HONOLULU -- It seems like the U.S. government just went through a debt limit crisis, but if you check the numbers, you'll find that Uncle Sam is running out of money again and will need to borrow more. Lots more.
The Treasury Department put out word today that by the close of business on Friday, President Obama will have certified to Congress that the National Debt is within $100 billion of the debt limit and must be raised again: up $1.2 trillion to $16.394 trillion - the highest in U.S. history.
Today's numbers show that since the debt limit was last raised less than five months ago on August 2nd, the National Debt has soared another $648 billion.
Under the provisions of the Budget Control Act enacted this year, once the president makes his certification, Congress would have 15 days to pass a resolution of disapproval on raising the debt limit. But that would only serve to send the U.S. Treasury toward another borrowing crisis that would likely result in its credit rating being downgraded once again.
If Congress does not vote a resolution of disapproval after receiving the president's notice on December 30th, then the debt limit would increase by $1.2 trillion on January 14th.
The Treasury Department calculates that once the debt limit is raised next month, it will not have to be raised again until late in the year. Yes, after the presidential election.
Here are the key numbers you may want to carry in your wallet (discretion advised before show to small children or adults with heart conditions):
- National Debt: $15.128 trillion.
- National Debt Subject to the Debt Limit: $15.080 trillion
- National Debt Limit: $15.194 trillion.
- New National Debt Limit unless Congress disapproves: $16.394 trillion
- Current Dollar - GDP: $15.180 trillion
- National Debt as part of GDP: 99.7%
Mark Knoller is covering President Obama's vacation visit to Hawaii.