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National Debt Reaches $16 Trillion
The U.S. national debt has reached $16 trillion.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the milestone occurred Friday. The department always waits until one day after the close of business to report debt totals.
On August 2, 2011, America's national debt jumped more than $238 billion--the single biggest increase on any day in history. That was the day the President and Congress agreed to raise the country's national debt limit, which allowed the government to keep borrowing money.
Democrats and Republicans both like to blame each other for problems with the debt, but the number has grown under presidents from both parties.
When President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, national debt stood at $4.1 trillion. He added about $1.5 trillion.
When George W. Bush took over the White House, the debt had grown to $5.7 trillion. His programs added almost $4.9 trillion.
When President Barack Obama took over the White House in 2009, debt stood at $10.6 trillion.
The $16 trillion milestone represents a growth of more than $5 trillion in 3.5 years.