The federal government will hit its $16.4 trillion debt limit on New Year’s Eve – a watershed event which has been almost completely overshadowed by the debate over the “fiscal cliff,” a series of tax hikes set to take effect on January 1.

For those of you keeping score at home, the national debt reached its previous $14.3 trillion limit on August 2, 2011.  Just prior to that deadline, politicians in Washington, D.C. agreed to what we refer to as the “debt dereliction deal.”  Under the terms of this agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders approved $2.1 trillion in new deficit spending – an amount they have exhausted in just seventeen months.

In exchange for this massive ramp-up in deficit spending, these politicians also agreed to $1.2 trillion worth of cuts – over the course of the next decade – or $109 billion a year.  Does that sound sustainable?  Of course not.  They also agreed to $900 billion in cuts scheduled to take effect from 2019-2021 – when the debt is projected to hit $25.4 trillion – although no one believes these cuts will actually take place.

Why not?  Because before the first dime of budget reductions associated with this glaringly lopsided deal takes effect – Obama and his fiscally liberal allies in both parties are already trying to weasel out of the agreement.

Just as we predicted they would …

While they weasel, they are also hoping to secure yet another extension of the nation’s debt limit – this time without the charade of accompanying spending cuts.  In fact Obama has demanded that Congress give him unilateral authority to raise the debt limit whenever he wants – by any amount he wants.  Remember, this is the same guy who spoke in no uncertain terms against such debt hikes prior to becoming president.

“Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally,” then-Senator Obama said in March of 2006. “Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.”

Truer words have never been spoken …

Republicans and Democrats have approved $10.9 trillion worth of debt ceiling increases over the last decade. Of that total, $3.4 trillion was approved by George W. Bush and “GOP”-controlled Congresses. Another $2.35 trillion was approved by Bush and a Democratic-controlled Congress.  Meanwhile $3 trillion was approved by Obama and a Democratic-controlled Congress, and $2.1 trillion has been approved by Obama and a divided Congress (although a majority of “Republican” lawmakers supported the latest deal).

In other words both parties are to blame for the rising tide of red ink about to drown our economy …

Ayn Rand once wrote that “the hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”

The “glaringly evident” in this situation?  The rapidity with which our nation is going under …