4 Facts You Should Know About National Debt and Default

In all of the turmoil about a possible U.S. default on its $16.8 trillion debt, there’s an overload of information to follow. Here are four tidbits that you might have missed. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter 1. China does not “own our debt.” Yes, it does hold an IOU from the United States for about $1.28 trillion, making China Uncle Sam’s largest overseas creditor. But that represents only 7.6 percent of the nation’s debt. 2. The U.S. …

Will the Fiscal Crisis Ensnare Social Security and Medicare?

Not again. It looks as if cuts in Social Security and Medicare may soon be pulled into the budget battles now under way on Capitol Hill. In an op-ed piece in today’s Wall Street Journal titled “Here’s How We Can End This Stalemate,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) describes changes in the two programs as “vital.” Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter “Let’s negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code,” …