One of the alarming things about our nation's colossal debt is how casually we have come to speak of the trillions of dollars we owe, as if it were no worse than spending a bit too much on a credit card.
It was the middle of last November -- just two months ago -- that the United States passed the $15 trillion debt mark for the first time in history. We had passed the $14 trillion mark less than a year before that. Those disastrous milestones came and went with barely a whimper.
Now, with little public outcry, President Barack Obama has asked Congress to raise America's borrowing limit again -- by an additional $1.2 trillion -- as part of a multistage increase in federal borrowing.
So we will soon have a debt surpassing $16 trillion, necessitating the continued annual payment of hundreds of billions of dollars in interest.
The president's and Congress' unwillingness to deal with the debt realistically is what prompted Standard & Poor's to downgrade our country's credit rating a few months ago -- a mark of shame that had never been imposed on the United States before and that should have sent a warning that our refusal to live within our means is having dire results.
Instead, the spending and the expansion of the size of our mammoth federal government continue without letup. And against all the evidence, we persist in believing we will escape the consequences.