+3 votes
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Looks like every country has debt including the USA. But to whom should they actually have to pay? Can you explain me this?

4 Answers


The US debt is owed partly to other countries, partly to banks and other corporations, and a large part to its own retirement funds, like Social Security.

This article is a bit out of date, but it explains it well.



Hello Dan,

My understanding is pretty much as Tink explains it...also I found your YouTube videos helpful!

I can even recall, around 1980, learning that US national debt had reach $1 trillion for the first time ever. And if you adjust for inflation, that amount in current dollars would still be "only" $3 trillion. So the debt really has continued to expand.


I found a little more up to date article that explains where every dollar is owned. Besides other Government agencies, China and Japan are the two top note holders. Check this article out as it breaks down all of what we owe and to whom.

Who Owns the US National Debt? How Much Is Owed? - The Balance

Dan Rooster

I heard that Japan too have a large debt, but 90% of it to its own people. So they can just print money and give it to their citizens.

Looks like all countries has some debt.


They should pay it directly to me :woot:

@ HegeMarie: Wow, you must have a LOT of US treasury notes. :D

HegeMarie HegeMarie

It's just.. $20 trillion could come in handy right now :cheerful:

Oh, I'd settle for $10 trillion... I'm not such a big spender.  :)