Veil Of Politics
The Treasury Department said Wednesday that federal debt now tops $15 trillion — a staggering figure that has risen precipitously over the last decade.
The exact debt total stood at $15.034 trillion as of the end of business Tuesday, an increase of $56 billion over Monday’s tally.
Congress earlier this year raised the debt ceiling, which cleared the way for Wednesday’s new record figure, but tasked a special committee with finding ways to at least slow the staggering pace of growth.
Under this summer’s debt deal, the government can only sustain a total debt of $15.194 trillion.
At it stands now, debt is now nearly equal to the projected U.S. gross domestic product for 2011, which the Obama administration said in its February budget would reach $15.079 trillion.
The government’s debt figure is made up of two different calculations: debt held by the public, which reached $10.314 trillion, and intragovernmental holdings, which accounts for money the government borrows from places like the the Social Security Trust Fund, which stood at $4.719 trillion.
According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy. The Bloomberg reporters have been following that money. Alison Stewart spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout.