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 “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at bfay@debt.org.

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