Ten Charts Essential to Understanding the Federal Debt

Since April 2010, the Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative has published several reports explaining the medium-and long-term fiscal challenges facing the federal government. With stagnating economic conditions and the passage of new legislation, especially the Budget Control Act of 2011, the outlook for the deficit and debt has changed considerably over the past six months.

We have created ten charts that illustrate how the choices made over the last 10 years contributed to our nation's debt and the challenges currently facing the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

10 Essential Fiscal Charts (PDF)

A print version of the PDF is available here.

  1. Ten Years of Debt Drivers
  2. Debt Growth by Policy
  3. Long-Term Unemployment
  4. Federal Spending & Revenues
  5. Debt Projections
  6. Budget Control Act Spending Caps
  7. The Joint Select Committee
  8. The Automatic Sequester
  9. Debt Ceiling Scenarios
  10. The Debt Limit & the American Jobs Act

National Homeownership Month

Article

37 Researchers Working to Transform Biomedical Science

Quick View
Article

Biomedical researchers are on the front lines of scientific innovation. From responding to global pandemics to pioneering lifesaving cancer treatments, these researchers push past scientific boundaries to solve pressing health challenges. For nearly 40 years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 1,000 early-career biomedical scientists committed to this discovery.

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.