Tuesday's edition of the Letterman show featured special guest President Barack Obama, who worked hard with the host to determine the amount of the national debt. The best the two came up with was $10 billion, an amount suggested by Letterman. The president did not sound confused so much as he sounded like he did not care.
Letterman raised a mild concern on behalf of voters about the debt by referring to the National Debt Clock displayed during the Republican National Convention. "It was just going and going," Letterman said, moving his hand in a rapid circle.
The president's immediate answer was that, "We actually had a surplus during the Clinton administration." Good to know. Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001.
As of September 17, 2012, the amount was $16,008,938,323,880.98, aka $16 trillion. Almost $10 billion has been added to the debt since the debt clock crossed the $16 trillion mark during the Democratic National Convention September 3-6. The amount of increase in the national debt over the past two weeks would consume the entire $9.6 billion fortune of Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, who is #100 on the Forbes international billionaires list.
During the interview, President Obama said that Americans shouldn't worry: "We owe most of that [the debt] to ourselves."
There has been no Federal budget for the past three years. The debt is costing Americans approximately three times as much as GDP growth and exponentially more than tiny earnings paid for private savings accounts. Little-reported, U.S. bond ratings were downgraded to AA- by Egan-Jones last week. Egan-Jones is one of 10 independent ratings organizations recognized by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. According to the Washington Post, larger rating firms Moody's, Standard & Poor's and Fitch also announced potential downgrades in one to two weeks.
Move "forward," Mr. President. Party on.