This blog is part of the “Fiscal FactCheck” series designed to examine the accuracy of budget-related statements made during the 2016 presidential campaign.
At Wednesday's Republican presidential debate in California, a number of claims were made related to the budget and fiscal policy. While only a few were related to the 16 Budget Myths to Watch Out For in the 2016 Presidential Campaign that we previously released with Fix the Debt, many others touched on important fiscal policy topics. Below is our analysis of these claims.
1. The National Debt is $19 Trillion
Quite a few candidates in last night's debate mentioned the size of the national debt, but not all were able to do so successfully, with some saying $18 trillion and some saying $19 trillion
To clarify, the U.S. gross debt as of September 15, 2015 stood at $18.15 trillion. Gross debt is a measure of all outstanding bonds, including those the government owes to itself – such as the bonds that the Social Security Trust Fund holds.
However, if we exclude the money the government owes to itself, it results in a concept called debt held by the public. This number is about $5 trillion lower, totaling approximately $13.15 trillion. Currently, debt held by the public is about 74 percent of the size of the economy, and is projected to rise to 77 percent by 2025.
2. It Would Cost Hundreds of Billions to Deport All Unauthorized Immigrants