The national debt is set to soar past the $16 trillion mark — forcing the government to pay $225 billion a year just on the interest.
And Washington is piling up the red ink at an ever increasing rate.
US debt has risen about $6 trillion during the last four years — after rising $2.6 billion in the preceding four years.
“The country obviously has a huge deficit problem, and it’s projected to grow quite a bit in the future,” said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan group that advocates fiscal policy aimed at reducing long-term deficits.
But while Republicans want to blame the debt problem on Obama and the Democrats want to blame it on the Bush tax cuts, Bixby said, “the truth is that it has more to do with the collapse of the economy.”
Government spending automatically goes up in a recession, on such programs as Medicaid and unemployment, he said. And when people are out of work, the government collects less revenue.
“The real question is what can we do to bring it down to a more sustainable level?” said Bixby.
Republicans unveiled a gigantic debt clock yesterday as they opened their national convention, signaling they will be focusing on economic issues.