US debt tops $15 trillion

Washington: The US government's debt load topped the $15 trillion mark, as politicians in Congress continued to battle over how to cut spending.

Treasury figures showed the burden of federal borrowing on the shoulders of the American public reached $15,033,607,255,920.32 yesterday, up $55.8 billion from Tuesday.

That was roughly equal to 99 percent of the size of the total US economy projected for 2011, a level normally seen as very unhealthy by economists.

 US debt tops  trillion

The US government's debt load topped the $15 trillion mark, as politicians in Congress continued to battle over how to cut spending. Getty Images

Government debt has steadily climbed since 2 August, when Congress broke a three-month deadlock and agreed to raise the country's official debt ceiling from the then-$14.3 trillion to $15.194 trillion.

Debt covered by the ceiling - slightly less than total public debt - has grown to $14.989 trillion since then, with the government spending some $1.40 for every dollar it takes in revenues.

The $15 trillion mark was hit as a joint Democrat-Republican panel in Congress, tasked to slash the government deficit that has driven borrowing so high, appeared deadlocked just over a week before their 23 November deadline.

If the deficit supercommittee cannot agree, Congress is required to itself automatically make sweeping cuts to the budget a year from now that could crunch the economy.

AFP

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 07:09:58 IST