I'm not exactly sure how this is calculated. In October, the national debt rocketed past $8 trillion. I assume the calculation here is based only on U.S. government bonds sold directly to foreign nations.
No wonder most Americans think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
FLASHBACK: May 1, 2000
Clinton announces record payment on national debt
President Bill Clinton said Monday that the United States would pay off $216 billion in debt this year, bringing to $355 billion the amount of the nation's debt paid down in the three years since the government balanced the budget and began running surpluses.
In a written statement, Clinton said the $216 billion payment represented the largest debt paydown in American history, and he said that the federal government's long-term debt is now $2.4 trillion lower than projected to be when he first took office.
However, the U.S. government still has a long way to go before it pays down the entire national debt, which now stands at $5.7 trillion.