As the Democrats prepare for their convention in Charlotte, NC, they are greeting by the news just released that the total U.S. government debt eclipsed $16 trillion
for the first time Friday, as total federal borrowing continues marching toward the $16.394 trillion borrowing limit.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said, “Today, the United States passed a new unfortunate threshold which should be a call to action for Washington to finally address the potentially debilitating challenges posed by our unsustainable deficits and debt, which is now over 100 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product.”
Republicans have made the debt the centerpiece of their campaign to unseat President Obama, arguing that under Obama the debt has risen more than under any previous president. They put up two giant debt clocks last week at their convention in Tampa, Fla., to tally the red ink.
Since the Republicans finished their national convention last week and the Democrats start tonight, we dug through the amount of debt added by each of the last three presidents as a result of their policies.
When President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, took office in 1993, national debt stood at $4.1 trillion. He added about $1.5 trillion.
When Republican George W. Bush took over the White House, the debt had grown to $5 trillion. His programs added almost $4.9 trillion.
When Democratic President Barack Obama took over the White House in 2009, debt stood at $10.6 trillion. Today that number broke $16 trillion... a growth of more than $5 trillion in three-and-a-half years.
The government is currently running an average monthly deficit of $100 billion and is likely to hit the debt ceiling sometime in late December. The Treasury Department then can take emergency steps for several months to prevent the government from missing payments. Once the government hits the debt ceiling, it can no longer borrow money in excess of the statutory limit.