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Knowledge Base

Does Government Debt Matter Anymore?

What is the current US debt?

The current debt is around $29 trillion. For an exact debt count see the US Debt Clock.

Who owns the US debt?

American entities own most of the US debt. All foreign countries combined own about $7 trillion of US debt as of September 2021. Compared to the other countries that own US debt, Japan owns the most ($1.2 trillion) and China the second most ($1 trillion).

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 future debt as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

What is gross domestic product (GDP)?

GDP is a market value of all final goods and services newly produced in a country during a given period of time. Market value means the total amount that people spend or produce as measured by the market prices. It is calculated by adding consumption, investments, government purchases, and net exports.

Consumption + Investments + Government Purchases + Net Exports = Gross Domestic Product.