US debt tops $16 trillion: So who do we owe most of that money to?

The Treasury Department reported Tuesday that the national debt had topped $16 trillion, adding fuel to Republicans’ criticisms of President Obama’s deficit spending just as the Democrats are kicking off their national convention.

Mitt Romney lamented “the enormous debt” being handed the nation’s children, while House Speaker John Boehner called it a “sad reminder of President Obama’s broken promise to cut the deficit in half.”

But if you thought China’s been doing most of the bankrolling, you might be surprised to learn who really holds our federal mortgage.

Fully two-thirds of the national debt is owed to the U.S. government, American investors and future retirees, through the Social Security Trust Fund and pension plans for civil service workers and military personnel. China, it turns out, holds less than 8 percent of the money our government has borrowed over the years.

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