U.S. Debt Tops $14.3 Trillion for First Time

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 18, 2011 | 11:45pm EDT

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and President Barack Obama at the White House. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The national debt has passed another historical milestone, topping $14.3 trillion for the first time ever, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury late Monday afternoon.

When the Treasury opened for business on Friday, April 15, according to the Treasury’s Bureau of the Public Debt, the national debt stood at $14.27 trillion ($14,270,792,119,184.89). By the close of business Friday, the debt had climbed to $14.31 trillion ($14,305,336,580,992.11), an increase of $34.54 billion ($34,544,461,807.22).

Friday’s $34.54-billion jump in the national debt almost equaled the $38.5 billion the Republican House leadership said would be cut from spending for the remainder of this fiscal year by the continuing resolution that the Congress passed on Thursday and President Obama signed Friday.

The federal government is now perilously close to hitting its legal limit on debt.

At the close of business Friday, according to the Daily Treasury Statement published Monday afternoon, the Treasury only had legal authority to borrow another $40.821 billion.

(The legal limit on the debt that Congress and President Barack Obama set last February is actually a bit lower--at $14.2940 trillion--than the total federal debt of $14.3053 trillion that the Treasury reported for the close of business Friday. The total debt reported by the Treasury can exceed the curent legal debt limit of $14.2940 trillion because a small portion of the total federal debt is exempted from the limit. As of the close of business Friday, the portion of the debt that is subject to the legal limit had reached $14.253179 trillion.)

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