The word came down from Treasury earlier this afternoon. Think of all the terrible policies, myopic budgeting, and reckless leadership that had to come together for decades to produce the largest sovereign debt in the history of the world.
As The One said in his State of the Union: America — we do big things.
The deficit has ballooned to nearly $48,000 for every man, woman and child in the U.S. This year alone, the U.S. will spend $1.3 trillion more than it takes in.
The debt has expanded at an alarming pace, from $7.5 trillion in 2004 and $5.6 trillion in 2000. At the current rate, Debtclock.org reckons that the debt will top $23 trillion in 2015, though the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts the estimate at $17.6 trillion.
Back in August after a protracted fight, Congress voted to raised the national-debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion to $17 trillion, while requiring $2.7 trillion in deficit reduction by 2021.
Here’s a funereal Paul Ryan marking the occasion by wondering when, exactly, this is going to become a priority for the White House. Safe bet: Since any solution would involve entitlement reform, it won’t happen in the next 51 weeks.