NPP's Work: Spotlight on Debt & Deficit

Last month the National Priorities Project re-launched a major portion of our website, organizing our federal budget research content into eight issue areas:

  • Education
  • Transparency and Data
  • Taxes and Revenue
  • Budget Process
  • Debt and Deficit
  • Military and Security
  • Health Care
  • Social Insurance, Earned Benefits, and Entitlements

This week, we bring you key highlights on the debt and deficits:

  • The size of the budget deficit in a given year is determined by two factors: the amount of money the government spends that year and the amount of revenue the government collects.
  • The U.S. has run a deficit in 45 out of the last 50 years.
  • The federal debt, or national debt, is the sum of all past years’ deficits.
  • Budget deficits have declined sharply in recent years, down from 10 percent of the U.S. economy in fiscal year 2009, to a projected 3.1 percent in 2015, or roughly the size of the average deficit over the past half century.

For more on our nation's debt and deficit, check out our video and factsheet

We'll continue to shine the spotlight on our other areas of work in the weeks to come. In the meantime, check out updated website for factsheets, interactive rools, and local federal budget data.