(Go to the INTEREST ON THE NATIONAL DEBT Chart)
(Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt)
The 1996 level is based on the total National Debt on October 16th -- the 1996 level may actually DECREASE, since the National Debt had actually been decreasing over the weeks prior to October 16th.
To see the levels of the National Debt from 1791 to 1984, press Historical Debt.
To see the National Debt from 1985 to this week, to the PENNY, press Current Debt.
HEADLINES YOU NEVER READ:
* A number of Republicans have sent e-mail complaining that the Congress was Democratic while Ronald Reagan was President. Unfortunately, only half the Congress was Democratic during President Reagan's first 6 years in office, when the entire National Debt more than DOUBLED. The upper house of Congress, the U.S. Senate, had a Republican majority (that's why Bob Dole was Senate Majority Leader while Reagan was President) during those six years, which comprised most of President Reagan's time in office. Those Republicans also don't seem to know that any Bill passing out of Congress had to be approved by BOTH Houses of Congress, even by the Republican Senate! Furthermore, to go into Law a Bill must be signed by the President -- none other than Ronald Reagan during those critical years!
Other Republicans have written that the above chart couldn't possibly be correct, because the "National Debt Clock" clicks UP all the time! Well, whoever programmed that "Clock" set its algorithm to INCREASE every second. But whoever maintains the Web site surreptitiously "adjusts" the numbers every evening after the Bureau of Public Debt publishes its new, up-to-the-minute, National Debt figures. For instance, as noted above, in October 1996 the National Debt actually went DOWN over several weeks, but the "National Debt Clock" ticked UP every second of those weeks. Yet, from one day to the next the National Debt Clock's level was often LOWER than the day before, without the "Clock" ticking backwards once!!! Must be post modern math! Perhaps that's why the CBS finally stopped showing that "Clock" on its Evening News! Also, based on the records of recent Presidents, the "National Debt Clock" should tick upwards at a much faster rate for Republican Presidents, which it doesn't.
If you want to see the true level of the National Debt, just visit the Bureau of Public Debt Web site pointed to above. With the new Capital Gains Tax Cuts passed by this Republican Congress, which President Clinton has reluctantly agreed to, expect the Debt to go shooting up again, just like it did the last time the Republicans passed big tax cuts for rich people and corporations, many of them foreign. (That text was written in 1996. We will be updating this page soon.)