10 Facts on the Fiscal Cliff, Debt, and Spending

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Budget policy in 2012 was characterized by deficit spending, major increases in the national debt, and a heated debate over the “fiscal cliff.”

With just days left for President Obama and lawmakers in Congress to avert a major tax hike, sequestration, and other major policy changes, today we bring you a list of the top 10 facts on federal spending in 2012:

  1. Four years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits. Fiscal year 2012 concluded with a $1.1 trillion deficit, marking the fourth year of trillion-dollar-plus deficits. Too much spending is the root cause of the federal government’s deep and sustained deficits. At 23 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012 and on track to rise further, federal spending is growing at a dangerous pace.
  2. National debt hit $16 trillion. On September 4, the U.S. national debt hit the $16 trillion mark. We owe more on the national debt than the entire U.S. economy produced in goods and services in all of 2012. Sixteen trillion dollar bills stacked one on top of the other would measure more than 1 million miles high, which would reach to the moon and back more than twice.

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