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  • Morning Bell: $16,000,000,000,000

    Yesterday, the U.S. national debt passed $16 trillion. On President Barack Obama’s watch, the debt has increased by 50 percent, as campaign promise after campaign promise has drowned in a sea of federal spending.

    When he was running for President, Obama condemned George W. Bush for adding $4 trillion to the national debt over eight years, calling it “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic.” Now—in less than four years—Obama’s Administration has already added almost $6 trillion to the debt. That means he is on track to triple Bush’s debt increase over eight years.

    It is important to understand the magnitude of this debt increase and what it means for the country. Several terms are often used to describe the debt, but they are not interchangeable. Here is a quick guide to the U.S. debt.

    National debt or “gross debt,” which just passed $16 trillion: This includes what we think of as federal debt plus intergovernmental debt—money the U.S. government has loaned itself from one part of the budget to another. An example of intergovernmental debt is transfers from the general fund to Social Security.

    • The “debt ceiling” applies to this measure of the debt. At this rate, it will hit the ceiling again—meaning Congress will have to act and will likely raise the limit again—perhaps as early as November of this year.
    • At $16 trillion, this number has passed total U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), the measure of all that is produced in the economy.
    • Since Obama took office, the national debt has increased from about $10.6 trillion to more than $16 trillion—a 50 percent increase.
    • Debt per taxpayer:  $111,414 and counting

    Publicly held debt or “debt held by the public,” which stands at about $11.3 trillion: The debt held by the public is publicly traded debt, so it can be bought and sold in the credit markets. It does not include the intergovernmental loans mentioned above.

    • Since Obama took office, publicly held debt has increased from about $6.3 trillion to about $11.3 trillion—a nearly 80 percent increase.
    • This total—and the 80 percent increase—is actually more significant, because President Obama has added more to the publicly held debt than any previous President.

    The federal budget deficit, which is on track to top $1 trillion for the fourth straight year: The deficit shows how much government spending has exceeded revenue in a given year, or the money the government is taking in from taxes. In contrast, the publicly held debt is the total of all past deficits and surpluses. The U.S. government spends more than it takes in. To cover the deficit and continue spending, government bonds and notes—essentially IOUs—must be issued.

    These numbers are staggering. In just a few years, the U.S. will be spending more on just the interest on the national debt than on our entire national defense budget. As Heritage’s Romina Boccia explains:

    Countries like Greece and Italy demonstrate the economic pains that result from procrastinating on solving a nation’s major spending and debt challenges. Only Congress can decide whether to make the prudent and intentional decisions to ward off a fiscal crisis, or whether to stand idle until forced to act by unnecessarily painful events that could have been avoided.

    As it is, children born in the United States today—who won’t pay taxes for years yet—are saddled with a more than $50,000 share of the national debt. If Congress and the President refuse to rein in spending, these children may grow up in the new Greece.

    Research Associate Emily Goff contributed to the preparation of this article.

    Quick Hits:

    • A video at the Democratic National Convention declared that “government is the only thing we all belong to.”
    • The new Democratic Party platform endorses abortion “regardless of ability to pay,” meaning an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortions.
    • Other changes to the Democratic Party platform include removing mentions of God and of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
    • “A new United Nations nuclear watchdog report on Iran’s nuclear program reveals Tehran is moving ahead with illicit uranium enrichment work, undermining Obama administration claims that sanctions will slow the program,” reports the Washington Free Beacon.
    • The U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty may have been sidelined, but it is working on another agreement that explicitly promotes gun control.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    44 Responses to Morning Bell: $16,000,000,000,000

    1. Turner says:

      Are Americans ready for their "Judeo-Christian" way of life to be blamed for taking down the entire world's economy when our irresponsible spending collapses on everyone (Revelation 18). Reverse course, repent.

    2. Ken Jarvis says:

      Congratulations HF for working so hard to get the number
      UP to $16 Zillion.
      Think how LOW it would be if the GOP had Cooperated with Obama to fix the Mess.
      But, Hey, another win for the HF and Murdoch.

      • Bobbie says:

        I wish your mind was wiser…

      • JohnLeeHooker says:

        EXCEPT (ALL spending bills originate in the House):

        “After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” she said in an address from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.” pelosi, 1/4/07

        According to the United States Treasury, the National Debt on that day was $8,670,596,242,973.04. As of December 24th, it was %|$13,866,145,290,604.69. That’s $5,195,549,047,631.65 in new deficit spending in over just under four years

      • Chad says:

        oh yeah?

