While the perfectly coincidental (or maybe not) surge in the stock market on two subsequently thoroughly denied rumors (which did not prevent the S&P to mysteriously close at the day's high) will likely be mentioned at least once or twice in tonight's presidential debate as validation of this administration's economic policies, at least in nominal terms (because while the economy may be Bush's fault, the centrally-planned stock market is entirely Obama's doing or so the logic goes), it unclear if the following number will be brought up. The number in question: $16,190,979,268,766.67, which is the closing number for total US public debt outstanding, which also happens to be a record closing all time high and an increase of $33 billion from yesterday courtesy of the settlement of last week's bond auctions. There is now $242 billion in debt left under the debt ceiling, which at the current recently slowed down pace of debt issuance, which is posed to pick up substantially again, will be exhausted in well under 2 months.
Remember: there is never such a thing as a free lunch. The benefit of this unrepayable debt and ruinous fiscal policy is precisely what the administration is taking benefit for, namely the soaring stock market. The offset, of course, is that as Reinhart and Rogoff never tire of showing, piling up well over 100% in public debt/GDP means that there is only one way out for the host country: either a hard default, or inflating the debt away.
And since neither candidate has any proposal on how to slow down the disastrous trajectory of US indebtedness, don't expect there to be any substantial discussion of the math behind the number highlighted in the table above.
Source: Debt to the penny.