Obama adds $3 trillion to national debt in less than 2 years

posted at 9:30 am on October 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, don’t worry about it.  Phil Hare says that danger from a rapidly-increasing national debt is just a myth.  Look how well Greece is doing!

New numbers posted today on the Treasury Department website show the National Debt has increased by more than $3 trillion since President Obama took office.

The National Debt stood at $10.626 trillion the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated. The Bureau of Public Debt reported today that the National Debt had hit an all time high of $13.665 trillion.

Barack Obama likes to blame George Bush for America’s economic woes:

Mr. Obama frequently lays blame for soaring federal deficits on his predecessor.

“By the time I got into office we already had a $1.3 trillion deficit and we had exploded the national debt,” he said last month during one of his backyard chats with Americans.

But, as CBS points out, Obama has already added 60% of the debt in two years that Bush added in eight, and Obama is on track to add a trillion dollars more in his first term than Bush did in two:

The Debt increased $4.9 trillion during President Bush’s two terms. The Administration has projected the National Debt will soar in Mr. Obama’s fourth year in office to nearly $16.5-trillion in 2012. That’s more than 100 percent of the value of the nation’s economy and $5.9-trillion above what it was his first day on the job.

As we have pointed out repeatedly, the proper measure would be which party controls Congress.  Presidents propose and sign budgets, but Congress actually creates them.  Using that as a guide, let’s take a walk through a couple of scenarios to see which party owns more of the national debt.  First, let’s break down the last 10 years of the Bush/Obama era by control of Congress, starting on January 1, 2001.  The starting point for the national debt was $5.662 trillion.  On January 6, 2007, when Democrats took over, Republicans in total control had added $3.011 trillion in debt in six years, just slightly less than Obama has added since taking office less than two years ago.  Since taking control of Congress less than four years ago, Democrats have added $4.992 trillion to the national debt.

Perhaps it would be more fair to look at the entirety of Republican control of the House, which lasted 12 years and bridged the Clinton and Bush administrations.  In that entire span, Republican budgets added $3.873 trillion to the national debt.  That is not only far below what Democrats have added in just one-third of the time, it’s also far below the Obama administration’s own projections of how much they will add to the national debt in just one term.

We can also do the same calculations by fiscal year, from October 1 to September 30 each year, matching the budgets. Using that guide, we find the following scenarios:

  • Republicans in control for 12 years: Added $4.034 trillion (avg $336.17 billion per year)
  • Republicans in control during Bush era: Added $3.201 trillion (avg $533.5 billion per year)
  • Democrats in control of Congress during Bush/Obama era:  Added $4.603 trillion (avg 1.48 trillion per year)

Clearly, while Republicans have been somewhat irresponsible in running up debt, Democrats have managed to be almost three times worse than Republicans.  Just as clearly, they have no intention to cut spending to correct this, but instead plan to hike taxes to fund their spending spree.  And they’re being led by a President who wants to spend even more, as his own budget projections show.


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Phil Hare says that danger from a rapidly-increasing national debt is just a myth

That’s a myth that’s about to be busted.

rbj on October 19, 2010 at 9:32 AM

I hate it when the “adults” are in charge.

AubieJon on October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM

impeach.

ctmom on October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM

It’s not Greece we should be looking at for instruction, it’s France.

Skandia Recluse on October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Anyone else always think “Why so serious?” when looking at that picture of Bambi?

teke184 on October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM

This really isn’t a problem, Michelle Antoinette has her servants busy planting gold ingot trees in the White House garden right next to the mercury-tainted mushrooms.

When those trees start producing, boy oh boy, we are going to be swimming in good times; thank Gaia for Michelle’s gardening skills.

Bishop on October 19, 2010 at 9:35 AM

“By the time I got into office we already had a $1.3 trillion deficit and we had exploded the national debt,” he said last month during one of his backyard chats with Americans.

