difference between z

Difference between Federal Debt and Federal Deficit

Difference between Federal Debt and Federal Deficit

When it comes to government debt and deficits, there is a lot of confusion among taxpayers. This article will help to clear up the difference between federal debt and federal deficit.
The most important difference between federal debt and federal deficit is that federal debt is cumulative, while federal deficit is annual. In short, federal debt is the total amount of money that the U.S. government owes its creditors, while the federal deficit is how much more the government spends each year than it takes in. The bottom line: The country’s $19 trillion in federal debt means every American taxpayer owes about $60,000.”

What is Federal Debt?

Federal debt is the total amount of money that the United States government owes to its creditors. The vast majority of this debt is held in the form of Treasury securities, which are bonds issued by the US Department of the Treasury.

  • These securities are often referred to as ” Treasury bonds.” Federal debt can also take the form of notes, bills, and new Federal agency bonds. Federal debt is different from the debt of state and local governments, as well as the debt of individuals and businesses.
  • The US government has been borrowing money since 1790 when it sold $75 million in bonds to finance the War of Independence. As of June 2019, the federal government’s total outstanding debt was more than $22 trillion.
  • Federal debt held by the public, which includes all non-governmental creditors such as foreign governments and private investors, was about $16 trillion.
  • The rest was intragovernmental debt, which is money that one part of the US government owes to another part. For example, Social Security trust funds are considered intragovernmental creditors because they are funded by payroll taxes and not by general tax revenue.
  • Federal debt can have both positive and negative effects on the economy. On one hand, it can help finance important government investments in programs like education and infrastructure.

On the other hand, it can crowd out private investment and lead to higher interest rates. Federal debt is an important issue for economists and policymakers because it can have a large impact on economic growth.

What is Federal Deficit?

Federal deficit is the amount of money the government owes to its creditors. It is different from the national debt, which is the total amount of money the government has borrowed over time.

  • Federal deficit occurs when the government’s spending exceeds its revenue. This can happen during times of economic recession, when tax revenues decline while government spending remains high. Federal deficit can also occur due to structural problems, such as a large welfare system or an inefficient tax code.
  • While federal deficit can be a problem, it is not always bad. Sometimes, federal deficit can help stimulate the economy by increasing government spending. Federal deficit can also be used to finance investments in infrastructure or education.
  • However, if federal deficit becomes too large, it can lead to inflation and higher interest rates. Therefore, it is important for the government to ensure that federal deficit is kept under control.

Difference between Federal Debt and Federal Deficit

Federal Debt and Federal Deficit are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they actually refer to two different things. Federal Debt is the total amount of money that the Federal government owes.

  • This includes money that has been borrowed from other countries, as well as money that has been borrowed from Social Security and other trust funds.
  • Federal Deficit, on the other hand, refers to the difference between the Federal government’s expenses and its revenue for a specific period of time. So, if the government spends more money than it takes in through taxes and other revenues, then it is running a deficit.
  • Federal Debt can increase as a result of deficits, but it can also increase due to things like wars or recessions. Ultimately, Federal Debt is the sum total of all of the deficits that have been accumulated over time.


The federal deficit, on the other hand, is how much money the government spends in a year minus how much it takes in. In simpler terms, think of the federal debt as the mortgage on your house while thinking of the federal deficit as your monthly electricity bill. When you take out a mortgage, you are borrowing a large sum of money which will need to be repaid over time with interest.

Similarly, when the US government borrows money from its creditors, it incurs a debt that needs to be paid back over time. The annual federal deficit is like your monthly electricity bill because it’s what you owe for using electricity in a given month. You may have a negative balance one month but make up for it by having a positive balance another month. It all evens out in the end.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email