How much debt is the U.S. in?

Home Forums Debt How much debt is the U.S. in?

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    Jordan Moore
    Jordan Moore

    As of May 2024, the United States federal government is in $34.56 trillion of debt, according to the Treasury website

    In simple terms, the U.S. government is in debt because it’s spending more than it earns (from things like taxes), leading to budget deficits.

    Over the years, this debt has ballooned due to a mix of factors — spending more than it earns, stimulating the economy during downturns, and covering big-ticket items like military spending and health crises.

    Now, how does this affect you?

    The U.S. national debt might not seem like it affects you directly, but it has a pretty big impact on everyday life. Here’s how that growing debt can touch everything from your wallet to your workplace:

    • Interest rates: When the government borrows more, it can push up interest rates for everyone. That means you might end up paying more for mortgages, car loans, and other personal loans.
    • Taxes: To pay off its debt, the government needs money, which often leads to higher taxes. If debt keeps climbing, taxes might rise to cover the interest costs, leaving you with less money in your pocket.
    • Public services: High debt can limit how much the government spends on things like schools, roads, and hospitals. If too much money goes toward paying off debt, there might not be enough left for these essential services, which could mean they deteriorate or become less available.
    • Economic growth: Over time, hefty debt levels can slow down economic growth, affecting jobs and wages. A sluggish economy might mean fewer job opportunities and smaller pay raises, making it harder to earn and save.
    • Inflation: If things get really bad, the government might just print more money to pay down the debt, which can lead to inflation. Inflation reduces how much your money is worth, meaning you’ll pay more for the same things.
    • Investments: The ups and downs of government debt can also shake up the stock and bond markets. If you have money in retirement accounts like a 401(k), you might see the value of your investments go up and down because of these changes.

    Understanding all this can help you make smarter financial choices, like preparing for possible tax increases, being careful with how much you borrow, and diversifying your investments to protect against market shifts.

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