Grim Milestone: National Debt Expect To Hit $16 Trillion Mark This Week

Mitt Romney

In what will likely make for a convenient talking point for Republicans at their national convention, the national debt is expected to hit the $16 trillion mark sometime this week:

( – The federal government’s debt could hit an unprecedented $16 trillion this week while the Republican Party is holding its national convention in Tampa, Fla. …

At the close of business on Thursday, Aug. 23, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government’s debt stood at $15,976,519,029,144.14. That left it $23,480,970,855.86 short of the $16 trillion mark.

So far in this fiscal year (from Oct. 1 through Aug. 23), the debt has grown by an average of $3,616,398,477.40 per calendar day ($1,186,178,700,586.99 divided by 328 days). Were the debt to grow at that pace in the week following last Thursday’s close of $15.976 trillion, it would hit $16 trillion this Thursday–the day Mitt Romney is scheduled to give his speech accepting the Republican presidential nomination.

On this date in 2008 the national debt was $10.193 trillion, representing all the debt accumulated by every President and Congress since the founding of the nation. From then until now President Bush was in office for roughly 3 more months, and President Obama has been in office for nearly four years, and we’ve added roughly $5.794 trillion in new debt, a figure that will undoubtedly hit $6 trillion by the time the national election is settled.

That is an unbelievable sum of money, and keep in mind that one of our largest entitlement programs is now adding to it every day. Social Security is in deficit, obligated to pay out more in benefits than it collects in revenues, forcing the program to dip into its trust fund to make good. Except, the trust fund is nothing but US Treasury bonds, and when the Treasury must make good on the bonds, they borrow the money from elsewhere adding to the national debt.

This is not a problem we can tax our way out of. This is a problem that requires fundamental reform of government spending, from sacred cows like Medicare and Social Security down to the smallest parts of the federal budget.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • SigFan

    Mark Steyn has a very good article about the effect of all this unprecedented debt on NRO called the War on Children. Well worth the time to read it if you want to understand what this inter-generational theft is doing and will do in the future.

    This debt is going to crush us – and sooner than anyone thinks.

  • True Republican

    You NeoCons always think the sky is falling. Every economist believes debt is good for the economy just like consumer credit card debt. We need to just raise taxes, problem solved you dumb neo-cons. Stop drinking the koolaid.

    • Rob


      Actually, I remember “neo-cons” during the Bush administration arguing that a certain level of national debt was good for the economy. I think that would be a pretty tough sell among conservatives today.

      • Gern Blanston

        Those arguments were made at a time when the percentage of debt to GDP was a small number. If our GDP was around $160 trillion per year, we could feel less worried about our current debt.

    • Hanni

      Be patient little troll. All the tax increases you’re wishing for are only a few months away. Do you think your employer will gladly pay the payroll tax increase per employee, plus the obamacare tax increases, or will he start laying people off?

    • yy4u2

      Hey, Emil LicksHisOwnMiddle, are these economists from 3rd world shitholes that have great economies or those Keynesian economists from what was a prosperous nation on the road to shithole status? You should really change your screen name. Perhaps D for Douche. BD for Big Douche or even BAD for Big Ass Douche? None of them are copyrighted by me, so lap them up when your koolaid runs out.

  • true patriot

    You Republicans on this blog do not have a clue, for example you neo-cons believe Hitler was elected, research it-he was Not elected.

    • Gern Blanston

      Wow. Hitler was NOT elected? That could turn this blog on its head… or something.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Lol…. enthrall us with your acumen true douchebag!

  • mikemc1970

    If you have seen 2016: Obama’s America, you’d know this is intentional. Not to help America, but to help destroy America. That is Obama’s only goal.

  • sbark

    ……..grim…..our best route out might be to max out on energy development, on top of a change in entitlement society attitude—-the big 2 being SS and Welfare of course.
    but there are historians that state that the USSR actually tipped over in the 80’s due to moral decline as much as monetary failings………
    ……..and the USA is as far down that road also as we need to venture………….thus the real fight inside the GOP at present.

  • Jamer Morrow

    Deficits do matter. Every dollar borrowed by the government is either a dollar not borrowed by the private sector or it was a dollar created out of thin air. Government spending creates huge bubbles. We will see the exploding of the government bubble in the next few years.