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National Debt

National Debt

  • Federal Debt Update – Nearing $19 TRILLION

    January 27, 2016

    Following the budget deal brokered by then House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), the national debt has risen more than half a trillion dollars in the last three weeks, as the suspension of the debt ceiling in late October has allowed the government to borrow as much as it wants. Before the debt ceiling was suspended, the national debt stood at $18.15 trillion. But over the last 22 days, it soared $578 billion. As of the end of November 2015, total national debt stood at $18.72 trillion.

  • Congressional Budget One of Few Being Slashed in Washington

    August 04, 2015

    Washington, D.C. has become known for many things, but a smaller federal budget is not one of them. Over the past few years the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has actually become the norm when it comes to the budget for the legislative branch. One of their first acts after taking control in 2011 was to vote to slash their own budget by $35 million.

  • Government Borrowing Continues, CBO Says Outlook Dire

    August 19, 2014

    The U.S. Treasury Department has announced it expects to borrow $192 billion in the third quarter of this year. This is an increase of $170 billion from the borrowing amount announced in April. Additionally, the Department estimated it will need to borrow $187 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 to keep the Government running and to meet financial obligations such as servicing the existing $17.6 trillion federal debt. The federal budget deficit was $680 billion in FY 2013. This marked the first time the annual deficit did not exceed $1 trillion during Barack Obama’s presidency, which reached a record $1.4 trillion in 2009.

  • Obama FY 2015 Budget – More Reckless Spending

    April 09, 2014

    This March, President Barack Obama released his FY 2015 Budget request. Though his budget request is non-binding, it does give us insight into where the president’s priorities lay. In this case his chief priority seems to be more reckless deficit spending. In total his proposed budget would reach spending levels of $3.901 trillion.

  • Debt Limit Deal Details

    October 28, 2013

    The beginning of October setup a 16 day showdown between House Republicans, the Democrat controlled Senate and the Obama White House over government spending and the debt limit. Republicans initially had demanded delaying or defunding Obamacare before they would agree to raise the debt ceiling or fund the government, but those demands faded over several weeks. Given Congress’ inability to pass the most basic of legislative measures, these must pass bills presented a rare opportunity to rein in government spending and change the trajectory of our nation’s fiscal path. Currently, over the course of a year, the U.S. Treasury borrows roughly $1 out of every $5 it spends and has racked up $16.7 trillion in debt.

  • Study – October 18th is Potential Day for US Default

    September 18, 2013

    According to a study released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Government could default on its debt obligations as early as October 18th. Default by the Government would mean missed payments on items such as Social Security checks, national security spending, and interest on current debt. Similarly, in August, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew announced that the Government would run out of money to meets its expenditures in mid-October.

  • Study – October 18th is Potential Day for US Default

    September 18, 2013

    According to a study released by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the U.S. Government could default on its debt obligations as early as October 18th. Default by the Government would mean missed payments on items such as Social Security checks, national security spending, and interest on current debt. Similarly, in August, Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew announced that the Government would run out of money to meets its expenditures in mid-October.

  • President Obama Thinks Deficit Reduction is Complete

    February 26, 2013

    “Over the last few years, Democrats and Republicans have come together and cut our deficit [over the next decade] by more than $2.5 trillion through a balanced mix of spending cuts and higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. That’s more than halfway towards the $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists and elected officials from both parties say we need to stabilize our debt,” Obama said this month.

  • CBO Says Accounting Trick Lowers Deficit by $30B

    October 29, 2012

    CapitolWatch reported recently that this year marks the fourth straight year of trillion dollar deficits under President Obama. Today, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported a new estimate that places the federal deficit for the FY 2012 budget year, which ended on September 30th, at $1.1 trillion. The latest tally was initially slight improvement from the 2011 deficit of $1.3 trillion according to statements by the U.S. Treasury Department.

