MOUNTAIN OF DEBT: Legacy of debt from Founding Fathers not celebrated on Independence Day
By Tom Raum, Associated Press Writer
On Friday July 3, 2009, 11:32 pm EDT
Deficits don't reflect holdover indebtedness from previous years. Some spending items -- such as emergency appropriations bills and receipts in the Social Security program -- aren't included, either, although they are part of the national debt.
The national debt is a broader, and more telling, way to look at the government's balance sheets than glancing at deficits.
According to the Treasury Department, which updates the number "to the penny" every few days, the national debt was $11,518,472,742,288 on Wednesday.
The overall debt is now slightly over 80 percent of the annual output of the entire U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product. FULL STORY