I’m really getting sick of that BS that always goes unchallenged by the drive-bys. First of all, it ain’t true. Secondly, even if it was, he was a Senator in the Democrat-controlled Congress that ran up that deficit. And thirdly, a big chunk of that deficit was TARP which he continuously claims credit for while in the same breath blaming Bush for adding to the deficit. This is a man who literally is trying to have it both ways.

The good news is it ain’t working. The media won’t challenge him on it, but a majority of Americans ain’t buying it.

Doughboy on October 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Change? Yeah and a big chunk of it too!

Oldnuke on October 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Nobody tell Obama what comes after a trillion.

trubble on October 19, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Great analysis. Republicans better understand they aren’t being let off the hook for their irresponsibility under Bush, but are being voted back in again because we hope they have learned their lesson while the evil Democrats clearly have not. For proof of the latter, as you said, just look at Phil Hare or at Maurice Hinchley (“What Federal debt?”).

MTF on October 19, 2010 at 9:39 AM

Not to worry. Only the rich will be forced to pay the tab.

Really Right on October 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

With a little luck, Congress might be able to add ‘nother trillion to that again this year.

Skandia Recluse on October 19, 2010 at 9:41 AM

I contend Republicans have been more than “somewhat irresponsible” running up debt. They have been highly irresponsible, while the Democrats have been downright diabolical because debt leads to destruction.

flyfisher on October 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

MSNBC whines “nobody will give him credit for what he’s accomplished!”

Wanna bet?

Marcus on October 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM

In the private sector anyone who acted this irresponsible on fiscal matters would be fired on the spot.

In the public sector they get reelected to office.

I rest my case on who is the wiser, corporations or braindead entitlement bloodsuckers who can vote.

fogw on October 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I do believe it is now safe to assume that Keynesian Economics are not only a dismal failure, but they are a disaster of epic proportion every single place they have been applied.

Now all someone needs to do is get this fact implanted through B.O.’s nickel-plated thick skull.

pilamaye on October 19, 2010 at 9:47 AM

U.S. Presidents on Debt (click image to enlarge)

Mervis Winter on October 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Republicans: We’re only HALF as spendthrift as Democrats!

I don’t think this is going to be a selling point – that one party only digs the hole half as fast as the other does. How about realizing we are at the bottom of the hole, climbing out and starting to fill it in?

Seems we are about due for that sort of party in the near future… one that will stop the digging and start the filling.

ajacksonian on October 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

flyfisher on October 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

THANK you.

cjtony97 on October 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

“We had to spend lots of money to get us out of that spending hole that Booosh put us in!”

MeatHeadinCA on October 19, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Obama’s trillions dwarf Bush’s ‘dangerous’ spending

Pelosi and Reid called Bush’s budgets “dangerous” and “unpatriotic,” but with Obama, they’ve changed their tune.

Back in 2006, when Democrats were hoping to win control of the House and Senate, party leaders worked themselves into a righteous outrage over the issue of out-of-control federal spending.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the Republican budget “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” because it increased the amount of U.S. debt held by foreign countries.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., accused Republicans of going on “an unprecedented and dangerous borrowing spree” and declared GOP leadership “the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of our country … no other president or Congress even comes close.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Obamas-trillions-dwarf-Bushs-dangerous-spending.html#ixzz12oSKwld8

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 9:55 AM

“Gotta love me some Commerce Clause!”

Del Dolemonte on October 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

“We had to spend lots of money to get us out of that spending hole that Booosh put us in!”

MeatHeadinCA on October 19, 2010 at 9:52 AM

MeatHeadinCA:Yup!!:)

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Obama QUADRUPLES National Debt
before reaching his term’s midpoint.

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Battle For Midway!

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Here comes the taxes Democrats are so famous for.

Rovin on October 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM

And let’s not forget that one trillion of that money was spent by the Democrats in just 50 days.

Del Dolemonte on October 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Cloward.

Piven.

