The US Treasury
Department said that the national debt has topped 16 trillion US dollars (£10.1 trillion), the result of chronic government deficits that have poured more than 50,000 US dollars’ worth of red ink on to federal ledgers for every man, woman and child in the United States.
Mr Obama has presided over four straight years of trillion dollar-plus deficits after inheriting a weak economy from his predecessor George Bush.The news was greeted with a round of press releases from Barack Obama’s Republican rivals, who used the grim-but-expected news to criticise the president for the government’s fiscal performance over his three-and-a-half years in office.
Fully two-thirds of the national debt is owed to the U.S. government, American investors and future retirees, through the Social Security Trust Fund and pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel. China, it turns out, holds less than 8 percent of the money our government has borrowed over the years.
“It is true that China is the largest foreign owner of our debt,” said Josh Gordon, policy director of the Concor
d Coalition, a Virginia-based nonprofit that advocates getting the nation’s debt under control. “But the vast majority of our debt is held by us.”