Graphically, the increasing debt looks like this:
Big tip of the hat to Dr. Chris Martenson who created this graph with Treasury Department Statistics. The above graph shows other obligations besides the national debt, but is useful none the less so showing the exponential debt curve we are on. For a graph of just the national debt visit Chris's website.
There was (at least) one President who saw the dangers of this course of events. His words seem prescient today, though they were penned 192 years ago.
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses, and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account, but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers."
Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816
"No earthly consideration could induce my consent to contract such a debt as England has by her wars for commerce, to reduce our citizens by taxes to such wretchedness, as that laboring sixteen of the twenty-four hours, they are still unable to afford themselves bread, or barely to earn as much oatmeal or potatoes as will keep soul and body together. And all this to feed the avidity of a few millionary merchants and to keep up one thousand ships of war for the protection of their commercial speculations."
Thomas Jefferson to William H. Crawford, 1816
We now return to our normal, cheerful posting on Pacific Islander...have a nice day.