      • Clearhead says:

        Thought about it, Kenny boy — If the GOP had allowed obama to have his complete way, the number would be in the neighborhood of 32 zillion. Think how LOW the 'prgressives' and the democrats are as a partisan movement. But, hey, another astute observation by Americans.

    3. Mary......WI says:

      Just imagine how much higher the deficit will climb if Obama is re-elected! Clearly, after listening to Michelle Obama last evening, he wants to continue the class warfare until ALL people are equal and that he will also continue his total disregard for the constitution by mandating new laws left and right without approval of Congress or WE the people. Sounds like communism to me….sounds like a dictator to me. His supporters must truly believe that taxing the wealthy more will greatly reduce the debt for future generations. Ignorance is bliss…… "FORWARD" into the belly of hell! VOTE HIM OUT IN NOV.!

    4. Stirling says:

      "The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money," and at some point this administration will run out of our money.. This is why this president's utopia for the middle class realistically is a Lie. (it can never happen)


      Enter text right here!Get Money out of politics
      A—Fed fund election—6 months-= 3 primary 3 general—No personal money—
      Outside very very limited—VERY

      B. since no need for campaign funds BAN all government employees accepting anything with a financial value. Present or future promises. This closes K Street Bribery

      C. Progressive Flat Tax by group—14,00 income and we should be
      paying our way and paying down the debt. We can do it with higher tax rate for top.
      We did it 1945-1980 by Taxing wealth.
      Sad but true today top 50% get 87% + of
      individual income and pay 13.5% tax Rate.
      It took a Tax Rate of 32% on Top 50% to balance our budget. It would require a change from (Top 1% paying 23%); (Top 10% paying 19%); and (top 25% paying 15%). The top 2% own 50% of wealth and took 30% of income.
      Redistribute Wealth and fast.
      HOW— by Flat Tax by group—tax income to pay our way—we have done it before.

      • Ben C. says:

        How about you give hard numbers rather than rhetoric and please reference your figures. The problem with redistribution of wealth is that you are stealing from one to give to another. The robinhood approach is romantic but ineffective. Those with wealth will simply leave and vote with their feet. If you want a fair tax implement a national sales tax and get rid of the income tax and IRS. Oh wait, you can't get rid of the IRS becuase of Obamacare. See what a mess Congress has created? Lets fire them all and start over.

    6. Taxpayer funded abortion – So much for the Bart Stupak agreement. Another Obama lie.

    7. Randy says:

      "Debt per taxpayer: $111,414 and counting." Is that per "taxpayer" or, per "people who pay taxes." Please recompute.

    8. Jerry McGee says:

      It really gripes my ass when you call the Democrat Party the Democratic Party….they are anything but democratic!! They are a bunch of socialistic Communists!

    9. Ben C. says:

      I have done the math and if those who make over two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year pay two hundred and eighty-seven thousand dollars in taxes we can raise one trillion dollars in tax revenue. Where is the number crunching from the media? When will any responsible journalist challenge the notion that 'taxing the rich" is going to reduce our debt? This is not rocket science. Does Obama "hope" the debt will "change" for the better or is the movie 2016 spot on? I am convinced the later is true.

      • GDRN says:

        The latter is true, and the movie "2016: Obama's America" is dead on right! Anyone who has not seen the movie should. This is not Michael Moore garbage filled with fiction and outright lies, this man really did his homework in documenting Obama, where Obama came from and where he desires to go while dragging this nation down with him.

    10. Lloyd Scallan says:

      How can anyone doubt this is not a deliberate, calculated onslaught by Obama to bring this nation's economical system to it's knees.Yet every Democrat on camera continues to blams Bush because they have nothing else to defend the undefenceable. The sad fact is they don't care enough to be honest. The final result is the Obama agenda is completed.

    11. A.M.Bruehl says:

      Why do you make it so darn difficult to forward your messages? Why do have to go through the verification process?…Recommend you adjust your policy.

    12. Bobbie says:

      It's only a matter of time. Impeach him. His way is working, America is crumbling. the Mrs. is a bad actor. Every word spoken at their convention are in full support of government control which means freedom is not supported. Obama cares about everyone collectively in each of his category with no recognition individually. This government is not governing the people, they're destroying the country! They have no personal dignity, just self pity.

