This story on cbsnews.com by Mark Knoller:
[…] Since September 30, the day the national debt hit the $10-trillion mark for the first time, the government has run up over $500 billion in new debt.
That’s more than the federal deficit for the entire 2008 fiscal year, which ended September 30. And it’s the most rapid increase in the national debt ever: over half a trillion dollars in less than a month – 23 days to be exact.
The government’s latest calculation of the national debt stands at $10,530,893,033,778.21 – that’s $10.5-trillion for short. It took less than four months for it to rocket to that level from $9.5 trillion on July 21.
Less than four months! To put it in perspective, consider this: it took the U.S. government over four decades, from 1940 to 1982, to run up its first trillion dollars of debt.
The second and third trillions were racked up much more quickly – each in just four years. And it only took from 1990 to 1992 for the national debt to hit $4 trillion.
On the day President Bush was sworn in, the debt stood at $5.7 trillion. Less than eight years later, it’s within days of having swelled $5 trillion dollars on his watch – an embarrassing milestone for a president who considers himself a conservative and an advocate of fiscal discipline.
[…] And this week, the Treasury Department started to spend the $700 billion dollars in the congressionally authorized bailout program, so the national debt can be expected to soar even more rapidly in the coming months.
Only one word – DOH!