Record-breaker: Obama runs up $2 trillion in debt in 421 days

posted at 1:36 pm on March 17, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The man at the top gets the blame for what ails the government, just as quarterbacks usually get the blame when offenses fail in the NFL.  Neither case is particularly fair, but it serves nonetheless as a consistent marker for accountability.  CBS’ Mark Knoller reports that Barack Obama has set a new record for adding to the national debt, smashing the old one set by George Bush:

The latest posting from the Treasury Department shows the National Debt has increased over $2 trillion since President Obama took office.

The debt now stands at $12.6 trillion. On the day Mr. Obama took office it was $10.6 trillion.

President George W. Bush still holds the record for the most debt run up on his watch: $4.9 trillion. But it took him over four years to rack up the first two trillion dollars in debt. It has taken Mr. Obama 421 days.

But the Obama Administration routinely blames the Bush Administration for inheriting a budget surplus and turning it into years of record-breaking deficits and debt — and then leaving it on the doorstep of the new president.

Unfortunately, both CBS and Obama get this one wrong.  Deficits don’t come from Presidents.  They come from Congress, which passes budgets and sets tax policy.  While the White House proposes budgets, Congress actually debates, modifies, and then passes them, usually with some resistance from the President.

In both Bush and Obama’s cases, the records reflect the party in power at the time.  Republicans ran up the $2 trillion in debt in those first five years.  However, Democrats controlled Congress in the final two years of Bush’s presidency, including a Senator named Barack Obama, who voted in favor of the FY2008 budget approved by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  And George Bush never saw the FY2009 budget, as the Democrats played an elaborate game of keep-away, using continuing resolutions to fund the government.  Obama signed an omnibus spending bill in March 2009 to raise the level of FY09 spending to Democrats’ liking.

So how much did each party raise the federal debt over the past nine-plus years?  According to Treasury figures:

  • If one counts the Republican debt as the time they were in control of the House and the White House from 1/20/2001 to 1/2/2007 (although the Democrats actually controlled the Senate until 2003), Republicans were entirely responsible for adding $2.95 trillion to the national debt in six years.
  • Counting it by fiscal year, from 10/1/2001 to 10/1/2007 (since Republicans passed the FY2007 budget before the 2006 midterms), Republicans added $3.26 trillion to the national debt in six years.

Neither of those figures showers the GOP in any glory.  However, both of those figures pale in comparison to the damage Democrats have done in half the time:

  • Counting Democratic control from their ascension after the 2006 midterms (from 1/2/2007 forward), Democratic Congresses have added $3.96 trillion in just over three years.
  • Counting it by fiscal years, Democrats have added $3.57 trillion since 10/1/2007 (the beginning of their FY2008 budget) in 30 months.

Let’s compare rates:

  • Republican rate of debt: $45.2 billion per month (fiscal year), $41 billion per month (control of Congress)
  • Democratic rate of debt: $119.1 billion per month (fiscal year), $104 billion per month (control of Congress)

Democrats have added to the national debt at a rate greater than twice that of Republicans, and have exceeded the debt added in less than three years that Republicans managed to add in six.  That may not be President Obama’s fault entirely, but since Obama was part of the Democratic majority in Congress that spent wildly over the last three years, he certainly owns a big part of it either way.


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Comments

Discussion of remedies prescribed by the Founders themselves for times when the federal government exceeds its authority and imposes tyranny on the citizenry is… ‘disloyal’?

Midas on March 17, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Yes. Submission is Patriotism, Resistance is Treason. And more 1984 nonsense.

Holger on March 17, 2010 at 2:55 PM

It’s the Civil War in reverse.

Cybergeezer on March 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Mark the Great, I want to see AllahPundit post that himself and explain why.

I have a great deal of respect for AllahPundit, who has worked his butt off for years building up this site to what it is now. But making you the bearer of bad news is a cowardly way to go on. If this is new official policy from the new bosses, A.P. should post that somewhere on the site for all to see.

Mary in LA on March 17, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Agreed.

Knucklehead on March 17, 2010 at 2:59 PM

That said, we still have some big fish to fry on Capitol Hill. I’m going to take a break and go call some Congresscritters.

Mary in LA on March 17, 2010 at 3:03 PM

OK Allah, the guantlet has been laid down. Do you have the courage to explain this new policy and defend it?

MarkTheGreat on March 17, 2010 at 3:04 PM

It’s the Civil War in reverse.

Cybergeezer on March 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

A Civilized Civil War.

Holger on March 17, 2010 at 3:14 PM

OK Allah, the guantlet has been laid down. Do you have the courage to explain this new policy and defend it?

