If President Obama's latest budget proposal is followed, the national debt would grow to represent 90 percent of the total U.S. economy by 2020, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis.
The CBO projects that under President Obama's proposed budget, the U.S. publicly held debt would grow from $7.5 trillion - or 53 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - at the end of 2009 to $20.3 trillion - or 90 percent of the GDP -- by the end of 2020. The interest on the debt alone, says CBO, would more than quadruple, reaching $900 billion annually by 2020.
The publicly held debt, also called the "national debt" includes all monies owed by the United States government to persons and institutions outside the government. For instance, at the end of 2009, the United States owed China $895 billion and Japan $766 billion. U.S. Debt to foreign nations totaled about $3.7 trillion at the end of 2009, according to the Treasury Department.