The national debt is set to double by the time President Barack Obama leaves office, if it continues to increase at the current rate.
In January 2009, when Obama began his first term, the federal debt was $10.6 trillion. As of this week it has increased 57 percent to $16.7 trillion, The Washington Times reported
As Congress is faced with raising the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 or letting the government default on its bills, Obama has argued that doing so "won't add a dime" the federal debt.
"It does not increase our debt," Obama said. "It does not grow our deficits. All it does is allow the Treasury Department to pay for what Congress has already spent."
These claims by the president gloss over the growing total debt, according to Alex Brill, a budget specialist of the American Enterprise Institute.
"It's certainly not the whole story," Brill told the Times. "We've seen a dramatic increase in the debt held by the public in the last four or five years, and it's projected to only get worse."
According to FactCheck.org
, the amount that the federal government owes the public is set to double as well. The government currently owes the Treasury $11.94 trillion, which is an 89.3 percent increase from the day Obama took office.
"The Obama administration has projected an annual deficit of $750 billion in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, and $626 billion the year after," FactCheck wrote in its third quarter update. "At that rate, the debt owed to the public will more than double during the Obama presidency."
Several in the GOP say that increasing the debt ceiling should be coupled with spending cuts.
House Speaker John Boehner said
Sunday that Republicans will not agree to raise the debt ceiling without addressing deficit spending.
"We're not going down that path," he told George Stephanopoulos while appearing on "This Week" on ABC
. "It's about time to deal with America's problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem?"
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma expressed a similar sentiment Tuesday.
"We are in trouble financially," Coburn said. "We are $30 trillion in the hole, plus another $17 trillion in debt. Wouldn't it be smart if we started addressing that problem before we blankly allow an increase in the level of the credit card?"
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