National Debt Tops $15,000,000,000,000

Less than a year after passing the $14 trillion mark, the National Debt has hit another milestone:

Don’t look now, members of the “supercommittee” battling the national debt, but the amount the U.S. owes topped the $15 trillion mark Wednesday afternoon.

That’s a lot of George Washingtons, as you can see here live at

With a week until the committee’s deadline to reach agreement on cutting $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 10 years, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction still has no agreement to stem automatic cuts to the budget.

Worth noting:

  • It took 321 days for the debt to increase another $1,000,000,000,000. That’s actually one of the longer times in recent memory thanks in part to the spending cuts enacted as a result of the April budget deal and the
  • The national debt passed the $ 13,000,000,000,000 mark on June 3, 2010. It took 212 days for an additional trillion dollars to be added to the national debt.
  • Before that, it last passed a milestone number on November 17, 2009 when it hit $ 12,000,000,000,000. It took only 198 days for an additional trillion dollars to be added to the national debt.
  • Since Barack Obama took the Oath of Office, the national debt has increased from $10,626,877,048,913.08 to $15,033,607,255,920.32. That’s an increase of $4,406,730,207,007.24 in 1031 days.

Happy days are here again!

FILED UNDER: Deficit and Debt, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    We did it guys!!!! Congratulations!

  2. John Peabody says:

    I just want to say…thanks. Thank you, everyone. This was a team effort!

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Not a shining moment, that’s for certain. Also keep in mind the Fed directly has been manipulating the bond markets to help keep a lid on interest rates. Otherwise the debt would be even worse. But the Fed’s one-trick pony won’t perform forever. When interest rates drift back to normal levels our national debt will become, well, PIIGS-like. Ultimately I expect to be short selling Treasury Notes into a Greece-style meltdown within the very foreseeable future. Perhaps as soon as 2020. Of course if Generation Y were a bond or a stock I’d already be short selling it.

  4. lunaticllama says:

    I guess this means it’s time to give more free money to rich people!

  5. michael reynolds says:

    U-S-A! U-S-A!

  6. Ben Wolf says:

    This means the private sector put another trillion dollars into savings. That isn’t a bad thing unless you think government should make saving more difficult.

  7. Ben Wolf says:

    By the way, Salon is reporting the agriculture industry is trying to get a farm bill passed through the super-committee so that no one knows what’s in the bill until it’s too late. Anyone else know anything about that?