How do economists distinguish between the absolute and relative sizes of the public debt? Why is the distinction important? Distinguish between refinancing the debt and retiring the debt. How does an internally held public debt differ from an externally held public debt? Contrast the effects of retiring an internally held debt and retiring an externally held debt.
9. True or false? If false, explain why.
a. The total public debt is more relevant to an economy than the public debt as a percentage of GDP.
b. An internally held public debt is like a debt of the left hand owed to the right hand.
c. The Federal Reserve and Federal government agencies hold more than three-fourths of the public debt.
d. The portion of the U.S. debt held by the public (and not by government entities) was larger as a percentage of GDP in 2009 than it was in 2000.
e. As a percentage of GDP, the total U.S. public debt is the highest such debt among the world's advanced industrial nations.
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