Executed brilliantly.

turfmann on October 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Chuck Norris will give you one? a fanny pack

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 10:06 AM

The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

Lady Margaret Thatcher

kingsjester on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Again,worth the watch….why we vote in the MidTerms are
sooooooooooooo crucial!!
==============================

Nancy Pelosi struuts to the well,after,gettung Republicans on board,then,takes out her gavel,and goes on a rant,compl
ete with THREATENING INVESTIGATIONS,and her narration Dec
eption/Perception,of “8 Years of Failed Bush Policies”!!

And,the GOP,rightfully so,went ballastic!!
============================================

700 Billion Dollars…………………….

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Floor Speech Before Bailout Vote
September 29,2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=en&v=VMLo7i38D58
==================================================

Republicans blaming Pelosi speech for bailout bill failure. Oh please.
September 29, 2008 3:02 PM
——————————-
The MSM WERE A SPINNING,BTW!

What an irresponsible cheap shot during a time of a national emergency. Some feelings were hurt by Pelosi? Oh please.
============

Said GOP House Leader John Boehner
“I do believe that we could have gotten there today had it not been for this partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House.

http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/09/republicans_blaming_pelosi_spe.html

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

3 trillion, what is just the cost of the interest on that 3 trillion…don’t tell me, it is rhetorical and I don’t want to know the real figure.

right2bright on October 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM

“Count it!!”

/s crr6

Khun Joe on October 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Lady Margaret Thatcher

kingsjester on October 19, 2010 at 10:08 AM

A brilliant leader…and one that took over a similar situation that Obama is creating.
Do we have her type of leadership? I pray we do, but I haven’t seen it emerge yet.

right2bright on October 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM

UGH,I’m on a roll,should be,s/p
strutts
getting.

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM

When the Democrats took Congress in 2007 we started down this hill. Time to stop.

Cindy Munford on October 19, 2010 at 10:11 AM

ajacksonian on October 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Agreed.

My disenchantment with Libertarians is their lack of practical organization to effect fiscal prosperity. If the Marxist academia can get the juvenile Obama into the Oval Office, given that Libertarians pride themselves on their own intellectual superiority, WHERE’S THEIR ROADMAP for where we are to where they designate as Constitutional Government? No agenda beyond their own elitist high fallutin’ publications and professorships? Where is their Free Market Express beyond their own isolated realm of existence?

/morons stuck on drugs need not respond as if “libertarians”

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM

We’re saved. There is roughly $5 Trillion sitting in 401k retirement accounts.

Suppose we collectively donated all that money to Obama. That would certainly be the impetus to bring on Utopia.

Just think, we’re one Bill away from Nirvana.

Yes We Can!

BobMbx on October 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM

This little clip demonstrates the basic economic understanding of the Democratic Party, and too many Republican leaders as well.

Biden: Avoid bankruptcy-spend more $

Every time I see Biden say that I am reminded of the passage in 2 Thessalonians where it talks of how those who reject the truth shall be sent a strong delusion so that they will believe a lie. You have to be under pretty strong delusion to believe you need to keep spending to keep from going bankrupt. And there are many similar forays into futility to which liberals commit themselves, not just economics.

flyfisher on October 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I rest my case on who is the wiser, corporations or braindead entitlement bloodsuckers who can vote.
fogw on October 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM


The private sector is generally more incompetent than the public sector. crr6 on June 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Akzed on October 19, 2010 at 10:24 AM

All the more reason to steal our pension plans and 401K’s!

ctmom on October 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

“Clearly, while Republicans have been somewhat irresponsible in running up debt” …

Ed, no excuses, the last 10 years have been a complete fiscal clusterfark… both parties have turned into hungry pigs at the public trough, we are arguing who is hungrier… Time to put all the piggies on a starvation diet starting Nov 3.

maineconservative on October 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM

3 trillion, what is just the cost of the interest on that 3 trillion…don’t tell me, it is rhetorical and I don’t want to know the real figure.

right2bright on October 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM

It is my understanding that most of that has been put on an Uncle Obama’s American Express, not his Visa. They have financed the $3 trillion with short term notes payable in full. So they will have to be rolled over sooner rather than later (because we never actually pay the debt down). And when that happens, presuming a return to an historically normal interest rate environment (market factors will eventually drive rates up), debt service will explode and eat us alive. Bernanke has enabled this b.s. and is an active participant in the destruction of our currency and, perhaps, our republic.

flyfisher on October 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM

But, as CBS points out, Obama has already added 60% of the debt in two years that Bush added in eight, and Obama is on track to add a trillion dollars more in his first term than Bush did in two

Of course I’m not going to bother checking CBS’s “math,” but there are at least a few dozen (pardon the expression) conservative assumptions buried in that figure.

