Grim milestone: National debt now tops ... $12 trillion

I remember watching that townhall The One held in China the other night and thinking, “This isn’t a townhall. This is a guy with a giant mortgage stopping by the bank to say hi.” Now, after reading this, I’m thinking: I hope he brought fruit baskets.

What better time for a giant new federal health-care entitlement?

Technically, the debt hit the new high yesterday, but it was posted on the Treasury Department website just after 3:00 p.m. ET today. The exact calculation of the debt is a 16-digit tongue-twister and red-ink tsunami: $12,031,299,186,290.07

This latest milestone in the ever-rising journey of the National Debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the first time. The latest high-point is not unexpected, considering the federal deficit for the just-ended 2009 fiscal year hit an all-time high at $1.42-trillion – more than triple the previous year’s record high…

But the White House budget review issued in August projects that by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30th, the National Debt could top $14 trillion.

It gets worse. The same document projects that by the end of the decade, the National Debt will hit $24.5 trillion — exceeding the Gross Domestic Product projected for 2019 of $22.8 trillion.

You may, if you wish, follow the link to learn how much you and your kids each individually owe, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, read this nifty catch by James Pethokoukis of murmurs within the administration about repealing the Bush tax cuts — all the Bush tax cuts, not just the income and capital gains cuts that Obama’s already talked about repealing. Exit question: How soon before we start seeing “funemployment”-type media spin about the national debt? Coming soon to Time: “Will Owing Tens of Thousands of Dollars Apiece Help Motivate Americans at Work?”

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