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July 25th, 2011
07:23 PM ET

Where does U.S. debt come from?

If the budget was a one dollar bill, how would it be broken down? CNN's Tom Foreman crunches the numbers.


Filed under: data wall • Debt • Tom Foreman
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. JohnKelly

    We all must remember that W. Bush came into office with a 6 trillion dollar surplus that he should have used to pay off the total debt he didn't he destroyed the surplus and went on to add an additional 5 trillion dollars to the debt at the end of his term. Not only that but by destroying the surplus he is responsible for all the debt All 11 trillion plus all the interest each year, war expense, tax cuts, pill plan, defense depart. Expense doubling, etc. which all told adds at least one trillion dollar per year legacy. All told it equals 15+ trillion dollars of the debt. So, when the republicans sat "We Built It" they mean the deficit.

    September 5, 2012 at 3:45 am |
    • Mac

      It can be argued who is responsible for the debt balloon, but does it really matter at this point. Everybody knows austerity is required to correct it. What we want to know now is which party is more likely to get us back on a sound financial footing. I'm not really interested in a lot of name-calling and finger-pointing on my after action reports.

      September 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Zach

      Your are very misinformed 6 trillion surplus? no a 6 trillion budget surplus. Tell me again how much Clinton got us out of debt? Oo yea nothing. He lowered the deficit, with a technology boom and a republican congress and senate. Oo yea,how about you inform me on your fellow socialist countries? How well are their living standards? Most lower than our poor. Oo yea there are only 2 that are socialist, Cuba, north Korea that are without any capitalism. Oo yea why does it work there? Well it doesn't really in north Korea but Cuba works because they are communists! Forced to do whatever the government tells them to do. Ask a few people from some socialists or better yet Cuba and North Korea why did they come to the ooo soooo terrible USA. Sorry for getting out of topic, just wanted to point out a few extra things that you most likely believe in and/or other people reading this.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:24 am |
    • Zach

      Oo yea how much do you think we spend supporting the mooches of the countries I bet that would lower our debt. Ooo and quick fact how many countries are not in debt? 2 and they are both capaltists. Check your facts before a response

      November 2, 2012 at 4:29 am |
  2. Ann Dwork

    I am so tired of hearing people blame Obama for the economy. Does no one remember where we were 5 years ago??? When Obama took over in 08 the GDP growth rate was at -8.9. After 4 years it is now at +1.7. Do the math people. Okay, ill do it for you, that is +10.6. Not bad I'd say considering we were about to get flushed down the toilet in 08. The stock market is back, real estate and construction are creeping up and we ARE drawing down troops in the middle east. In my town there are plenty of jobs open but everyone wants 50k + benefits or they wont work. Tired of the belly aching by a spoiled baby public. Americans need to see whats going on in other countries, maybe they'd stop the whining. Heck even Obamas own party wont work with him much more than those republicans in Congress who'd rather burn it all down than have a young black guy in the oval office. Anybody who is 'disappointed" in Obama and wants to elect an elitist millionaire, trickledown economics, hand it all to the largest corporations and the billionaires, Gordon Gekko for president will get what they deserve – 4 years of a Bush presidency repeat. Talk about the dark ages......

    August 31, 2012 at 11:04 am |
  3. Shills

    The Senate over the last 30 years has not made one good 'long-term decision' regarding money and most laws to promote business. This is not the 'people's debt', we didn't sign anything, we weren't even asked whether to 'go in debt'. This is Federal and now State by State, City by City, debt due to extremely poor leadership over 30 years. Mostly lawyers/attorneys did this. Even if they made laws saying we the people owe it? Many people are trying to pay their rent, high medical costs, and mandated audo insurance let alone everything else.

    July 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  4. Rochelle

    Mr. Romney's statement "a marriage is between one man and A woman". Shouldn't he have said "between one man and ONE woman"? This statement seems to talk to the Morman belief of one man and MANY women.

    May 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  5. ghostclown

    Why don't they talk about the ridiculous arrangement we have with the Federal Reserve? You have to go on youtube to learn about how it works and it is bad. You'll never hear a word about it on the media because they are part of the cancer. If you don't know how the Fed works you need to become an expert now.

    January 10, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  6. Kat

    It comes from the Rothschild/Rockefeller BANKERS and THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED FEDERAL RESERVE, who finance BOTH sides of every war, to include the War Between the States. The Federal Reserve is NOT "federal" and it's a HUGE BIGGEST LEECH on America. They tried 3 times to control this country after our independence in 1776, and finally succeeded with their Federal Reserve Act of 1913. For every dollar they PRINT on nothing but PAPER out of THIN AIR, we accumulate 3 cents or MORE DEBT, COMPOUNDED OVER ALL THESE YEARS. According to the CONSTITUTION, only TREASURY IS SUPPOSED TO PRINT OUR MONEY (with NO FEE). This is a 100 year BLATANT RIP-OFF of Americans by the European bankers and our very own ROCKEFELLER SCUM.