This deficit spending is absolutely NOT tapering off. None of these new programs are front-loaded. As currently implemented, these policies will cause the ratio of government spending to private sector GNP to increase at a geometric rate.

logis on October 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM

American Exceptionalism:

“The United States are now the largest debtor nation…in the history of the world.”
Jim Rogers

USA! USA!

Rae on October 19, 2010 at 10:32 AM

“Hey! Gotta spend money to…keep spending money!”

– Joe “Big-Effin-Deal” Biden

catmman on October 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

If Obowma was your answer, have you considered how stupid your question must have been….

tarpon on October 19, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Anyone else always think “Why so serious?” when looking at that picture of Bambi?

teke184 on October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I think he looks like someone who’s trying to gladhand me just before a big wallet-busting con.

gryphon202 on October 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Phil Hare says that danger from a rapidly-increasing national debt is just a myth

I’ve got a better theme for the December 8 episode of Mythbusters.

Vashta.Nerada on October 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Battle For Midway!

maverick muse on October 19, 2010 at 9:59 AM

maverick muse:)
=====================================================

Death of the Japanese Navy – 1-5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzh0cCTfdsw

canopfor on October 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

It’s not Greece we should be looking at for instruction, it’s France.

Skandia Recluse on October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM

I think Japan is a closer model to what we are doing. They started it 20 years ago, throwing stimulus money at a downturn in the economy. Their “lost decade” has become “lost decades.” They still haven’t recovered. And we are headed in that same direction.

iurockhead on October 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

He added $3T in 2 years during the worst recession in many many decades. It’s all stimulus spending, not “regular” spending.

Give him a break guys. It’s not like it’s a normal economy and he added $3T of spending.

Even Bush had said he had “put his free-market principles on hold” to save the economy.

AlexB on October 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

AlexB on October 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Forgot to add – after Bush did that, he was made fun of by Hugo Chavez with a song “you are so much like me!”

Keep your Obama criticisms honest and in perspective please.

AlexB on October 19, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Even Bush had said he had “put his free-market principles on hold” to save the economy.

AlexB on October 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

President Bush was not an economic conservative. He set aside his free-market principles to save the BANKS (and to keep their foreign buddies happy). It is a mistake to conflate the banking behemoths with the free-market. They typify crony capitalism, which is really neo-fascism.

flyfisher on October 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Republican budgets added $3.873 trillion to the national debt. That is not only far below what Democrats have added in just one-third of the time

OK so the GOP Congress from Clinton to Bush was stupid. That means Dems took are 3 times more stupid. That math works.

The Expert Knows
http://theexpertsblog.blogspot.com

HotAirExpert on October 19, 2010 at 12:29 PM

He added $3T in 2 years during the worst recession in many many decades. It’s all stimulus spending, not “regular” spending.

AlexB on October 19, 2010 at 11:34 AM

A RECESSION THAT HE AND HIS PARTY CAUSED!!!

Look at my thumb. Gee, you’re dumb.

Dominion on October 19, 2010 at 1:19 PM

The formula is simple:

1) Stop the spending on Obamacare and the rest of the pork laden grease traps,

2) Close off any part of government not directly mandated by the Constitution, which includes all the quasi-governmental organizations and federal reserve who had a policy directly contributing to the problems just as it did in the run-up to the Great Depression…Ed, Ag, EPA, Energy, all must go,

3) Auction off the real world goods and property of now defunct parts of government.

