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Why the US is always hitting a “debt ceiling”

Is the huge US national debt a problem?

Nearly every year since 2011, America seems to teeter on the edge of a crisis as the national debt comes dangerously close to hitting the “debt ceiling,” and the president and Congress fight over raising it. The “debt ceiling” is really just a limit on how much debt the country can take on. While the US isn’t the only country to have one, it is the only country to have legislation that regularly puts it on the brink of economic disaster.

The current US debt is nearing $29 trillion. That’s a trillion with a T. Is that too much? And who does it affect?

Want to know what the US national debt is as of right now? The Treasury keeps a daily record.

Americans and American companies own 35.6 percent of US debt while foreign investors own 25 percent. Chinese investors used to have the largest share, but Japanese investors actually own more now. The Treasury also updates the foreign investor totals every month for public viewing.

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