One question: Although up and down are scaled the same, the increase in debt per year is more than the net deficit per year. Why is that? See below. (Thanks to smalldeadanimals for the tip).
The United States public debt is the amount owed by the federal government of the United States. The measure of thepublic debt is the value of the Treasury securities that have been issued by the Treasury and other federal government agencies and which are outstanding at that point of time. Gross public debt consists of two components:
- Debt held by the public, such as Treasury securities held by investors outside the federal government, including that held by individuals, corporations, the Federal Reserve System and foreign, state and local governments.
- Debt held by government accounts or intragovernmental debt, such as non-marketable Treasury securities held in accounts administered by the federal government that are owed to program beneficiaries, such as the Social Security Trust Fund. Debt held by government accounts represents the cumulative surpluses, including interest earnings, of these accounts that have been invested in Treasury securities.