  • A New Record - $16 Trillion in National Debt

    September 05, 2012

    This week our National Debt for the first time ever has exceeded $16 trillion. This astronomical sum is greater than the debt of any other nation on the face of the earth. The person who is responsible for this new American and global record – President Barack Obama.

  • Foreign Entities Hold Unprecedented Amount of U.S. National Debt

    August 24, 2012

    Once again our Country has reached a monetary milestone thanks to President Obama’s leadership on our National Debt – which at this point is grown higher and faster than at any time in history. According to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department this week, foreign entities own a record $5.293 trillion, as of June 2012, of our over $15 trillion in National Debt. These entities purchased an additional $34.2 billion in debt from our Government so it could finance its operations.

  • Congratulations, You Owe the Government $64,000!

    July 20, 2012

    Since President Obama has taken office our Government has racked up trillion dollar plus deficits each year. That means we must borrow over $1 trillion from countries like China to pay for our overspending. Thisyear seems to be more of the same as we close in on September 30thwhich marks the end of the Government’s fiscal year. The U.S. budget deficit grew by nearly $60 billion in June, remaining on track to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

  • Obama’s Budget Proposal Garners Zero Votes in the House and Senate

    May 21, 2012

    This past week, the Democrat controlled Senate finally voted on a Budget. Although it has been over 1,000 days since they have passed a Budget resolution, it’s not theirs that was voted on but President Obama’s. Furthermore, the Senate only took up the matter because they were forced to. Republicans forced the vote by offering the president's plan on the Senate floor. Otherwise, Senators would have been content to continue on without a guiding Budget Resolution.

  • New Study Shows Obamacare Adds $340 Billion to Deficit

    April 25, 2012

    Charles Blahous, an economist estimates in a 52-page studyreleased by George Mason University's Mercatus Center that the President’shealthcare overhaul will add at least $340 billion to the deficit and notreduce it as the President has claimed. Blahous, who serves as public trusteeoverseeing Medicare and Social Security finances, also found that current federalaccounting practices have masked the true costs of the massive legislation. Thestudy entitled “The Fiscal Consequences of the Affordable Care Act,” wasreleased early this April.

  • Only Obama to Blame for Mounting Debt

    March 27, 2012

    President Obama hasbeen credited with achieving a number of things, but this time he has reallyoutdone himself. He has accumulated more federal debt in 3 years, thanPresident Bush had in all 8 years in office. The federal debt rose $4.899trillion during the two terms of George W. Bush’s tenure. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office. The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the U.S. Treasury Department shows the debt now standsat $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day. As president, Mr.Obama has been responsible for his own budgets, taxing, and spending policies. This is something which is a credit to him and him only.

  • The President’s Budget – MoreSpending, Taxing, Borrowing and Debt for America

    February 15, 2012

    On February 23, 2009President Obama stated that he would “cut the deficit in half” from when heentered office, to the end of his term. The actual or projected deficit talliesfor the four years in which Obama has submitted budgets are: $1.293 trillion in2010, $1.300 trillion in 2011, and $1.327 trillion in 2012. Just this week thePresident announced his budget for the 2013 Fiscal Year. He will again miss hisgoal of achieving $650 billion in deficit spending and is forecasting a deficitof $901 billion in 2013. In total, the deficit spendingduring the President’s time in office is an estimated $5.170 trillion. That’smore than George W. Bush, the man Obama blames for the deficits of today, talliedup in 8 years in office.

  • 1,000 Days and Still No Budget from the Senate

    January 27, 2012

    The President delivered his annual State of the Union address this week, but another annual tradition will soon come and go that Americans may not realize – the passage of a federal budget. It’s been over 1,000 days since the U.S. Senate has passed a budget. While the budget is not a binding resolution, it sets the tone for how our government manages its finances. American families understand that if you don’t have a budget and stick to it, the consequences are overspending and little to no accountability. Unfortunately, we have learned the same rule applies to our government.

