(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama – who increased the national debt by $5 trillion, leaving each American liable for $50,859 – on Tuesday decried the average student loan debt,, which he estimated at $26,000 per college student.
The president spoke Tuesday at a campaign rally on Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio is a key battleground state in the presidential race where both Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney are spending a lot of time.
“Higher education has gotten a lot harder to afford. It has gotten more expensive,” Obama told the crowd of college students. “Over the past two years – excuse me – over the past two decades, tuition and fees at America’s colleges have more than doubled. The average student who borrows to pay for college now graduates with about $26,000 worth of student loan debt.”
Obama then appeared to respond to the crowd’s reaction.
“What? That sounds low to you. I just said the average,” Obama said. “For a lot of young people it’s a lot higher. And that kind of debt means pretty tough choices when you’re first starting out. It might mean putting off starting a family or buying a home, or putting off chasing that great idea you’ve got for a small business.”
The average college graduate carried a student loan debt of $25,250 in 2010, according to the Project on Student on Student Debt, an initiative of the Institute for College Access and Success.
On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was sworn into office, the national debt stood at $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to the Department of Treasury. By Aug. 17, 2012, the national debt had increased to $15,962,054,850,397.97, according to the Treasury Department – an increase of more than $5 trillion in less than four years.
The Treasury Department did not have a more current date than Aug. 17. However, on Tuesday, the U.S. Debt Clock reports the national debt stands at $15.97 trillion and counting. For each citizen, that amounts to $50,859. For each taxpayer, that amounts to $139,939.