The US debt ceiling was raised today by $781 billion to nearly $9 trillion. Besides the tea, this is enough to buy Buckingham Palace 9,000 times or 28 Eiffel Towers made of gold. This is the fourth such increase passed during the Bush adminstration.
In 2001, when Bush was handed a $263 billion budget surplus, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. Today it is $8.7 trillion, for combination of reasons: rampant government spending, surprisingly low tax revenues and tax cuts, and the 9/11 attacks.
Almost half of US publicly owned debt is to foreigners. Japan and China are the biggest creditors, owed $668 and $263 billion, respectively. A former Clinton budget director notes such debt, "makes you much more vulnerable to people’s agendas."