Buying Power

The U.S. Debt Vortex

In 2000 the Congressional Budget Office projected that by 2011 the federal government would be a net lender to the rest of the world, to the tune of more than $2 trillion. Instead, it finished fiscal 2011 with a net debt of more than $10 trillion. The biggest contributors to this stunning reversal may surprise you.

Source: Pew Charitable Trusts; Photographs by Bloomberg(1); Getty Images(6)
Coy is Bloomberg Businessweek's economics editor. His Twitter handle is @petercoy.

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