    ROCKEFELLER REVEALS 9/11 FRAUD to Aaron Russo (10 mins)
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nD7dbkkBIA&w=640&h=360]

    AMERICA: FREEDOM TO FASCISM – Full Length Documentary
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUpZhhbKUBo&w=640&h=360]

    August 17, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  7. Vincent

    We have spent millions or even billions for foreign aid and relief; but we have neglected doing that for our own here. We police the world and try to make it a better place. And yet, crime is out of control here @ home. We need to stop fighting all these wars, bring all our troops home, stop throwing money abroad, and start building here. President Franklin D. Rosevelt knew this; he made a radical move and proposed a second bill of rights that would grant and assure every american the basics of like. Sadly he died before it could be done; and we never became the nation he wanted us to become. We became this greedy, self-centered, and materialistic entity of today.

    August 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  8. Fatima Avila

    Greed people, who wants more and more...And the rest of the citizen can suffer

    July 26, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Richard

      Cows don't complain when they're milked, why should America?

      March 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  9. Ron Hall

    Tom doesn't mention that the money for Social security comes from the trust fund. That fund is on the books from Payroll tax collected and interest on the bonds bought with those fund. The trouble is that the Treasury has spent those funds on 3 undeclared wars. Tom needs to tell the whole story.

    July 26, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  10. John

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-26/republican-leaders-voted-for-drivers-of-u-s-debt-they-now-blame-on-obama.html

    Why this fact is not being publicized more by your services?

    July 26, 2011 at 6:38 am |
  11. Suzan

    The deficit came when your President decided to give money to the big corporations, so they could have thier bonuses and parties. I lost on that gamble. My job of 7 years is gone, because of the lies of this same man. The war is over, but our son's die daily, where is it over? Iraq?, Afghanistan? The war is only over when the boy's we send over there stop diying. They haven't. Trust me I know. I'm one of the few that try to get them ready to go. Kid's. 20 years younger than my own child, willing to die for this country, why do they die for someone else's? Is Iraq or Afghanistan going to pay our debt? We pay Them! What's up with that?

    July 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Fatima Avila

      Well said and my son is trying to join the army.
      I am really worry.
      John Kennedy one time said:" Ask what you can do for your Country, and not what your Country can do
      for you?". I saying, we already do a lot for this Country, we work one year we get only one week vacation,
      some company they only give you one sick day,and to get maybe 3 weeks vacation you have to work for
      that same place for more than 10 years and if you are luck...Other Countries like Brasil, you get one month
      off and if you get sick and get doctor excuse you get pay, Germany even better, Japan is worse the here,
      China I don't even go there yet because I do not know,but their history the citizens really suffer for over 100
      years ...

      July 26, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • John

      These wars would come to an abrupt end if we had a draft as we did in the 60s thru 1973. You would see an uprise by the public. People wouldn't stand for this crap. I was drafted in 1967 and served in Vietnam. The pressure from students and the general public was the main factor why we got out of Vietnam mainly because Congress was lying about our success there. People should wake up to the fact that both Aphganistan and Iraq will become lost causes and besides all the lives lost, familiies destroyed, and 40% of the soldiers coming back with different levels of PTSB, who will need long term treatment for years, which, in totality, will have a real cost in the neighborhood of $5 trillion. The problem is when it's not your son or daughter who would potentially be drafted to fight for nothing, people would start to wake up. Bin Laden, in his videos, spoke like an accountant and an economist. He knew that he would not defeat us militarily, but rather, financially. If you look at us now, you have to say he was right.

      August 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  12. DAVID SCHWENK

    Nice numbers Tom but you didn't list (and mention to cut): CUTTING FOREIGN AID, CUTTING THE PENTAGON'S BUDGET, CUTTING CONGRESSIONAL PAY AND BENEFITS, REDUCING OR REDUCING GOVERNMENT WORKER'S PENSIONS, CUTTING THE GOVERNMENT WORK FORCE (TOO MANY PIGGIES AT THE TROUGH), INCREASING FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WORKERS CONTRIBUTION TO THEIR HEALTH CARE.

    July 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
    • Tim

      your right, they need to start with them selfs before they ask any more from the people

      July 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • acepaperman

      You will never get anyone to cut the defense budget in a meaningful way. I can hear the chorus of unpatriotic and we have to be ready(for what I am not sure) already. As to the other ideas, I am sure a careful scrutiny would reveal significant adjustments. But it still wouldn't dent it. Why does the average, struggling American have any compunctions about raising taxes on the wealthy? So some millionaire has to forgo replacing his Ferrari every year. My heart goes out to him(or her). Apple is sitting on 90 billion in cash. Where are the jobs? Everyone is waiting for the days of easy credit, so everyone will start overspending again. They are going to have to wait until the memory of the last disaster fades a bit.

      September 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm |

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