America's National Debt
Examining the Facts
by Thomas Arndt
October 2022, 195pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7699-8
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7700-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

About $7 out of every $10 of federal spending every year goes to health care, defense, Social Security, or interest on existing debt.

This vital resource is devoted to providing nonpartisan, objective analysis of the national debt, including leading drivers of the debt, the budgetary process, and claims and counter-claims about national debt benefits and drawbacks.

This indispensable resource provides readers with a clear and unbiased understanding of the national debt and its relationship to the U.S. economic system. The book addresses the foundations and major elements of America’s budgetary process, details how government taxing and spending priorities impact the nation’s debt, explains the difference between deficits and debt, and summarizes dominant conservative and liberal economic perspectives on the national debt and related fiscal issues.

Utilizing authoritative resources and accessible, lay-friendly terminology, this book punctures popular myths and misconceptions about the national debt. But it also shines a light on the numerous economic, social, and political drivers of our national conversation about the debt—and the ways in which the national debt is likely to influence the lives of future generations of Americans. At a time when American political discourse often descends into fact-free zones of wishful thinking and deceptive claims, this book provides information for readers to truly understand the national debt.


  • Addresses beliefs and claims regarding the national debt in an easy-to-navigate question-and-answer format
  • Draws from empirical research in a variety of scholarly fields and presents those findings in a single, lay-friendly location to aid understanding of complex issues related to fiscal policy and federal budgets.
  • Provides readers with leads to conduct further research in extensive Further Reading sections for each entry
  • Examines claims made by individuals and groups of all political backgrounds and ideologies
Thomas Arndt, PhD, is adjunct professor in the department of political science at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). He has also lectured at Princeton University, Park University, Rowan University, and Rutgers University-Newark, covering such topics as American government, Congress and the legislative process, U.S. foreign policy, international relations, intelligence and national security, and political debate. Arndt also consults as a curricular subject matter expert for several academic publishers. He received his MA, MS, and PhD in political science and global affairs from Rutgers University-Newark while working as a researcher, teaching assistant, and dissertation fellow.

Contemporary Debates

Each title in the Contemporary Debates series examines the veracity of controversial claims or beliefs surrounding a major political/cultural issue in the United States. The purpose of the series is to give readers a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues by informing them about falsehoods, half-truths, and misconceptions—and confirming the factual validity of other assertions—that have gained traction in America's political and cultural discourse. Ultimately, this series gives readers the tools for a fuller understanding of controversial issues, policies, and laws that occupy center stage in American life and politics.
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