Washington, D.C. The national debt has hit $9 trillion for the first time.
The Treasury Department, which issues a daily accounting of the debt, said Wednesday that the debt subject to limit was at $9 trillion on Tuesday. It was $8.996 trillion on Monday.
Last month, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law an increase in the government's borrowing ceiling to $9.815 trillion. It was the fifth debt limit increase since Bush took office in January 2001. Those increases have totaled $3.865 trillion.
Democrats place much of the blame for the exploding debt on Bush's first-term tax cuts, which they say are tilted to the wealthy. The administration says those tax cuts helped to jump-start the economy and resulted in falling budget deficits in recent years.
The tax cuts are set to expire at the end of 2010. The administration and Republicans in Congress want to see them made permanent; many Democrats would like to see them revamped to provide more benefits to lower and middle-income taxpayers.
The budget deficit for the 2007 budget year, which ended Sept. 30, was $162.8 billion, the lowest in five years.