|PERCENTAGE OF GDP|
By John Sykes
Publicly Held Debt Set to Skyrocket
Runaway spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will drive federal debt to unsustainable levels over the next few decades. Total national debt consists of publicly held debt and intergovernmental debt. Intergovernmental debt is the amount that the government owes to specific programs or agencies, such as the Social Security Trust Fund. Publicly held debt is more relevant to credit markets.