Congress recently passed legislation to increase the statutory
ceiling on the national debt by $1.9 trillion to $14.29 trillion,
an amount roughly equal to the entire output of the U.S. economy
during 2009. The increase only is expected to last about a year
until Congress will have to again increase the treasury's borrowing
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO),
the federal budget is in its worst shape since the end of World War
II. President Obama's budget proposal released in February states
the total debt held by the public is projected to increase to $17.5
trillion (76 percent of the gross domestic product) in 2019 (it was
41 percent in 2008). Additionally, CBO projects the interest on the
national debt will be close to $1 trillion in 2019.
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