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Just in time for the kickoff of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the federal government’s public debt has officially crossed the $16 trillion mark – another alarming mile marker on our nation’s road to economic ruin.  That figure is nearly three times as big as the $5.7 trillion debt that former president George W. Bush inherited in 2001 – and $5.4 trillion bigger than the debt current U.S. President Barack Obama inherited upon taking office in January 2009.

That’s $51,000 for every man, woman and child in America and $140,000 for every taxpaying citizen – figures that easily eclipse the per capita debt of struggling Euro Zone nations like Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The debt is also expanding at an alarming rate – reaching $16 trillion just nine-and-half months after crossing the $15 trillion threshold.

Last August, Republicans (who celebrated their quadrennial convention a week ago) joined Democrats in raising the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion –  a sum that will be exhausted by the end of this year.  In exchange they vowed to trim government by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years – although they are already backing off of this promise.

All the while the debt continues to expand at a rate of $110 billion a month, $3.5 billion a day … $2 million per minute … with neither party proposing anything resembling a plan to bring it down.

“You can’t balance the budget in the short term because to do that would be to ratchet down the economy,” Obama advisor David Axelrod said earlier this week.

Really?  That sounds to us like an indictment of the ever-escalating size of our unsustainable government – not a reason to keep the pedal to the floor when it comes to deficit spending.  Of course Axelrod is merely parroting the position of GOP nominee Mitt Romney … further evidence of the futility of our two-party system when it comes to addressing this crisis.