U.S. debt is hitting historic heights. How much of a problem is that?

The last time the deficit was this high, as a percentage of the total economy, was 1946.
A national debt counter from mid-June. The U.S. is approaching a position it has not seen since World War II, as the amount of government debt is on pace to exceed the size of the nation's economy.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

What's behind the national debt?

Jun 17, 2020
We look into how the government borrows money and what it means in the long run.
Then-Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before the House Financial Services Committee in 2016. The national debt has since passed $26 trillion.
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Stimulus without debt?

Mar 18, 2020
If policymakers are too preoccupied with debt to provide the country the stimulus it needs, some economists say: Do it without debt.
Can the government just print more money to stimulate the economy?
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How George Washington would respond to today's national debt

Feb 17, 2020
The first president warned the country against accumulating national debt. Today the U.S. owes over $23 trillion.
George Washington has appeared on the one dollar bill since 1869.
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Breaking down the national debt and budget deficit

Oct 1, 2019
It's a new fiscal year for America. Let's look at our debt.
The National Debt Clock, a billboard-sized digital display showing the increasing U.S. debt, in New York City in 2011.
Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Should you worry about the national debt?

Feb 16, 2018
We have short-term focus but a long-term problem.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies before the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday on the 2019 budget proposal released the day before.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

The GOP tax plan just got more expensive

Nov 8, 2017
A new estimate by the Congressional Budget Office says the plan could add $1.7 trillion to the deficit
Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and ranking member Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) confer with aides before the start of a House Ways and Means Committee hearing concerning the Trump administration's fiscal year 2018 budget proposals, on Capitol Hill, May 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.
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That one time when U.S. debt was zero

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