In a 10-part series leading up to Election Day, Special Report is bringing you an up-close look at the top 10 issues on the minds of American voters. 

So far, Fox News correspondents have reported on drug addiction, immigration and the border, foreign policy, climate change and health care and explained where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on the issues that matter. 

On Tuesday night, Shannon Bream investigated the #5 issue (according to a recent Fox News poll): the nearly $20 TRILLION national debt

The annual federal deficits began in 2002 with a sum of $158 billion and went up to $459 billion by the end of George W. Bush's presidency.

But the number exploded following the financial crisis, ballooning to over $1 trillion a year in Barack Obama's first term. The Obama administration touts the fact that the yearly deficit has been brought down to $438 billion in 2015.

Bream said neither candidate has outlined concrete plans to tackle this issue, perhaps because the average American isn't feeling the effects of the debt day to day.

Economist Ben Stein explained that little pieces of the debt come due each year, but are "refinanced with imaginary money created by the Federal Reserve."

"It's not real money but we accept it as if it were real money. We're all sort of living in a gigantic Disneyland of fake money," he said.

Trump's website mentions the debt problem as a key issue, but offers no plans to bring it down aside from his proposals for improving the economy overall. 

Clinton's website does not appear to list the national debt in the "Issues" section.

Watch the full report above and tune in this week and this weekend at 6:00pm ET for the Issues That Matter on Special Report. 


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