U.S. publicly held debt 2013-2023, by month
The public debtThe public debt of the United States has risen quickly since 2000, and in 2022 was more than five times higher than in 2000. The public debt is the total outstanding debt that is owed by the federal government. This figure is comprised of debt owed to the public (for example, through bonds) and intragovernmental debt (debt owed to various governmental departments), such as Social Security.
Debt in PoliticsThe debt issue has become a highly contentious topic within the U.S. government. Measures such as stimulus packages, social programs and tax cuts add to the public debt. Additionally, spending tends to peak during large global events, such as the Great Depression, the 2008 financial crisis, or the COVID-19 pandemic - all of which had a detrimental impact on the U.S. economy. Although both major political parties in the U.S. tend to blame one another for increases in the country's debt, a recent analysis found that both parties have contributed almost equally to national expenditure.
Debate on raising the debt ceiling, or the amount of debt the federal government is allowed to have at any one time, was a leading topic in the government shutdown in October 2013. Despite plans from both Democrats and Republicans on how to lower the national debt, it is only expected to increase over the next decade.