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 to hold the figure to that amount, notes USA Today. That changed Monday when President Obama signed into law a suspension of the limit, and the effect was both immediate and record-breaking: The debt surged $339.1 billion on Tuesday, the largest amount in a single day.
Such big jumps are now common in the wake of deals on the debt ceiling, notes the Washington Examiner, and USA Today backs that up, noting $328.2 billion and $238.3 billion jumps in 2013 and 2011, respectively. The national debt ticked up a smaller amount Wednesday and now stands at (drum roll): $18,532,338,091,711. Plus some change. (Read more national debt stories.)