national debt

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Mystery Donor Pays Off $2.2M of National Debt

Record donation will cover the interest for a couple of minutes

(Newser) - A public-minded mystery donor paid off a lot more than their share of the national debt with a record $2.2 million donation in September. Treasury officials haven't released any details on the source of the donation, which brought public contributions toward the debt to a total of almost... More »

National Debt Grows by Record-Setting Amount

It's the biggest rise ever in a single day

(Newser) - Anyone who happened to stumble across the running tally of the national debt via the Treasury Department website would have found a familiar number for much of this year: $18.1 trillion. With that as the upper limit imposed by Congress, the Treasury had to use "extraordinary" accounting measures... More »

Shutdown Actually Costing Us More

'New York Times' editorial points out the hidden costs of not running government

(Newser) - You might assume that the government shutdown is at least saving money and shrinking the deficit. But you'd be wrong. "The shutdown will actually be very expensive and will wind up costing the taxpayers and the economy far more than the regular operations of government," the New ... More »

Economist Presents Scary US Debt Number: $70T

James Hamilton: That's the 2012 total of off-balance-sheet federal liabilities

(Newser) - If you're worried about our country's fiscal health, you may want to stop reading. A UC San Diego economics professor sees a problem area we're overlooking: "the growth of federal liabilities that are not included in the officially reported numbers." James Hamilton did the math,... More »

Dear DC: 7.6% Unemployment Is Not OK

Paul Krugman thinks everyone's dropping the ball on employment

(Newser) - Once upon a time, back before the financial crisis, Americans had certain expectations for their economy. "Normal, back then, meant an economy adding a million or more jobs a year," and an unemployment rate "not much above 5%," recalls Paul Krugman at the New York Times... More »

Treasury Pays Down Debt for First Time Since Dubya

Taxes, cuts give Treasury unexpected $35B

(Newser) - Spending cuts and tax hikes have boosted the federal government's finances enough to actually pay off some debt for the first time since George W. Bush was president. The Treasury Department, which predicted earlier this year that it would end the second quarter another $103 billion deeper in debt,... More »

Like Saddam's WMDs, We Still Manufacture 'Mainstream'

Paul Krugman thinks we haven't learned to examine 'mainstream' consensus

(Newser) - It's the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war, a disastrous war fought on false pretenses. "So did our political elite and our news media learn from this experience? It sure doesn’t look like it," Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times . The real trick of... More »

Palin: Feds Fear Unrest, Are 'Stockpiling Bullets'

'We're finished,' says ex-governor

(Newser) - An "economic Armageddon" is coming, Sarah Palin says—but it's not the sequester she's referring to. "If we are going to wet our proverbial pants over 0.3% in annual spending cuts when we’re running up trillion-dollar annual deficits, then we're done. Put a... More »

As DNC Starts, Debt Clock to Break $16T

And another dubious record is out today...

(Newser) - A couple milestones will probably be hit as the Democratic National Convention kicks off in North Carolina—and not good ones. The Treasury Department's official national debt clock is currently sitting at $15.99 trillion, meaning it should click over to $16 trillion today, Fox News reports. We're... More »

Just One RNC Event Today: Start National Debt Clock

Clock will be unveiled at brief session

(Newser) - Hurricane Isaac has winnowed today's Republican National Convention events to just one: a short pro forma session in which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will unveil a "national debt clock." The clock will start ticking at 2pm, bearing a figure somewhere north of $15.9 trillion, above the... More »

Romney Blames Obama for 'Prairie Fire of Debt'

He makes the economy issue No. 1 in Iowa

(Newser) - If the general election has effectively begun, it looks like the economy will indeed be topics a, b, and, c. After the Obama camp went after Mitt Romney for his days as at Bain Capital, Romney struck back today with a forceful attack on the president's handling of the... More »

Boehner Kicks Off New Fight Over Debt

He won't agree to raising ceiling without spending cuts to offset

(Newser) - Remember the nasty fight in DC last summer over the national debt ceiling? Get ready for round two this fall. John Boehner launched the first volley today, demanding at a fiscal summit that any increase in the ceiling be offset by spending cuts, reports the Hill . "When the time... More »

GOP Hopefuls Would Pile on US Debt

...except for Ron Paul's plan

(Newser) - The GOP presidential candidates do an awful lot of talking about fiscal conservativism, but when their budgets meet the road, there seems to be plenty of rubber involved. The budget plans of Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich would all greatly expand the national debt, independent analysts find. The... More »

GOP Frosh's Plan to Reduce Debt a Pathetic Gesture

Dana Milbank amused 2010's revolutionaries grand plan

(Newser) - Republicans swept into Washington in 2010 vowing to reduce the debt, and yesterday eight of them unveiled their plan to do so... by returning the unused portion of their office budgets, reducing the debt by all of $1.5 million ... "a whopping .00001% of what the nation owes. The... More »

How Much Did Obama Really Add to Deficit?

Ezra Klein crunches the numbers and comes up with a lower total than you think

(Newser) - Mitt Romney has taken to carrying around a debt clock, blaming President Obama for the ever-climbing number it shows. But the clock doesn't show how much Obama has actually added to that debt, so Ezra Klein set out to find out. "There are two answers," he writes... More »

Deficit to Shrink ... to $1.1T

Congressional Budget Office releases its assessment

(Newser) - Good news/bad news time. Good news: The deficit will fall this year, thanks to additional tax revenue and major cuts in government spending. Bad news: It's still going to be $1.1 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office estimate released today; last year's total was $1.3... More »

Buffett Dares GOP to Donate More Taxes

Says he'll match them, and 'even go 3 for 1 for McConnell'

(Newser) - Warren Buffett's ready to donate money to pay down the national debt—provided Republicans lawmakers do so first. When Buffett called for higher taxes on the rich last year, Mitch McConnell and many other Republicans told him to " send in a check ," and John Thune even introduced... More »

National Debt Now as Big as Entire Economy

And sure to surpass it soon: USA Today

(Newser) - It's official, at least according to USA Today : The national debt is as big as the country's entire economy, and sure to surpass it soon. The federal government owes more than $15.23 trillion to creditors and government programs like Social Security, which is more than the latest... More »

White House Seeks $1.2T Hike in Debt Limit

Nation will need the extra money soon to pay bills

(Newser) - The Obama administration will ask Congress to raise the nation's borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion this week, marking the third and final increase from a deal negotiated over summer. Treasury officials said the increase is necessary because the government will be within $100 billion of its current limit... More »

Fitch Hacks US Debt Outlook After Super Committee Fails

Downgrade of AAA rating could loom

(Newser) - Thanks to the super committee’s super failure, Fitch Ratings has downgraded US debt outlook to negative. Fitch did not lower the US’ AAA rating for long-term treasuries, but a Fitch official says a negative debt outlook often leads to such a downgrade. That decision is not expected until late... More »

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