FAQ about the Debt


What is the deficit?      

The deficit is the fiscal year difference between what the Government takes in from taxes and other revenues, and the amount of money the Government spends

What is the debt?      
The debt is the money we borrow by selling Treasury securities like T-bills, notes, bonds and savings bonds to the public. the Government Trust Funds are required by law to invest accumulated surpluses in Treasury securities. The Treasury securities issued to the public and to the Government Trust Funds then become part of the total debt.      
When does the debt change?  
The Total Public Debt is reported each morning around 11:30 A.M. EST. approximately 50 different reporting entities (e.g. Federal Reserve Banks) report a variety of Treasury security information. The information reported to us at the end of the day. On the following business day we report the previous days Debt.
What is the Debt Held by the Public?
All Federal debt held by individuals, corporations, state or local governments, foreign governments, and other entities outside of the United States (except) Federal Financing Bank securities. Securities held by the public, but not limited to, Treasury Bills, Treasury Notes, Treasury Bonds, United States Savings Bonds, State and Local Government Series, Foreign Series, and Domestic Series.
How do you make a contribution to reduce the debt?
  1. Make check payable to the "Bureau of the Public Debt"        2."Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public "
P O  BOX  2188
PARKERSBURG,  WV   26106-2188