Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
The United States is in a lot of debt to other countries. Debt to other countries is called ‘foreign debt’ or ‘external debt’.
As of June 20 of 2015, the United States was ranked first out of all the countries in most foreign debt - 17,559,087, 000,000 dollars. So that’s seventeen trillion, five hundred fifty nine billion, eighty seven million dollars. The country that comes ranked in number two is the United Kingdom, owing nine trillion, five hundred ninety billion, nine hundred ninety five million dollars.
The country with the least amount of foreign debt is the country of Niue, which is a little island east of Australia, nearby Fiji and Tenga. Niue owes 418,000 dollars in external debt.
Macau, the British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Liechtenstein, and Palau owe no debt at all.
The United States debt ceiling - the limit of how much money the government may borrow from other countries - has risen continually and steadily ever since Reagan sat in the White House.
In 2011, there was a debt ceiling crisis, when the government got very close to hitting the ceiling. The Republican Party asked of President Obama to negotiate reduction in spending in exchange for an increase in the debt ceiling. Normally, the debt ceiling was raised without debate.
On July 31, the debt ceiling was finally raised, and everything was fine…. until October 15 of 2015. The government was close to reaching the debt ceiling again. Congress needed to raise the debt ceiling again before November 3rd, otherwise government would ‘break the roof’, so to speak. Of course, the ceiling was lifted, but this again urged members of the Congress to address the fact that the United States was spending too much money.
I hope that whatever president we choose next year will help in paying some of this debt we owe, instead of spending more money.