In an election already focused on domestic issues of jobs, spending and deficits, the $16 trillion number is likely to underscore just how much is at stake in November for both parties, which are offering dramatically different ways to begin to eat away at the deep hole.
Gross federal debt has been flirting with $16 trillion for the past two weeks, and the government ended Thursday $15.991 trillion in debt.
With several debt auctions scheduled for the end of last week, budget analysts think the government probably broached the $16 trillion number on Friday, and it will be reported to the public Tuesday, which, thanks to the Labor Day holiday, is the next business day.
While $16 trillion isn’t a tipping point, it is a stark number that Republicans said will reflect poorly on Mr. Obama, who has overseen the biggest debt explosion in the country’s history.
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