Bloomberg News

U.S. Government Debt Reaches $16 Trillion for First Time

September 04, 2012

U.S. government debt reached $16 trillion for the first time after rising $1 trillion since November, according to Treasury Department data.

The debt rose to $16.02 trillion on Aug. 31 as Republicans and Democrats debate ways to trim the budget deficit. The parties will have to negotiate on raising the $16.4 trillion federal debt ceiling. Treasury officials have said the U.S. will reach the limit in the fourth quarter of this year and can take measures so that Congress doesn’t have to raise it until 2013.

U.S. government debt reached $14 trillion in December 2010 and $13 trillion in June 2010. Ten years ago today the debt was $6.2 trillion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ian Katz in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at

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