MarkTheGreat on March 17, 2010 at 3:04 PM

And not here. Create a new thread, so that everyone can see the new policy. If you are afraid that the discussion will stray into forbidden areas, I wouldn’t object if you made the thread closed to comments.

MarkTheGreat on March 17, 2010 at 3:17 PM

I thought AP posts after 12? Is he finally moving on….

jbh45 on March 17, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Inherited!

RightWinged on March 17, 2010 at 3:22 PM

Ok Mark, let’s see what happens when I post this…

Bachmann: Civil Disobedience If Dems Pass Obamacare Using Slaughter Rule?
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gave a speech today at the Kill The Bill Rally in St. Paul in which she entreated Americans to refuse to comply with the Obamacare law on health care if the Democrats use the Slaughter Rule to “deem” the Senate bill passed without actually voting on it. Bachmann said that if such tactics are used, “then the bill is illegitimate, and we don’t have to lay down for this. It’s not difficult to figure out.”
http://www.redstate.com/gman2008/2010/03/17/bachmann-civil-disobedience-if-dems-pass-obamacare-using-slaughter-rule/

lovingmyUSA on March 17, 2010 at 3:23 PM

How soon before the Chinese go to court to appoint a receiver for the federal government to protect their interest?

Cicero43 on March 17, 2010 at 2:19 PM

No court. The Chinese take Taiwain after phoning Obummer and telling him to step aside. And he will.

bloviator on March 17, 2010 at 3:23 PM

Would it be disloyal to say the Demon Pass route falls under ‘a long train of abuses and usurpations’?

Holger on March 17, 2010 at 3:25 PM

The 2009 congress had a bigger deficit (1.41 trillion) than the 1994-2006 congresses combined (1.25 trillion).

munseym on March 17, 2010 at 3:27 PM

It took Caligula four years to bankrupt the Roman Economy. Commie Obamie did it in less that a month. It didn’t end well for Cal. Hopefully Commie Obamie gets lucky and just gets impeachment and 25 years for treason…..

adamsmith on March 17, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Oh, and they are the ones running our healthcare? What are they going to do with the money they get from taxing us and health insurance companies from now until the benefits kick in? I’m certainly sure they will have it in, I think they call it….A LOCK BOX. RIIIIIIGHT. When it is time for the benefit to start, we will be 23 Trillion in debt.

NJ Red on March 17, 2010 at 1:43 PM

With shell-game adroitness, they are throwing the ObaMaoCare revenue into Social Security to “cover” the looming shortfall. They are cutting payments to Medicare, dumping people into Medicaid. Thus, they will burden states with unbudgeted Medicaid bills.

onlineanalyst on March 17, 2010 at 3:40 PM

WE ARE ALLOWING THIS MAN TO EMPTY THE TREASURY NOT JUST NOW, BUT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!!!

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHOSE POCKETS THESE TRILLIONS ARE LANDING IN? BECAUSE OBAMA AND EVERYONE ASSOCIATED WITH HIM NEEDS TO DO MADOFF PRISON TIME PLUS ONE YEAR FOR EVERY DOLLAR STOLEN!!

WE HAVE ENTERED BANANA REPUBLIC TERRITORY, WHERE THE GOVT “LEADERS” SUCK THE COUNTRY DRY. ARE WE GOING TO LET THEM????!!!!

tigerlily on March 17, 2010 at 4:00 PM

So, would this “S” word be related in any way to socialites?
Hmmmm? So…ciety?

Might be time for HA to see a massive drop in traffic. Read here, and comment elsewhere…perhaps?

Maybe a letter campaign to Salem Communications…

mrpeabody on March 17, 2010 at 4:08 PM

You mean it’s costing us almost 5 billion smackers a day to keep this Bozo in office?

Still, ya gotta blame the Republican congress under Bush. We know the Dems are genetically programmed to spend at least three times whatever Republicans spend. Republican spending made the present bonfire of dollars inevitable.

Chaz on March 17, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Having democrat control is like being married to a gigolo; lots of style, not a shred of substance, and you’re bankrupt in a few months.

Mojave Mark on March 17, 2010 at 8:09 PM

WE ARE ALLOWING THIS MAN TO EMPTY THE TREASURY NOT JUST NOW, BUT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!!!

What did you think would happen when the next President entered office- the economic crisis would turn into massive job and economic growth? There’s no point of exit for the painful fallout created by the bubble’s collapse several years ago- and the pain isn’t going to end anytime soon. Economic stimulus spending is the only known answer to lethargic consumer demand, as Barron’s and most on Wall Street have pointed out time and again. The deficit is driven by low tax revenues and spending packages dictated by the deficit- not by a large domestic policy agenda enacted by Obama.

