The U.S. national debt is much higher than it was ten years ago. As of 2015, the national debt is over $18 trillion and counting, while in 2004 it was just over $7 trillion. At the close of fiscal year 2014, the debt was just under $18 trillion.
The federal debt is defined as the total amount of money that the United States government owes to creditors, such as individuals, businesses, governments and other the owners of government debt securities. The federal debt is the result of an accumulation of deficits in which there is a shortfall of revenue to the government as compared to expenses.