The U.S. national debt reached $7,000,000,000,000 today. That’s a lot of zeroes.
In its daily financial statement released on Wednesday, the Treasury said the U.S. debt subject to a Congressionally set limit totaled $7.015 trillion, up from $6.983 trillion on Friday. The government was closed on Monday for the Presidents Day holiday.
While passing the $7 trillion mark itself has little practical significance, not unlike a car’s odometer rolling over, it may signal some tough political times ahead for President Bush’s administration on fiscal policy.
The government debt ceiling stands only a few hundred billion dollars ahead at $7.384 trillion, and Treasury would need Congress’s blessing to borrow beyond that. Treasury officials say they expect the limit to be hit sometime between June and October.
And in this election year, Democrats may also use the $7 trillion figure to assail Bush’s tax policy and the federal deficits on his watch. Budget shortfalls are met by borrowing. In 2003, the federal budget saw a record $374.25 billion gap and a larger one is expected this fiscal year.
Good thing Mr. Bush cut all our taxes so significantly. (That’s sarcasm, folks.) We’ll need that extra cash when we all have to fork over $24,000 as our share of the debt.