We can tell those getting SSA they will get it until their ‘accounts’ are exhausted. All others can use said ‘accounts’ to write off future taxes. The ‘retirement age’ is abolished: if you want to retire, figure it out yourself. FICA is abolished.

Together these will leave more hands in the American people via tax cuts than has been seen since the 1930′s.

Add Medicare and Medicaid together, divide by 2, block grant that to the States, phase down and out in 5 years. If the States want to do this then let them figure it out for themselves, the federal government has failed at doing these things well, smartly, thriftily, and has put an inflator into all medical practices because of its insane pricing schemes.

This phases out the two large entitlement systems: SSA and Medicare/Medicaid. They eat up the entire cashflow, all else is paid for by debt.

The big kick-off is 5 years of pretty bad but manageable debt with no excess functions with the government: an austerity government that does very little. And in any event it will be far less than it is projected to be now.

Businesses get to keep more cash, as do employees: everyone gets richer who works. Without ‘mandates’ the cost of medical care drops, and without ‘help’ on medical insurance you get to decide what you absolutely must have and look for charity if you can’t get it… because the charities will also see a huge infusion of cash from wealthy citizens and corporations.

This can be done by one chamber in Congress: the US House as all spending starts there. If it isn’t funded it doesn’t stay around, and normal processes to let employees go then take place. The GAO takes in the assets and cycles them out.

And if patents and copyrights can be held at 8 years + 8 renewed years as a maximum, then large numbers of older medications and documents fall into the Public Domain. Industrial processes, software, and older intellectual property then can get used without threats of lawsuits.

Entitlements sound so nice until they make everyone poor, then broke, then in debt. The value is not worth the cost.

Crony capitalism adds to that by getting into bed with government on pricing, kick-backs via pork and recycling that into campaigns: get the money out of government and the ‘special interests’ won’t be able to ‘influence’ legislation for organizations that don’t exist any more. That is what the Left has called for, for decades but never, ever, not once in a million years, want to get rid of the magnet of government money, just the personal liberty of the citizens to oppose it.

It is time to shut up this cesspit, pile over it with dirt and then back-fill it for a couple of decades. By then SSA will be a distant memory, Medcare/Medicaid a quaint socialist notion that doesn’t work, a small government as the expected norm as big government is toxic to liberty, and a people able to figure it out for themselves without government ‘help’… in case you haven’t guessed it, you can’t get just a ‘little’ bit of ‘help’ as it always, without fail, steamrollers into more and more government doing less with more until you spend towards the heavens to get a pittance. Americans can survive the ending of ‘entitlements’… the Nation cannot survive with them and the mentatlity they bring along very much longer.

ajacksonian on October 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Phil Hare says that danger from a rapidly-increasing national debt is just a myth.

That’s not what he said. He said it’s a “myth that this country’s in debt and we just can’t spend.” It might be a stupid thing to say, but he wasn’t saying that the debt itself is a myth.

tneloms on October 19, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Thank you, ED, for the very easy to understand and succint breakdown of the numbers. A must read for every American; to refudiate obama’s LIES about who is spending the money hand over fist, and his HYPOCRISY before and after his election where he spoke/speaks about the fact that the insane spending just has to stop.

It is a measure of every American’s need to become informed and the lack of it, when obama can lie so broadly and consistently, even creating his own “slurpee sipping GOP” meme roadshow, and getting away with it.

Sarah Palin: Please break this into a concise presentation and BRING IT to obastalin, exploding the slurpee right in his kisser, grabbing the car keys and burning rubber as you roar up and out of the ditch obama wants to bury us in.

tigerlily on October 19, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Not to worry. Only the rich will be forced to pay the tab.

Really Right on October 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Dems new definition of “rich”: If you are employed or self-employed. If you are either of those, you will be picking up the tab.

Heard on radio: Businessman griping that he couldn’t get people to come to work at his factory because unemployment (99 weeks!) paid higher rate that what he could afford to pay.

electric-rascal on October 19, 2010 at 11:10 PM