The national debt — the total accumulation of annual budget deficits — which stands at a mind-numbing $9.13 trillion — up from $5.7 trillion when President Bush took office in January 2001. It will top $10 trillion sometime right before or right after he leaves in January 2009.
That's $10,000,000,000,000.00, or one digit more than an odometer-style "national debt clock" near New York's Times Square can handle. (When the privately owned automated clock was activated in 1989, the national debt was $2.7 trillion.)
Of this debt, Japan [holds] $586 billion, followed by China ($400 billion) and Britain ($244 billion). Saudi Arabia and other oil-exporting countries account for $123 billion, according to the Treasury.
[The Associated Press]