During the Bush years, this country increased spending across the board, on both military and domestic policies such as prescription drug coverage for seniors, while enacting massive tax cuts. Personal tax rates in this country are at 60 year lows while spending has gone through the roof. It amazes me that people are surprised by our current state of affairs. The writing was on the wall long ago.

The sad reality is that back in 2002 Paul O’Neill, former CEO of Alcoa, commissioned an independent study that forecast today’s scenario. O’Neill and Alan Greenspan both opposed the tax cuts for the wealthy pushed by Cheney and Rove, insisting that the resulting deficits would erode the country’s long-term financial outlook. Those tax cuts went into effect, eventually adding $4 trillion to the national debt and establishing the baseline for a massive deficit once the economy nearly collapsed. America ignored O’Neill and Greenspan and instead let the politicians work their destructive magic. Can anyone be surprised by the outcome?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_O'Neill_(businessman)

A report commissioned in 2002 by O’Neill, while he was Treasury Secretary, suggested the United States faced future federal budget deficits of more than US$ 500 billion. The report also suggested that sharp tax increases, massive spending cuts, or both would be unavoidable if the United States were to meet benefit promises to its future generations.

bayam on March 18, 2010 at 12:58 AM

Love insolvency?

Keep voting democrat!

daesleeper on March 18, 2010 at 1:38 AM

However, Democrats controlled Congress in the final two years of Bush’s presidency, including a Senator named Barack Obama, who voted in favor of the FY2008 budget approved by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. And George Bush never saw the FY2009 budget, as the Democrats played an elaborate game of keep-away, using continuing resolutions to fund the government. Obama signed an omnibus spending bill in March 2009 to raise the level of FY09 spending to Democrats’ liking.

don’t forget Biden – senate record is about 34 years, he was on the ground floor of the debt.

RonK on March 18, 2010 at 7:37 AM

What did you think would happen when the next President entered office- the economic crisis would turn into massive job and economic growth?

bayam on March 18, 2010 at 12:58 AM

A mild recession is now an economic crisis. I love the way liberals try to rewrite history.

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2010 at 8:33 AM

Don’t sweat it. You children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are good for it as well as all the Social Secuity money the governments spent over the years.

TrickyDick on March 18, 2010 at 8:42 AM

A mild recession is now an economic crisis. I love the way liberals try to rewrite history.

MarkTheGreat on March 18, 2010 at 8:33 AM

This is not a ‘mild recession’. This is the beginning of the endgame where the piper finally gets paid.

Dark-Star on March 18, 2010 at 9:21 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_O‘Neill_(businessman)

A report commissioned in 2002 by O’Neill, while he was Treasury Secretary, suggested the United States faced future federal budget deficits of more than US$ 500 billion. The report also suggested that sharp tax increases, massive spending cuts, or both would be unavoidable if the United States were to meet benefit promises to its future generations.

bayam on March 18, 2010 at 12:58 AM

Taxcuts have been the whipping boy for congressmen and senators. It allows them to forget the most important statescraft; fiscal responsibility.

Blame taxcuts for not balancing the budget, and people won’t notice the federal coffers grew by an unprecendented rate. Anything but notice they’ve been spending our money like drunken sailors, with no thought we would reach this date.

Democrats have been holding on to the notion that taxcuts have balooned the defcit like a drunk holds on to a lamppost; for support, not for illumination.

itsspideyman on March 18, 2010 at 9:36 AM

U.S.S.A!
U.S.S.A!

The new future!

United Socialist States of America!

Funny how the USSR failed at it and the US wants to go towards it.

Life is strange and more strange things to come!

JayJay123 on March 18, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Might be time for HA to see a massive drop in traffic. Read here, and comment elsewhere…perhaps?

Maybe a letter campaign to Salem Communications…

mrpeabody on March 17, 2010 at 4:08 PM

I’ve already cut my commenting here by half, at least. I’m fed up with the PC nonsense and wimpiness.

Weasel Zippers is run by a guy who totally believes in free speech. You can say anything… even the “c” word. LOL.

Maybe we ought to migrate where free speech is honored?

atheling on March 18, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Methinks Barrack has the desire to become the first trillionaire in history.

Cybergeezer on March 18, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Democrats have been holding on to the notion that taxcuts have balooned the defcit like a drunk holds on to a lamppost; for support, not for illumination.

ONeil’s report was commissioned by the Treasury under Bush. It has nothing to do with the Democrats, so I don’t follow your line of thought.

In any case, you can’t lower taxes increase spending at the same time without systematic deficit spending. You can’t wage a major war without funding it and expect the budget to balance. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what lead the country into this hole.

bayam on March 18, 2010 at 6:55 PM