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Knowledge Base

The Debt and The Deficit

Is the US involvement in wars the reason for our high debt?

Historically speaking, war has increased US debt. For instance, there was significant growth in the 1940s directly associated with World War II spending. Today’s debt includes wartime expenditures, but also includes many other factors such as Medicare and Social Security which play an even larger role in CBO’s projected future debt.

What is the current US debt?

The current debt is around $19 trillion. For an exact debt count see the US Debt Clock.

Who owns the US debt?

American entities own most of the US debt ($13 trillion). All foreign countries combined own about $6 trillion of US debt as of March 2016. Compared to the other countries that own US debt, China owns the most ($1.2 trillion) and Japan the second most ($1.1 trillion).

What is the US deficit?

CBO’s deficit projection for FY 2016 is $534 billion.