Learn About the National Debt

When a government or organization spends more money than it has available, a deficit is created. In some cases, a government may borrow money to fill the deficit. This borrowing translates into gross federal debt, which increases the amount of national debt.

Two components typically make up this type of debt: money owed to the government by the government and money borrowed by the government from foreign or domestic investors in an open market.

The Concord Coalition reports that the national debt is more than $15.5 trillion and is increasing rapidly. To better understand what national debt is and how it may be addressed in the classroom, please consult one or more of the following resources:

Lesson Plans

WebQuests

Multimedia

Additional Economic Resources

Bill Fay

Bill Fay is a journalism veteran with a nearly four-decade career in reporting and writing for daily newspapers, magazines and public officials. His focus at Debt.org is on frugal living, veterans' finances, retirement and tax advice. Bill can be reached at bfay@debt.org.

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