For debt to become a problem, Uncle Sam must spend like a drunken sailor for decades (which he may). Or interest rates must skyrocket and stay there, with the country’s interest payments ballooning and investors demanding more return for more risk. Do you see any signs of that now? Maybe someday. But not any time soon.
Pockets of debt trouble do exist around the world. To see them, look to markets. Compare low-default-risk Treasury rates to similar-maturity rates from other issuers — it’s called a credit spread. For example, South Africa and Turkey are both suffering significant debt pressure. How do you know? America can borrow for 10 years at 1.62%. Investors demand 8.82% to lend to South Africa. Turkish rates are 15.18%.