WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- The national debt reached a record $16 trillion on the first day of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the Treasury Department said Tuesday.
"We just heard about an hour ago that our government eclipsed the 16 trillion dollar mark in our national debt. This is a serious threat to our economy," U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said in a statement.
"Of all the broken promises from President Obama, this is probably the worst one because this debt is threatening jobs today, its threatening prosperity today and it is guaranteeing that our children and grandchildren get a diminished future. …
"The problem is the president keeps kicking the can down the road. No leadership on this issue. The Senate hasn't even passed a budget in three years. We have a very clear choice ahead of us. Are we going to stick with the same path -- a nation in debt, a nation in doubt, a nation in decline, or are we going to elect Mitt Romney president and get this thing turned around, cut spending, balance the budget, and create jobs?" Ryan said.
The Republicans displayed two massive debt clocks at their national convention in Tampa, Fla., last week, noting the gross debt has risen $5.4 trillion since Obama took office in January 2009, The Hill reported.
"Today's news is another sad reminder of President Obama's broken promise to cut the deficit in half. Instead of working in a bipartisan way to fulfill his promise, the president went on a 'stimulus'-fueled spending binge that stuck every American man, woman, and child with a $50,000 share of this $16 trillion national debt," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
Democrats blame the debt on wars launched during the administration of President George W. Bush, whose tax cuts for the wealthy also added to the nation's red ink.