      FYI To the Mrs. and Mr. It's not how much you love, it's how much you are loved by others. The only ones that love this couple and their many are the ones that feel sorry for themselves and refuse to take on their independence with absolutely no initiative to gain the dignity.

      Was Julian Castro man enough to pay for his child's birth or did he cower to have the government take on his responsibilities as a man? He got to where he is and proud to hold the hand of government control to get there. His mother did what every woman with self respect would do.

      What an ugly country America has turned into because of the obsessive control taken over along with crooks and people so weak, they can't stand to be corrected so everyone else is held back to suffer the consequences from those government dependent babies the government wouldn't let stand to be corrected. Then the rules are changed for the ones that play dumb to appease their stupidity while everyone else is accountable to what their stupidity results in. Forget about the same rules applied to all that sustains the economy. Crisis time. People don't go to the bank to get a loan they can't afford unless they were influenced. Language barrier is no excuse. There are plenty of government resources paid by tax payers that receive no benefit, that every non speaking citizen takes advantage of. There's no excuse! You're mature enough to sign a contract? You're responsible for it! America isn't standing! Crippled by 21st century immaturity, crooks, thugs with tendencies of future civil unrest. America didn't make nations poor or steal from anyone. America helped where they could! It's the inhumane leadership in charge of their nations that make nations and people poor. Don't blame America just because she's run by a wrongful man that hates her. He distorts all of her people and her goodness.

    13. jefferis says:

      Giving Money to the Government in Taxes is Like Handing Out Cash to a Drunk – http://is.gd/FHwgI0

      Democrats want to solve our 16 trillion-dollar debt by raising taxes. Giving the government more money in taxes is like handing out cash to a drunk on the street. You hope he will use it to by food, but you know good and well he is only going to spend it on more booze. The only way to get the government sober is to go cold turkey. Cut off the cash, force it to cut spending to essential, Constitutionally mandated services, and to deprive it of its addiction to the People’s money. When in our history has giving Congress more money led to a cut in spending? When??? Not once. They spend every dime we give them and more so…

    14. Jared says:

      Bottom Line: Spending is too high and so is the debt/deficit. But there is a constant debate as to who is at fault. In reality, it's both parties. But with ultra-partisan statistical engineering, each side is able to put forth graphs and charts that look accurate to the naked eye. How does Heritage's research and resulting graph square with this? http://critical-thinker.net/?p=1587 I'd love to come to a complete and accurate understanding of the mess we're in.

    15. Curt Krehbiel says:

      President Obama vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

      During his tenure I have concluded that when his lips are moving, he is lying.

    16. George Kaiser says:

      Unfortunate,y, the extent of the problem iis grossly understated, The unfunded promises Congress has made for Social Security, medicare, medicaid, Federal pensions, etc, plus the Federal Debt exceed 100 billion or 6 times the per capita figure shown.

      • John Holland says:

        I believe you mean $100 TRILLION, not billion. The numbers do begin to boggle the mind, I know.

    17. jefferis says:

      Congress is like a College Student with a Credit Card and no Spending Limit http://incisivereview.com/2012/09/05/congress-cre
      Congress, in its spending habits, acts like a college student with a credit card and no spending limit. Just because you want something and it seems like a good thing, doesn’t mean you can afford it. But Congress, in a fantasy world of its own making, thinks it can just borrow money and keep on spending with no thought of every having to pay off the debt. That is why the adults have to put a spending limit on Congress, or it will never learn. Yes, giving everyone free health care, unemployment benefits, and free housing sounds like a great thing to do for everyone, but the problem is that there isn’t enough money in the entire country to provide everything for everyone. We are now $16 trillion dollars in debt and on the verge of insolvency. We have run out of money. Besides, it isn’t government’s job to take care of everyone and provide for every need.

    18. @fedupjeff says:

      If the people could only turn their attention to the globalists it would unite the people against the puppets not only here in America but throughout the world exposing the roles of elitists, politicians, corporations,
      and the media. This is the New world Order power elite conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government replacing sovereign nation-states.

      “We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years,” “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” – David Rockefeller at a Bilderberg meeting in 1991.

