The Mix

Up to our eyeballs …

Add it up
The national debt is more than eight trillion dollars. In the first five months of the fiscal year, we paid almost 174 billion in interest on that debt, about seven times the cost of fighting in Iraq over the same period. Last year, we paid 350 billion in interest, about 15 percent of the federal budget.

During eight years under Clinton, the U.S. added 1.6 trillion to the national debt. It's skyrocketed during five years under Bush -- increasing by 2.6 trillion dollars, a rise of about 45 percent.

Before World War One, the U.S. national debt would rise and fall; we'd have a dandy little war, rack up some bills and then when the war ended we'd pay it down. No more. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the last year the debt decreased.
Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer.
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