Thursday, August 04, 2011

Debt increases by Presidential Administrations

Just for the record:

Reagan 186%,

Bush 54%

Clinton 41%

Bush II 72%

Obama 23%.

Source Congressional Budget Office.


Chris said...

Then what is the explanation that government data reports than Obama has added more to the national debt than all presidents from Washington to Reagan combined? I'm really open to an explanation.

Larry James said...

These numbers are from Congressional Budget Office. I'd be pleased to see your numbers that refute them. However, don't bother if you just quote some biased source.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Chris, it's because when Reagan started racking up massive deficits, the overall debt was small. If the debt is $100 billion, for example, a 186% increase would be $186 billion. With Obama inheriting a $10 trillion-plus debt, a 23% increase would be $2.3+ trillion. It may be true that under Obama the debt grew more in terms of total dollars than under any of his predecessors. But in inflation-adjusted terms that's misleading.

Anonymous said...

A percentage of a percentage is a smaller percentage. Assume I have no debt. If then I use my credit card to borrow $5000 on a base salary of $20K, my debt to earnings ratio is 25%. If 10 years later I borrow $6000 on a base salary of $22K, my debt to earning ratio is 27%. But compared to latest borrowing activity ($5K) to my latest ($6K) the change in debt is only 8%. I borrowed more money but instead of realizing a 100% increase in debt, the change in debt/earnings is a mere 8%. Mr. Obama AND Mr. Bush AND Mr. Clinton AND their collective congresses have spent us into extreme debt which must be paid down to a stable and managable level.

We will probably need to increase govt. revenue and definitely need to cut spending. We can increase revenue by putting more taxpayers to work. We can reduce spending by putting more politicians out of work.

Here is a chart from the CBO (2010) on the history of the federal debt since 1790:

Conservative Karl accepts a certain level of debt and even govt. spending as a component of a healthy economy. Liberal Larry sees no problem with rising debt and rationalizes is as "but a small percentage" of what has occurred all along. Liberal thinking does not work. The bills must be paid. The best way to avoid personal bankruptcy and govt. insolvency is to keep debt to a managable level. To get out of a recession or depression money must be spent - a lot of private money and a little govt. money. That's why tax decreases help. Liberals blame the Bush tax cuts for our current financial shortages, but strangely overlook the recession Bush inherited and overcame by placing more $$ in the hands of the middle class. They also overlook the impact of printing/spending/borrowing plan of the Obama bureaucratic machine on the ever increasing debt.


Anonymous said...

Let's try that CBO link again:

History of Federal Debt Since 1790

Anonymous said...

Reagan, Bush 41 and Clinton all added slowly but surely to the national debt. Then Bush 43 put the debt line on the chart in skyrocket mode. Obama has continued that trend. They just have different reasons. Bush was spending to fight wars after cutting revenue, so debt piled up. Obama was spending to try to right the economic wreck he inherited, an economic wreck that was generating less revenue, hence more debt.

However, much of the spending increases are not attributable to any individual president. Spending increases all on its own due to steadily increased outlays for SS and Medicare. These are the white elephants in the room nobody wants to talk about because the elderly vote.


Anonymous said...

In inflation adjusted terms Obama still racked up more debt than any other president. (But he had help.)

Chris said...

Thanks everyone, I understand it now.

jrobinson said...

You're also leaving out an important fact: congress. They're the ones that do the actual spending. Reagan had a democrat congress that spent, and Clinton had a republican one that balanced the budget. Also, Bush's last year, when the democrats took over in 2007 and spending went through the roof - throws off Bush's totals somewhat.