      We are living during the end phase of a 100 year old plan. Obama seeks the same international order Woodrow Wilson wanted when he and his minions created the League of Nations. These globalist psychopaths will stop at nothing to force the United States to surrender its sovereignty to their vision of a New World Order. Roosevelt on behalf of his owners created the United Nations in 1945 to resolve THEIR challenges under the guise of our challenges. Their main goal since 1945 has been to set up the United States to submit its sovereignty to an ultimate power greater than our own. Today under Obama we see how far they have come against this challenge since the creation of the United Nations. I have a collection of links here for anyone wanting to research this: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=2743618

    19. reggiec says:

      The brutally Honest truth is that government has grown to the point where the wealth producing, private sector of our economy can no longer support it. Any solution to this problem is going to be painful but the alternative is a disastrous total collapse.

      That proverbial can being kicked down the road is no longer an empty battered can that used to contain some beans. It has grown to the size of one of those city water tanks atop a tower. The road the can has been kicked down is now a steep hill and it goes up not down. When the efforts to keep kicking it fail, it will roll back down the hill and crush us.

    20. Joe Kidd says:

      Before his retirement, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen issued this somber warning: “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” http://www.veteransforastrongamerica.org/americas

    21. toledofan says:

      Can anyone imagine how much money this really is, I can't . It is just unbelieveable to me that we would spend so much and get so little in return; I mean the only benefit I see from my taxes is that my garbage gets picked up most of the time, the streets get plowed in the winter, sometimes, and my leaves get picked up once a year. That's from my city taxes, from the state and federal government all we get, every summer and most of the year, is a barrage of orange barrels fixing the same streets and highways over and over again.

      • Bobbie says:

        and the services you do get from the city like garbage and leaf pickup, people can do for themselves or hire within the private market. I know what you mean about over taxation!! Government has unfairly taken over the private market and we all know government doesn't stand accountable where the private market does and we all know whatever corruption arises in the private sector we correct through our justice system. When government has the authority the government is much more corrupt because we don't know what they're doing no matter telling us they'll be transparent but aren't. Because of their authority over all, government runners won't be corrected and the people will have to carry on without justice…

    22. albertmaslar says:

      America’s failed domestic policies were fueled by the Bush II preemptive Iraq War that resulted in government outspending tax revenues by an accumulated $16 Trillion, half of which has been created by the last two Presidents, one from each Political Party, of the 44 Presidents from the beginning of the Republic. The dilemma facing the country is that the incumbent wants to keep spending while the challengers favor another Bush II type preemptive war against Iran. Obviously neither political side has learned from history, to the chagrin of the American people.

      The fiscal crisis is exacerbated by the Democrat Party that favors extremist women’s rights for taxpayer funded abortion-on-demand, paid contraception, and serious restrictions on the once invulnerable rights of free speech and freedom of religion. Either way the America of the Founders seems to be in a deepening social and fiscal quagmire; a country that has lost its moral compass, its inalienable rights, and its financial and fiscal stability; one result or the other, equally destructive for the survival of America as a nation.

      Just as with the sinking of the Titanic, the political band plays on while the ship of state slowly sinks to the depths. And so it is with political gridlock dividing the nation, preventing a real solution to the problems besetting the once great United States of America that is populated with incumbent politicians whose only interests are their own greedy un-American agendas, that includes getting on the lifeboats ahead of women, children, and the innocent.


    23. Mike says:

      obama doesn't care because it's not his money or many of the people who vote for him.

    24. Jeanne Stotler says:

      When I hear about Bush's spending I never hear about 9/11, only te war, Howabout the cost of 9/11 and then we were hit by Katrina, there were several hurricanes in one year, Jeanne, Francis and others, they did a lot of damage to where hurricanes usually dn't hit, trouble is one came from thewest and one from the east and towns in th middle of the state, Kissimee and area, looked like a bomb had hit it, reparing rads, brides and inLa. the levees cost money. The difference is Obama gave money to those who supported him, even though he knew they were going belly up, he put retirees of GM in bad finacially bad ways, he denied seniors COLA for 2 years even though the cost of Medicare went up, last yearsCOLA was a joke as the medicar increase plus the additional increase from supplments more than wped out the increase and now increase in gas and food is hurting us again, vote him out 11/6/2012

    25. daveb says:

      Increase from $8T to $16T is 100% increase, not 50%..

    26. Ron W. Smith says:

      Ah, yes, the national debt, which grew from a small surplus as George W. Bush took office in 2000 to about $10 trillion by the time Obama entered the presidency in 2008 and now stands at just over $16 trillion at the end of Obama's 4-year term.

