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US national debt crosses $16 trillion

The US national debt crossed all-time high of $16 trillion on the day the Democratic Party kicked off its three-day convention.

twitter-logo PTI   North Carolina     Last Updated: September 5, 2012  | 11:27 IST

The US national debt crossed all-time high of $16 trillion on the day the Democratic Party kicked off its three-day convention, during which President Barack Obama would accept nomination to seek presidential re-election in November .

Republicans immediately pounced on the new debt figure to push their candidate Mitt Romney to the White House.

"This is a serious threat to our economy. Of all the broken promises from President Obama, this is probably the worst one because this debt is threatening jobs today. It is threatening prosperity today, and it is guaranteeing that our children and grandchildren get a diminished future," Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, said immediately afterwards at a campaign speech in Iowa.

The just concluded Republican National Convention had a debt clock.

"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, get this thing turned around, cut spending, balance the budget and create jobs? That's what we're going to do!" Ryan said.

A US presidential aide said Obama, during his acceptance speech in North Carolina on Thursday, would be "more specific" than Romney's in detailing a path forward on deficit reduction and will emphasise tax fairness over Medicare.

"President Obama has left Americans worse off than when he took office, with chronic unemployment and declining incomes. But it's not just this generation that's paying the price - the next generation has been saddled with enormous debt because of President Obama's policies. As president, Mitt Romney will take immediate action to cut spending and stop passing our bills on to our children," Ryan Williams, Romney Campaign spokesman said.

"Today is yet another shameful benchmark in the Obama administration's fiscal record. With Senate Democrats refusing to pass a budget and our gross debt eclipsing the size of our economy, the need for a change in leadership is greater than ever," Senator John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Budget Committee said.

Senator Lindsey Graham said that during Obama's first term he's accumulated over $5 trillion in debt and will soon accumulate more debt than all previous presidents combined.

"And if you think it's bad now I hate to say it's only going to get worse," he alleged.

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