Among the few bright spots in West Virginia's economy during the past several weeks was an announcement of 450 new jobs in Parkersburg - at the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt.
The agency, which already has about 1,850 employees at the Mountain State facility, may add the new jobs there by consolidating operations from other areas.
Bureau of Public Debt workers do just what the agency's name suggests: They handle bookkeeping for the gigantic debt -more than $16 trillion - that burdens Americans.
When Barack Obama became president less than four years ago, the national debt was about $10.6 trillion. Since then it has grown by $5.4 trillion - at a faster rate than ever in U.S. history.
Obama has the distinction of being the only president to roll up spending deficits of more than $1 trillion during every year of his presidency.
Now, the Bureau of Public Debt is expanding and finding ways to be more efficient in accounting for the national debt. It will have to do that; if Obama remains in office, the debt will top $20 trillion during his second term.
Mitt Romney, who is challenging Obama for the presidency, has a solid plan to reduce deficit spending. Clearly, the United States needs it.