Wednesday, February 18, 2004

National Debt Rises past $7,000,000,000,000

In this article from Reuters, ("National Debt Tops $7 Trillion" by Jonathan Nicholson Wed February 18, 2004 04:13 PM ET) we see that the National Debt has climbed ever-closer to "The government debt ceiling [which] stands only a few hundred billion dollars ahead at $7.384 trillion". What does this mean? I was asking myself the same question...
"What Is the National Debt?" by Emily Yoffe (Posted Thursday, Oct. 26, 2000, at 10:38 AM PT) contains a clear description of the National Debt: "When the government spends more than it collects in taxes, it covers the shortfall by issuing debt in the form of Treasury bills, notes and bonds, and U.S. savings bonds. This debt is purchased by, for example, individuals, or pension funds, or foreign investors. This accumulated amount of money owed to creditors, the net public debt, is about $3.5 trillion. This is what almost everyone is talking about when they refer to the national debt. But right now the total national debt is about $5.67 trillion." (She continues to explain that the difference between the net public debt- $3.5 trillion as of 2000, and the National Debt- the $5.67 trillion, represents the money that the government owes to itself.

If seeing that the National debt has risen more than $1 trillion during Bush's term isn't surprising enough, Bush has predicted that America will have 2.6 million new jobs by the end of 2004 (according to an article in the New York times "Bush Officials Offer Cautions on White house jobs Forecast" by Edmund L. Andrews, Wed Feb 18 2004, section A14)- mostly by paying hundreds of millions of dollars toward new programs. The surprising part is that his Secretary of Treasury, John W. Snow, is "distanc[ing] himself" from the official figures in the administration's predictions (according to the aforementioned NY Times article). Andrews writes that Bush is "on track to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to end his first term with fewer jobs than when he started. The nation has lost about 2.5 million jobs in the last three years". But it will work out- because the Bush administration has predicted a growth of 2.6 million jobs, right? Well, in order to accomplish this, the rate of jobs created per month this year (which is now about 100,000 a month) would have to more than double to over 230,000 a month and stay at that figure for each month in the rest of this year until January.

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