  • Obama to Ask for Another Debt Limit Increase

    January 06, 2012

    President Barack Obama plans to ask Congressfor an increase in the debt limit in the next week, according to reports by various news outlets. By December 30th the debt limit is projected to fall within $100 billion of the current cap. Obama is expected to ask for additional borrowing authority to increase the limit by $1.2 trillion. The debt limit currently stands at $15.194 trillion and would increase to $16.394 trillion with the request.

  • Supercommittee Didn’t Accomplish Anything Super

    December 06, 2011

    When Congress established a Supercommittee with the passage of the Budget Control Act of 2011 in early August, there seemed to be endless time and good will. Fast forward a month later, and both sides of the aisle remained entrenched in their positions. In the few meetings since the supercommittee began its work of finding nearly $2 trillion in cuts to the federal budget details of their work remained scant. In addition, it appeared that the clock was running out faster than expected.

  • $15 Trillion in Debt

    November 30, 2011

    This month the U.S. has done it again and far exceeded the world inreaching a benchmark. It wasn’t landing a man on the Moon, or developing theassembly line system, but racking up $15 trillion in outstanding debt. SincePresident Obama took office, the Nation Debt has rose $4.4 trillion, or anincrease of over 41 percent. These numbers aren’t meaningless. Every citizen ofthe United States is obligated to repay $48,692.55 towards the debt. ThePresident has added to that tab by $14, 273.02 per citizen.

  • The Second Largest Budget Deficit in U.S. History, the Same President

    November 07, 2011

    This past month the Obama administration announced the official fiscal 2011 budget deficit. This fiscal year-end ritual confirmed that it was the second biggest shortfall in our budget history. The official deficit for 2011, which ended Sept. 30, was $1.299 trillion. This was an increase from the $1.293 trillion deficit last year, but down from the $1.412 trillion in 2009. The 2009 number was the highest in history, largely due to President Obama’s failed stimulus plan.

  • Surprise, Surprise…The President’s Newest Stimulus Plan Includes Billions ofDollars in Tax Increases, Government Spending

    September 14, 2011

    After almost three years in office and afluctuating unemployment rate which now hovers at 9%, President Obama hasdecided to solely focus on job creation. For those with short memories, themonth after he was inaugurated with the help of a Democrat controlled Congress,the President passed a trillion dollar stimulus bill. This bill was alsosupposed to create jobs and “keep the unemployment rate below 8%” according toWhite House economists. Now comes a second pass, this time being branded as a “jobs”(not “stimulus”) bill at a price tag of $447 billion.

  • Welcome Back Senators, It’s Time to Pass a Budget

    September 08, 2011

    This week the House and Senate returnfrom their August recess. Unfortunately, that’s where the similarities betweenthe two chambers end. It has been almost 900 days since the Senate last passeda budget, violatingthe 1974 Budget Act that requires an annual budget. In fact, in the run up to the looming October 1stdeadline to pass the 12 annual appropriations bills which fund the government,the Senate has acted on only one – the Veterans Affairs and MilitaryConstruction bill. Meaning that because of the Senate’s inaction, thegovernment is now at risk of shutting down at the end of this month.

  • The Gang of 6's Tax Hike

    July 26, 2011

    With our leaders in Washington D.C. trying to craft a solution to our looming debt crisis, one idea gaining steam is nothing more than a bait-and-switch. This idea is being touted by the so-called "Gang of 6" which includes Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Mike Crapo (R-ID). The group released a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan to great fanfare Tuesday. President Obama cheered the proposal as a "significant step," and it instantly became a factor in the talks to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.


    July 19, 2011

    “Our 250,000 supporters nationwide are united in the fight for a smaller, more cost effective government. The first step is that our government spends within its means. At a time where every man, woman, and child in this country owes $46,000 towards the national debt – we must act,” said CapitolWatch Executive Director Steve Ralls.

