National Debt

With Debt Ceiling Lifted, Federal Government Resumes Borrowing Spree

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When Congress saved America from the perilous clutches of a federal government compelled to live within its means without running up the credit card, it came up with a doozy of a deal. From now until February 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury can borrow as much as it pleases. Jack Lew and company aren't wasting any time letting their freak flags fly. From October 16 to October 17 (that's overnight, for the calendar-challenged), public debt outstanding jumped $328 billion, from $16.747 trillion to $17.076 trillion. Fast work, folks!

Debt Subject to Limit
U.S. Department of the Treasury

The Treasury Department's online calculator runs from January 1, 1993, when public debt outstanding was $4.168 trillion, to the present day. The debt broke $10 trillion on September 30, 2008, and has jumped over seven trillion dollars since then. Despite all the quibbling over the federal budget and "reducing deficits," any deficit adds to the total owed. The tally of debt has risen in an almost unbroken line the entire time.

Here's a question for Barry, Harry, and John: Any thoughts—any at all—on ever paying that down?