The national debt hit $19.5 trillion for the first time ever this week, a little more than seven months after it hit the $19 trillion mark.
The debt clocked in at $19.51 trillion at the end of Wednesday, the Treasury Department reported Thursday afternoon. Precise debt figures on any given day are released on the following business day.
The national debt hit $19 trillion for the first time ever on Jan. 29.
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When President Obama took office in early 2009, the total debt was $10.63 trillion, which means it has almost doubled under his watch.
The Congressional Budget Office reported in August that the debt-to-GDP ratio will match levels not seen since 1950 by the end of the current fiscal year.
The debt is the sum total of annual budget deficits, plus interest, and those annual deficits are soon expected to rise again in the coming years.
President Obama has boasted of cutting the annual budget deficits by more than two-thirds over the last few years. But it was under his administration that those deficits soared north of $1 trillion, and only in the last few years did they return to the highest deficit levels ever seen under his predecessor, President George W. Bush.
While he was a senator, Obama criticized Bush for presiding over those same deficit levels, and said they represented a failure of leadership on the part of Bush.
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