- past government spending, mostly of a military nature to finance wars for its own national security, or to pay for
- current running costs of federal government.
America thus financed its premiere standing among nations over past decades through deficit spending and thus in part also via money borrowed from other nations (who had that money through taxes levied on THEIR citizens).
Incredibly, much citizenry and many politicians in the USA now want to refuse to pay for the blessings so received.
Rather, they are ignorantly pushing already comparatively low levels of American federal taxation and government spending even lower.
In fact, if American levels of taxation were raised to at least an average world standard, the federal debt could be repaid and seriously necessary government programs could be financed.
If that is not done, America could drop into the status of being a "banana republic", no longer the big boy on the block.
Indeed, according to many parameters, it is well on its way in that falling direction.
See NYTimes: In Search of Republican Grown-Ups.