The national debt hitting $16 trillion on the very day the Democratic National Convention began is far better than last week’s threat of a hurricane hitting the host city of the Republican National Convention (it didn’t, sadly, for the media). From the Heritage Foundation:
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.