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ERIC Number: ED456071
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Public Debt: Private Asset. Government Debt and Its Role in the Economy.
Schilling, Tim
In 1981, the United States reached a dubious economic milestone--the federal debt surpassed one trillion dollars for the first time. It took more than 200 years to build up that much debt. The federal debt doubled to two trillion by 1986, hit the three trillion level in 1990, and stands at an estimated five-and-a-half trillion for 1998. Just as individuals might be concerned if their personal indebtedness was growing faster than their incomes, some economic pundits and policymakers are concerned about the size of the public debt, notwithstanding the recent surplus achieved by the federal government. While some feel that federal debt is not necessarily bad, others argue that it can place substantial burdens on the economy. This booklet aims to help the public understand these concerns and the burdens of large deficits. The booklet contains the following sections: "Debt as an Asset"; "Government Debt Instruments"; "The Government in the Market"; "The Auction"; "The Burdens of Deficits and the Benefits of Surpluses"; and "Strength of the Dollar." Contains a list of additional readings. Included with the booklet is a teaching guide that contains content questions and answers and activity suggestions. (BT)
Public Information Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, P.O. Box 834, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60690-0834. Tel: 312-322-5111; Fax: 312-322-5515; e-mail:; For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Community; Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, IL.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A