Friday, March 28, 2008
24. The public debt is the accumulation of federal budget deficits over time.
24. The public debt is the accumulation of federal budget surpluses and deficits over time. The public debt is the net amount of money borrowed by the federal government. A substantial portion of annual tax revenues pays interest on money borrowed by the government in previous years when expenditures exceeded revenues. Paying down the debt would free the money from those annual obligations to be given back to taxpayers or to provide other government services. The public debt is discussed in greater detail in module 10 (Fiscal Policy).
The national debt clock in March 2006.