The national debt is currently $23 trillion and counting. As this number grows every minute, it can be a daunting task to understand what this truly means. The national debt is connected to every sector of our society, from health care to defense. Understanding the debt in relation to other factors can give a better idea of how large the number truly is. Here are 7 charts that help to give more context to the national debt.
National debt by year
Before WWI, the federal debt held by the public was about 30% of the GDP. However, since 1980 the debt has only been growing. Today, debt held by the public is about 80% and it‘s only projected to keep rising unless there’s a major change in the current system.
The unsustainable path of our federal debt
Since the beginning of this millennium, our federal debt has been on an unsustainable path. If our current policies remain the same, it‘s projected that debt held by the public will rise up to 144% of GDP by 2049. Now, do you think some policies need a second look?
How will the national debt affect individual family incomes?
Family incomes can and will be reduced by our growing federal debt. The income loss is the difference between the income level and the GDP if debt rises as it does under current law.
The cost of U.S healthcare (per capita)
The U.S. government has the highest healthcare per capita spending amongst developed countries, with at least $3000 more than the next highest per capita cost. In order for our healthcare system to be sustainable, we have to find a way to lower costs and maintain the quality of healthcare services.
How much does the U.S. spend on defense?
The United States has destined most of its budget to defense programs than seven of the most powerful countries combined (China, Saudi Arabia, India, France, Russia,United Kingdom, Germany).
The rise of interest costs
The projection of interest costs in the next years will rise to a historical 4% of GDP and will keep rising up to 5.7% by 2049 if we remain on the same path.
The true price of interest costs
As the national debt keeps rising on an unsustainable path, the government will have to spend more money on net interest costs. In the next 10 years, interest costs are projected to rise to a whooping $5.8 trillion.