Talking Points

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Local,Cathy Gainor

How big is the national debt?

The national debt has passed $16 trillion, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday. That equals $50,000 for every resident of the U.S., and it requires the government to borrow 33 cents of every dollar it spends. The growth in the debt means the government will have to raise the debt limit from the current ceiling of $16.39 trillion, a move that was highly contentious and caused the nation's credit rating to be lowered last year.

How much snow are we going to get this winter?

Although it's still hot and humid outside, September has brought the end of meteorological summer. So it's time to talk snow. Two weather predictors are expecting a lot of snow for the Washington region this winter, mainly because they expect a weak El Nino to develop in the Pacific Ocean. The Hagerstown Town and Country Almanac is predicting 15 potentially heavy snow days, with a total accumulation of as much as 50 inches this winter. Accuweather is predicting above-average snow (more than 14.5 inches) for the region.

When was Grandparents Day created?

President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation establishing National Grandparents Day in 1978, with the first one celebrated on Sept. 9, 1979. And why not? Grandparents traditionally have been the unsung heroes of families, spoiling their grandkids, babysitting, tutoring, taking them on trips, buying cool gifts. But their role in family life has been increasing as U.S. society shifts. These days, about 10 percent of U.S. children, or 5.4 million, live with their grandparents, according to the Census Bureau. The first Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparents Day.

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Cathy Gainor

Deputy News Editor
The Washington Examiner