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Chart: Who Does the U.S. Gov't Owe $17 Trillion To?

The U.S. government owes a lot of money.

A lot.

In fact, U.S. debt today stands at about $17 trillion.

Obviously, that’s a little difficult to understand with just words.

So here to help you visualize the debt situation in the U.S. -- and help you understand where money is owed -- is a helpful chart from National Public Radio:

National Public Radio

Here are some key takeaways [as presented by Business Insider]:

  • We owe most of the money to ourselves.
  • We owe a big chunk of the money — about $6 trillion — to the Federal government. So if there ever were a default (hopefully there won't be) the government would also be stiffing itself.
  • We owe about $5 trillion to other countries, including China.
  • The total debt to China is only $1.3 trillion. So we're not in hock to China as much as some people think we are.
  • Yes, it's a boatload of debt. But the experience of Japan, the U.S. after World War 2, and other countries, suggests that it's a manageable amount, as long as we eventually get our long-term entitlement spending under control.

Click here to read the full NRP article on the U.S.' debt load.


Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

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