The public debt of the United States Government is $8,577,329,845,866.97 as of the close of business on 6/3/10 (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLog ... ication=np
). The GDP of the United States based on 1st quarter final results is $14,601 trillion. That equates to a debt of 58.74% of GDP. That is a long way from 100%.
The much larger debt shown on the Bloomberg chart includes U.S. intergovernmental debt, which is simply an accounting device which tracks money transfers from one part of the federal government to another.
The growth rate of the U.S. GDP according to the final 1st quarter results is 3.9%. We are currently paying interest on our national debt of 2.47%. In fact, the total percentage of revenue received by the federal government which we are paying in interest on the debt is around 10%.
But wait, there's more!
Our GDP is currently growing at well over half a trillion dollars per year ($516.7 billion). The debt interest equates to about $212 billion, or about 22% of GDP growth.
Now, let me say that I recognize that the debt level and growth rate we are currently experiencing is unsustainable. I also know that at many points in our history the same was true. In the early 1940s we ran annual deficits that were as large a portion of the GDP as is our total debt today.
The reason that the world considers the U.S. to be the most creditworthy entity on the planet is that we have the capacity and a plan in place to grow our way out of this debt level just as we did following World War II. The question is whether or not we will follow the plan. It involves cutting defense expenditures severely, some tax increases, mainly on those making more than $250,000 per year as a couple or $200,000 as an individual, and bringing down the cost of Medicare. The tax increases on investment income contained in the recent healthcare bill go a long way toward reducing that debt.
By the way, the largest component in the deficit is the money being spent on fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thanks for the email,