US Published National Debt
U.S. Published National Debt consists of:
debt held by the public
intragovernmental holdings, including debt held by Social Security and Medicare trust funds
It does not include total unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises.
This amount is updated periodically to coincide with The Debt to the Penny
"The Truth" represents:
assets and liabilities reported in the Financial Report of the U.S. Government
unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises, based on assumptions
How we calculate The Truth:
Our true national debt calculation is estimated using data provided by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Social Security and Medicare trustees. Each year we update our calculation to include the assets and liabilities reported in the most recently issued Financial Report of the U.S. Government as of the federal fiscal year end, September 30. We also update the true national debt calculation when the Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports, which include amounts as of January 1, are issued.
The Trustees Reports include a calculation of the present value of the benefits these programs will receive over the next 75 years offset by the receipts directed to these programs for that time period. In our calculations we do not take into account receipts or benefits that will be received from and paid to future participants.
In addition to using current law to calculate the unfunded promises, the Medicare actuaries also estimate the amounts using the “Illustrative Alternative Scenario (IAS).” We use the IAS in our estimates, because it incorporates more realistic assumptions about future payments to Medicare physicians.
The estimated deterioration in the true national debt is based upon historical trends.
*Based upon the most recently available data. Deterioration calculated since those points in time.