  • The Numbers Only Add up One Way with an Obama Budget

    June 28, 2011

    This past week the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook. This document revealed that budget deficits will probably drop in the next few years, but long-term prospects are “daunting” as spending on entitlements and health care spikes. Among their chief concerns unsurprisingly is the amount of debt we’re adding up. According to the CBO the total federal debt will grow from about 69% of GDP this year to 84% by 2035. This latest report will only add fuel to the fire as top House, Senate, and Administration leaders meet to discuss a deal to raise the country’s debt limit. A deadline of August 2nd is the final day the Government has to come to a resolution or risk default.

  • House Rightly Rejects "No Strings Attached" Debt Limit Increase

    June 03, 2011

    This week, the House of Representatives voted on a "no strings attached" increase to our nation's statuary debt limit. The measure rightfully failed. The $2 trillion measure which would increase the debt limit to $16.7 trillion didn't garner a single Republican vote. In fact 318 members, including 82 Democrats voted "no". However, 97 Democrats voted in favor of the increase, while 7 voted "present".

  • Federal Debt Finally Getting the Attention is Deserves

    May 11, 2011

    After years of inaction and a looming crisis, it seems our leaders have finally realized that we need to do something about that pesky $14.2 trillion in federal debt. While this seems more political posturing for the White House, House Republicans are still beating the drum that more debt is unacceptable. Here's what's going on this week in the debt discussion.

  • The Debt Shuffle

    May 04, 2011

    For months the American people have been hearing about how the Government's credit card bill is coming due. Unlike the American people, Congress has the option to increase the limit, and put off paying the bill. While lawmakers are still deciding what to do on the debt limit, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is beginning to play a shell game with our nation's finances. According to the Washington Post, Geithner has already begun juggling the books to conserve cash, draining a special account at the Federal Reserve. With the debt forecast to hit the legal limit of $14.3 trillion in just a few weeks, he has a range of tools at his disposal, including borrowing money from a pension fund for federal workers.

  • A Contrast in Leadership

    April 17, 2011

    On Friday afternoon House Republicans passed Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan's budget resolution. It would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over the next decade, much of it by reforming and preserving Medicare. Those over 55 would be unaffected by any of the changes. Ryan would cut taxes on individuals and corporations, to the tune of about $4.2 trillion over 10 years. In all, his plan would result in $1.649 trillion less in net spending than is currently projected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office between now and 2021. This has been the first real proposal by any member of our government - Republican or Democrat - which offers a pathway to ending the culture of reckless spending in Washington.

  • Paul Ryan's Courageous Proposal

    April 07, 2011

    This week House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled a courageous proposal to tackle our current budget woes. In his proposal, he seeks to bring government spending down to the 40 year average of 20 percent of GDP and includes cuts to current government spending by $6.2 trillion compared with President Obama's budget. Furthermore, Ryan’s plan would bring non-security discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.

  • Interesting Proposal in the Senate

    March 29, 2011

    At least 33 Senate Republicans are signing onto a proposal that would tie a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution in exchange for raising the statuary debt ceiling above the current $14.2 trillion. The amendment would force the federal government to balance the budget's spending to incoming revenue each year and cap spending at 18% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Given our current spending deficit is set to reach $1.4 trillion this year - the highest ever, this idea is a good one.

  • Proposed FY2011 Cuts

    February 12, 2011

    This weekend, House GOP leaders announced more than $100 billion in cuts compared to the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal to be released on Monday.

  • $800 Billion Road to Ruin: Tax Cuts and Spending

    December 18, 2010

    Our elected officials, once again, have shown their exceptionally flimsy grasp of how a balanced budget works and how to reduce out staggering national debt.

  • Lame Duck Could be Last Chance for Lame Ideas

    November 12, 2010

    Next week Congress returns to Washington. Amongst those returning in the House are 63 who will not be in the 112th Congress convening in January. These 63 coupled with a defiant Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a newly emboldened Harry Reid in the Senate has the ability to flex their legislative muscle without any recourse from the American people. A number of controversial legislative initiatives are still on the calendar including: Card Check, the DREAM Act, the DISCLOSE Act, and many others.

