Federal Debt Soared Above $18 Trillion Last Week


Congratulations, America! You, or rather your elected officials, smashed through the $18 trillion ceiling last week, raising the United States government's total outstanding public debt to new heights and leaving shards of devalued greenbacks scattered around the place.

Woo hoo.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

One decade ago, on December 1, 2004, the sum was a wussy $7.5 trillion. It took a lot of hard work to run up another 10-plus trillion in debt in those intervening years. This country won't bankrupt itself, you know. It takes government officials years of subsidizing, overpromising, overspending, and maybe some outright theft to put that many numbers in a row, slather them with red ink, and hand the bill to our grandkids.

The killjoys at the Congressional Budget Office say this pattern of continuing deficits and rising debt threatens to drain money from private investment, compromise national security, and lock the federal government into doing little other than paying the interest on what it already borrowed—a situation they call "unsustainable."

But that's just crazy talk. Who says you can't just borrow your way into the future and never pay it back without nasty consequences? Whaddya say we shoot for $50 trillion?

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