National debt tops $19 trillion

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The coming dark age: The national debt has hit $19 trillion, and the increase from $18 trillion was the fastest on record.

It took a little more than 13 months for the debt to climb by $1 trillion. The national debt hit $18 trillion on Dec. 15, 2014. That’s a slightly stepped-up pace compared to the last few $1 trillion mileposts. It took about 14 months for the debt to climb from $17 trillion to $18 trillion, and about the same amount of time to go from $16 trillion to $17 trillion.

The facts here also illustrate the complete failure of the Republican leadership to do what they promised when the voters gave them control of Congress.

But increasingly, Congress has instead allowed more borrowing by suspending the debt ceiling for long periods of time. That allows the government to borrow any amount it needs until the suspension period ends. Back in November, the debt ceiling was suspended again, after having been frozen at $18.1 trillion for several months. As soon as it was suspended, months of pent-up borrowing demand by the government led to a $339 billion jump in the national debt in a single day.

Under current law, the debt ceiling is suspended until March, 2017, meaning the government can borrow without limit until then. Obama is expected to leave office with a total national debt of nearly $20 trillion by the time he leaves office.

It was the Republican leadership that suspended the debt ceiling and allowed spending to rise so fast. This is also the reason that their favorite candidates for President, led by Jeb Bush, have done so poorly, and why the outsiders (Trump and Carson) and the new generation of tea party politicians (Cruz and Rubio) dominated the Iowa caucuses. And I expect that domination to continue in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and beyond.


  • Phill O

    Both parties as established will not stop the spending because it would hit social programs. I remember the Obama budget a few years ago which showed if all government was removed, the USA would still need to borrow money to pay the social programs.

    The outsiders challenge this notion.

    If these programs were removed (I do not mean programs where Americans have paid into them), there would be a drop in the standard of living of some until they took the jobs the Mexicans want. This would also lead to fewer illegal immigrants. The myth of a better life with freebies would dissipate. Europe is having to deal with the reality of this with the Syrian crisis.

    Personally, I do not see politicians doing or making the though decisions required to put any county back on fiscal track. Greece is probably the clearest present day example.

  • Cotour

    Similar to not allowing banks and other businesses to go bankrupt in the “too big to fail” mentality of our government as of late, which is a natural part of the business cycle in a capitalist system, this kind of spending is related and is unnatural and perverted.

    To choose to not act in the long term interests of an entity by actively not allowing the inherent systems that are designed to cleanse the sick parts of that system is to only delay and deny reality. The short term self interests of individual politicians acting collectively denies the entire country long term stability and sustainability.

    We will all eventually be dragged to reality.

  • Wodun

    While the Republicans are far from perfect, they are also one of the main reasons the debt is not even higher.

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