National Debt Pie Chart


From The Skeptical Optimist Vis Neatorama 

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    How does one “own” debt? I can owe, or be owed, but can I own debt?

    tiki god

    Sure, it’s like what happens when you have a credit card. That debt that you have is ‘owned’ by the credit company, and can be transfered to someone else, say a collection company or another credit card company.


    Buy some treasury notes. Congratulations, you now own some U.S. debt.


    When Bush was trying to privatize Social Security, he gave a bunch of speeches warning about how S.S. was going to go broke in fifty years or so. In one of his speeches, he said that he’s looked in the Social Security accounts, and all that is in there are a bunch of worthless IOUs. He was trying to scare people into thinking the system is broke today, but what he was referring to were Treasury Bonds. I think it’s funny that a sitting President would try to score political points by calling US Treasury Bonds worthless.


    What I don’t understand is how does the US Govt own $3trillion? The govt borrows the money, yeah? So why not just do some accounting and reduce the debt by that amount?

    I understand why the Fed Reserve does… so they can manipulate interest rates.

    I hadn’t seen the numbers so it’s interesting that China holds a lot less than what the media had led me to understand.


    Thanks, tiki god! I understand it now. wow.


    Opie– the real issue with China… well, to be honest the real issue for America in general… isn’t the debt (although it’s played up in the media), it’s the trade deficit.