On Feb. 1, the US Treasury Department reported the national debt hit a record $30 trillion, prompting much hand-wringing about the fragility of the US economy. Around $8 trillion of that $30 trillion cited by debt hawks as what the government has borrowed is the equivalent of that: Money that the government owes to itself in the future, says J.W. Mason, an economist professor at CUNY’s John Jay College. For example, the contributions the Social Security Administration puts aside into its Trust Fund to be paid out later get counted as debt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.