Reuters reports that, in informal discussions on the debt ceiling, the Treasury Department floated the figure of raising the debt ceiling $2 trillion, to $16.3 trillion, in order to avoid having to deal with the issue again before the 2012 elections. At an estimated 20 months of extension, that would be an annual rate of $1.2 trillion in additional debt. Worse, Reuters estimates that a “mere” $2 trillion in new debt won’t be enough to get the US to 2013.
Going back through the debt archives, the total public debt outstanding was at $5.728 trillion just before President George W. Bush took office and $10.628 trillion when he left. I may be but a public school graduate, but the approximate-$5.8 trillion of debt that would be added in President Barack Obama’s first term if the $2.0 trillion debt-limit increase is just enough to get to January 20, 2013 would be a new record for any President’s reign.