In pictures: Why debt discussions won't die down anytime soon

Debt-ceiling and related budget negotiations will continue to make headlines in the coming weeks, no matter how deeply lawmakers and the public begin to feel debt fatigue.

Last night, the House voted down a clean debt ceiling increase by a heavily lopsided vote of 318 to 97. This morning, House Speaker John Boehner released a statement — signed by 150 economists — that reiterates Republican demands for massive spending cuts to offset any increase in the debt limit. Later today, House Republicans will meet with President Obama for what The Washington Post describes as a “listening session” about debt grievances.

Debt, debt, debt. Say it enough and it starts to sound far less threatening. The Treasury’s “extraordinary maneuvers” delay the day of reckoning and that day begins to seem like Harold Camping’s Rapture — an ever-disproved, ever-delayed prediction. But the debt is all too real, as these excellent charts from The Heritage Foundation demonstrate. Especially now, as Congress turns so much of its attention to these matters, they’re worth perusing:

For the full budget chart book, click here.