Our U.S. national debt is a major concern for both lawmakers and citizens. In general, it has been growing at an alarming rate over the past 60 years. The goals of this project include developing linear and exponential models from actual debt figures, exploring the accuracy of those models, and forecasting future debt figures from them.

Task 1: Find an article from January 2022 or later about the U.S. national debt. Write a short paragraph (a few sentences) in which you state the current size of the debt and you discuss at least two reasons why it is important for the U.S. to manage its debt. Provide a citation for your article.

Task 2: Review the table of values below, and describe a few trends that you observe. Compute a few average rates of change and percentage rates of change for various time periods, and refer to them in your discussion

Year Debt (billions)

1960 286

1965 317

1970 371

1975 533

1980 908

1985 1823

1990 3233

1995 4974

2000 5674

2005 7933

2006 8507

2007 9008

2008 10025

2009 11910

2010 13562

2011 14790

2012 16066

2013 16738

2014 17824

2015 18151

Source: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/

Task 3: Find the U.S. national debt for the years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Cite your source for this data.

Task 4: Use the data from the years 2011 and 2012 to create a linear model for the U.S. national debt with 2011 as the initial year. Show all the mathematical steps. What does your model forecast for the years 2015 and 2019? How do these values compare with the actual debt data for 2015 and 2019?

Task 5: Use the data from the years 2016 and 2018 to create a linear model for the U.S. national debt with 2016 as the initial year. Show all the mathematical steps. What does your model forecast for the years 2021, 2025, and 2029? How does the first value compare with the actual debt data for 2021?

Task 6: Use the data from the years 2000 and 2005 to create an exponential model for the U.S. national debt with 2000 as the initial year. Show all the mathematical steps. What does your model forecast for the years 2011 and 2016? How do these values compare with the actual debt data for 2011 and 2016?

Task 7: Use the data from the years 2013 and 2015 to create an exponential model for the U.S. national debt with 2013 as the initial year. Show all the mathematical steps. What does your model forecast for the years 2018, 2024, and 2030? How does the first value compare with the actual debt data for 2018?

Task 8: Look back at the linear models and the exponential models you created. Discuss the relative accuracy of these models by computing and comparing the percentage rates of error between the forecasted debt values and the actual debt values. Which of the models seemed to be the most accurate? Which of the models seemed to be the least accurate? Provide explanations for all of your conclusions.