A: M. Osborne asked, "what are we paying on the national debt daily?"
For the answer, I spoke to a political, history and global studies professor at Cal State Monterey Bay.
First, let's look at the interest per day the national debt costing us. According to Dr. David Anderson, with CSUMB, he said for the first nine months of the current 2011 Fiscal year (Oct. 2010 to Sept. 2011), the U.S. Treasury is paying an average of $1.46 billion per day in interest. For the 2010 fiscal year, the daily average was $1.13 billion. Last year and this year were the first two Obama budgets. For comparison, the last two Bush budgets were FY 2009 with an average of $1.05 billion and FY 2008 with an average of $1.24 billion. In FY 2001 the average was $971 million, and in FY 1991 the average was $784 million. All of these figures are from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The daily payments on the debt principal are very difficult to know because of the many forms of debt and different payment schedules. About $9.7 billion of the total debt is private debt (that is, owed to individual investors mostly as bonds), and about $4.6 billion is intragovernmental debt (that is, owed to various trust funds and federal reserve funds).