The Economic Perspective: “Why is the National Debt Being Ignored?”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks why the national debt is being ignored.  Mike, the national debt now totals over $22 trillion.   Yet there doesn’t seem to be a widespread panic, or even a strong concern, about this debt and its impacts.  Why is that?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. A big factor is low interest rates
  2. Allow interest payments on the debt to be low
  3. Indeed, interest payments as a percent of the economy are lower now than 30 years ago
  4. A second important factor is an increase in world savings, particularly in developing countries
  5. US Treasury securities – which fund the debt – are highly desired due to their safety
  6. So US has no trouble funding the debt
  7. Big question – will these conditions change
  8. I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.