America spends so much on the country without getting the same amount of money in. The top 3 spendings, consisting of healthcare programs, social security programs (pensions for the retiree at the poverty line) and their exorbitant defense budget expenses. The rest is spent on maintaining roads, transportation, education, etc. The top 3 pose the major problem as being an item of only spending with no expected future returns, it’s an investment with no benefit at all. The ones that will reduce the debt in future, i.e. education and infrastructure, aren’t spent as much on. More is spent on prisoners than high school students and high school graduates are the one that are more likely to improve the economy in the future. So US ends up in a debt because their primary spending is on ensuring that country is running as it currently should, not as much on the future.