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The price of red ink: Interest looms as major budget item

The interest alone on our national debt costs more than most programs -- $227 billion in 2011.

The price of red ink: Interest looms as major budget item

Net interest on the national debt cost $227 billion in 2011. It consumed 6.4 percent of the annual budget and ranked as Washington’s sixth largest spending category – after Social Security, defense, income security (such as food stamps and welfare), Medicare, and other health spending. But when you think of interest as a percentage of total federal outlays, we’ve had it worse.

Click on today’s infographic for more – and to see how things would change if we ran down every tax cheat. Then join the discussion below. How much debt makes you sweat? 

What do others say?

  • : Concord Coalition: Understanding the Debt Limit More

  • : George Washington University: Why we should never pay down the national debt More

  • : Huffington Post: The debt is not a measure of generational burdens More

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