What is the real cost of the U.S. government’s nearly $16 trillion debt?

“The debt crisis is likely bigger than you think,” a new report issued last week by Deloitte, one of the world’s largest accounting firms, concluded.

That’s because interest payments add a whole new level of fiscal pain to the country’s debt problem. Interest payments on the national debt alone, it noted, are expected to total some $4.2 trillion over the next decade.

And that number could fluctuate depending on rates.

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