaurant starts charging diners for Obamacare
- Time banking - where time is BETTER than MONEY
- Google tops Exxon as world's second-most valuable company - for a day
- Bill Gates thinks poverty will be eliminated by 2035... But he's missing this one thing!
- World's richest playboys forgot to address the world's most serious problems between parties in Davos
- CROWDFUNDING: Brother, can you spare - funding for my new movie project?
- Here we go again! Increase the government's borrowing limit before late February, Treasury Secretary warns
- Pope Francis sends a message to Davos elites -- they'd do well to listen
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
Disclaimer: The columns, articles, advertisers claims and any other features provided on Catholic Online Business & Economics are provided for personal finance and investment information and are not to be construed as investment advice. Under no circumstances does the information in this content represent a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any security. The views and opinions expressed in an article or column are the author's own and not necessarily those of Catholic Online and there is no implied endorsement by Catholic Online of any advice or trading strategy.