This chart compares Congressional Budget Office long-term projections of the debt held by the public from 2010 with long-term projections calculated in 2007. In 2007, the CBO projected that the debt held by the public would surpass 60% in 2023 - importantly this long-term projection incorporated policy changes that were likely at the time. Using the same methodology, this year CBO has projected that debt will exceed 60% of GDP by the end of 2010. In the three years between the projections, this debt milestone has accelerated by 13 years. This unforeseen acceleration in the debt held by the public is worth consideration; as government consumes more credit, less will be available to the private sector.
Veronique de Rugy has an upcoming piece on the growth of the federal debt in Reason magazine.