      A good idea would be to mention the Recession Obama inherited from Bush and to make a big point about the cost of the United States' role as SuperPower on Call. That role, undertaken after our successes in WWII and during flush post-war times, has proven too costly in these leaner times. Annual deficit now over $1,000,000,000,000, annual spending on maintaining the Status of SuperPower on Call now over $1,000,000,000,000. Coincidence?

      A strong National Defense is essential, but that annual trillion we're spending is a composite total also involving Homeland Security, Foreign Aid Designed to Gain the Cooperation of Other Countries, Nation Building and Veterans Affairs–not just National Defense. We spend more than the rest of the world COMBINED on that composite in maintaining or self-appointed (but not universally accepted) role as Superpower on Call–your tax money and mine. And VERY importantly, with China's help.

      Meanwhile, domestic needs increasingly go a-begging partly because of the extravagance our Foreign Policy demands, Foreign Policy that should be the subject of national discussion and debate. It is estimated that the backlog of infrastructure updating and repair, for instance, is now between $2 and $3 trillion–airports some call Third World, bridges decaying, roads underfinanced, sewer and water lines in major cities overdue for replacement, most public schools now over 40 years old and out of date for 21st century educational needs.

      When does the national discussion and debate begin? Some of us are ready with facts and figures.

    27. Casey Carlton says:

      There should be some way to take all the misspent money out of the scrawny hides of the ones responsible (O-bomb-a, Reid, Pelosi, and others).

    28. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Let's cut $10 trillion dollars from the deficit and adopt GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

    29. timpclimber says:

      Every Congress member, President and every citizen who voted to kick the can down the road on entitlements and against a Balanced Budget amendment owns the problem and is now trying to blame someone else. We have to grow-up and accept responsibility for what we did. Its not a Party problem, its our problem and if we don't fix it all the taxes in the world will only make it worse. We cannot spend more than we take in and any surplus from a balanced budget must go to debt reduction not new programs. If we don't do this we will become Greece so quickly not one of us will escape the suffering and chaos.

    30. Ernie Preedy says:

      All second term presidents see an economical down turn in the last year of their tenure. Everyone blames Bush 43 for the present quagmire, but take a longer look at the causes: the typical slowdown started in January of 2008 or slightly before then, When Obama overtook Clinton in February of 2008 with his "CHANGE" slogan, the economy really slowed down to see what the changes were going to be. The resulting loss of purchasing power, resulted in further economic declines and job losses. The govrnment with its spending inertia and Obama's lack of discretion piled on more debt because fewer jobs meant fewer taxes being collected. We need to limit congress and the presidents terms to eight years with those losing their office going back to civilian life without their exorbitant retirement and only Social Security to rely on. Then, and only then, will the congress and the president enact laws that truly work to enhance the economic programs that continue to make this country great.

    31. Calculator! says:

      From over 12 to over 16 trillion is an increase with (about) 25% in 4 years, not 50%.
      George W. increased the debt form 6 to over 12 trillion in 8 years, which is over 100%.

      Can you guys still calculate?

    32. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Guess what? Republicans and Democrats are at fault for this number. Of course, the life-long politicians supported by Heritage are innocent…Without their support, who would take Larry to dinner each evening?

    33. Tutor online says:

      hi there, its a hell of amount if it is true. Its gonna destroy the economy what i think. Thanks for the information.

    34. NewLabrador says:

      President Obama "deserves" another 4 years? Look, I was thrilled in 2008 when the country got past race. More importantly, I liked what he said: Obama said that it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” to add $4 trillion in debt in just 8 years. He promised to half the deficit in his first term, and I believed him. However, Obama will have added well over $6 trillion in only FOUR years. When I realized this I got off the bandwagon of believers. The believers roll on, chanting it’s all Bush’s fault. But, in retrospect, the vast majority of the country wanted to do something about terrorism and tyrants…and we did. Also, there is plenty of blame all around for the bursting of the real estate finance bubble, and the bank crisis. The whole country owns those problems, not just Bush. More to the point, Obama promised a steady hand to steer us out of those money pits. Instead, he just spent money. Looking at his proposals I see he is still not shy about continually adding much MORE debt. I still have not heard a good explanation of everything in Obamacare—every couple of weeks I learn of something new

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