  • A Victory for Fiscal Responsibility

    November 04, 2010

    Prior to this week’s election, CapitolWatch called on Americans to vote for candidates who would reign in the reckless spending and put an end to the mounting federal debt in Washington. At a time when every American – men, women, and children included – owe $42,000 in debt each, it was time for a change. A change to the way Washington does business and a change to the way our tax dollars are spent. Americans heeded that call last night.

  • Greece a Snap-shot of U.S. Future?

    April 23, 2010

    With Greece teetering on the edge of defaulting on its loans, the U.S. needs to heed the warnings of this Mediterranean crisis as a potential signal of things to come in the U.S.

  • Health Reform Estimates are Here

    March 18, 2010

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan government group responsible for analysis of budgetary decisions, announced today that the proposed health care reform legislation, at this time, would cost over $200 billion by 2019, but with new revenue and savings from the program, would erase $1.2 trillion from the national debt by 2030.

  • Afghanistan: Too Few Rewards for Too Much Risk

    October 08, 2009

    The latest game of politics inside the beltway involves a literal "he-said, she-said" of military and civilian advisors regarding the war in Afghanistan, now eights years old.

  • Paying the Piper

    September 14, 2009

    As previously studied in a previous article, China's grip on the U.S. is tightening amid a new trade controversy that could easily spill over and crash our financial system.

  • U.S. at Mercy of China?

    July 30, 2009

    With China holding $1.5 trillion of U.S. debt in the form of securities, their ability to leverage the U.S. into doing what they want is at an all-time high. What makes matters worse, is that their leverage will only increase as the U.S. continues to auction off its debt in order to pay for programs and keep the government running.

  • Ways and Means

    June 30, 2009

    As the president's first term has rolled by, it has become apparent that the real power of the purse lies with Congress, and they don't appear to be willing to change their spending ways anytime soon.

  • CA Fiscal Crisis: The Nation's Future?

    May 25, 2009

    After residents of California voted against using budget-balancing measures such as tax increases and additional borrowing, the state is now faced with the only means available to close the revenue gap: cutting services.

  • Bankrupt Nation

    March 25, 2009

    According to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, America now owes more than the collective net worth of all its citizens combined.

  • Owned by China

    February 27, 2009

    While "Made in China" labels adorn almost everything we, as consumers, purchase, China has another label that is less frequently discussed but with a much more consequential distinction: the largest buyer of U.S. debt in the world.

  • Stimulus Plan Needs Fine Tuning

    January 27, 2009

    The stimulus plan proposed by President Obama has the potential for turning into a Democratic wish list of projects that fail the necessity test, a problem the president is rightfully trying to fix.

  • The Trouble With Tax Cuts

    October 12, 2008

    In election years, the promise of tax cuts are a dime per dozen and made so easily that it seems they will surely be a reality IF ONLY the candidate promising them were elected.

  • What We Need

    September 11, 2008

    With the 2008 elections quickly approaching, now is the time to demand from our leaders (and those wishing to lead) new strategies that can fix the long list of things that have broken and been neglected over the past several years in our country.

  • Presidential Hopefuls Oblivious to Fiscal Discipline

    August 19, 2008

    Senators McCain and Obama have been making their rounds lately promising the latest in this and the best in that, all the while talking about how much they promise to spend doing x, y, and z. Unfortunately, their inability (or unwillingness) to explain how to pay for all of their great ideas is numbing.

  • AMT Patch: Lessons Yet Learned

    December 04, 2007

    In order to keep a sizeable number of middle-income families from being hit with an average $2,000 tax increase via the alternative minimum tax (AMT), Congress is focused on passing legislation that would effectively nullify the tax for at least one year.

  • Congress “Cutting the National Credit Card”

    January 05, 2007

    Two days into their majority role, the Democratic-led House is pushing legislation that would help to prohibit the escalation of the U.S. national debt that is currently a little over $8.6 trillion.