09/04/2012 04:04 pm ET Updated Sep 05, 2012

National Debt Likely To Surpass $16 Trillion During The DNC

The U.S. national debt is set to pass an inconvenient bench mark at the worst possible time for Democrats.

On Tuesday, the first day of the Democratic National Convention, the national debt will likely surpass $16 trillion, according to The Treasury Department’s tool for counting the national debt is still paused from its Labor Day break, but, if’s estimate is correct, the $16 trillion club should open around when Democrats take the stage in Charlotte.

UPDATE: The national debt officially surpassed $16 trillion on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Treasury Department.

Of course, the national debt has been a flashpoint for controversy during the election season. Last week, Republicans featured two clocks counting the national debt during their convention. And Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan have touted their budget proposals as fiscally responsible means to a smaller deficit.

In addition, Koch-sponsored conservative group Americans for Prosperity spent millions of dollars on ads attacking President Obama, one of which targeted his record on the national debt, according to CNN.

The national debt has soared during Obama’s presidency, increasing more in his first three years and two months on the job than during George W. Bush’s eight-year presidency, according to CBS News. Still, Obama says he's working to slash the deficit. His budget proposal predicts that the debt will decline this year and drop by somewhere between $500 billion and $700 billion in the next 10 years.

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