Since day one, the Obama administration has enjoyed patting itself on the back for sundry “unprecedented” actions and ambitions — even as they often fail to follow through on said unprecedented-ness, and even though that word more often applies to them within a pejorative context. Behold, another unprecedented ‘achievement:’
The total federal debt of the U.S. government has now increased more than $7 trillion during the slightly more than five and a half years Barack Obama has been president. That is more than the debt increased under all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton combined, and it is more debt than was accumulated in the first 227 years of this nation’s existence–from 1776 through 2003. The total federal debt first passed the $7-trillion mark on Jan. 15, 2004, after President George W. Bush had been in office almost three years.
By the numbers:
When President Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the total federal debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08. As of the close of business on July 30, 2014, it had risen to $17,618,599,653,160.19–up $6,991,722,604,247.11 from Obama’s first inauguration day. By the close of business on July 31, 2014, it had risen to $17,687,136,723,410.59—up $7,060,259,674,497.51 since Obama first inauguration day. As of June, there were 115,097,000 households in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The $17,687,136,723,410.59 in debt the federal government had accumulated as of the end of July equaled $153,671.57 per household. The $7,060,259,674,497.51 in new debt that the federal government has taken on during Obama’s presidency equals $61,341.82 per household.
There’s a reason why the fact-checkers have unanimously affirmed O’s undisputed Debt King status. When President George W. Bush took office, the national debt hovered just shy of the $6 trillion mark, then exploded by roughly $5 trillion over his eight-year tenure. Many conservatives have rightly criticized Bush and the Republican Congress for utterly squandering an opportunity to reduce leviathan’s size and scope during that era. In fairness to their legacy, though, the last budget over which Republicans wielded total control was the FY 2007 blueprint, which featured an annual deficit of “only” $161 billion — not exactly a pittance, but child’s play relative to the shortfalls we’ve grown accustomed to lately. And that was during two active wars. Also to his credit, Bush attempted to reform one of our major entitlement programs in order to diffuse an unfunded liability time bomb; his efforts were demagogued and defeated by status quo-defending Democrats. In any case, the debt picture darkened dramatically in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, triggered when the massive, big-government-inflated, subprime housing bubble finally burst on the US economy. President Obama has proceeded to institutionalize the resulting emergency-level spending, racking up enormous deficits and causing the national debt to zoom skyward. But candidate Obama presented himself to the public as a deficit and spending hawk. During the 2008 presidential debates — post economic meltdown — he vowed to enact a “net spending cut” by poring over the federal budget “line by line” with a “scalpel.” On the campaign trail, he unloaded on his predecessor’s “unpatriotic” track record on debt accumulation:
“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents – number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.“
Let’s retrofit that condemnation, shall we?
“The problem is, is that the way Obama has done it over the last five-plus years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $10.6 trillion for the first 43 presidents — number 44 has added $7 trillion his lonesome (with more than two years to go), so that we now have over $17.6 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $55,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s
Team Obama would like you to congratulate them on their spectacular deficit reduction efforts, which have sliced the annual shortfall down to roughly half-a-trillion dollars….or higher than every single Bush deficit on record — save for FY 2009, and Bush was only partially responsible for those outlays. Also, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected that our annual deficits are on track to once again swell beyond $1 trillion by the end of the current 10-year budget window. Obama’s solution? A budget proposal that never balances, and that would add more than $8 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, despite trillions in tax increases. His advisers laughably touted the plan as an end to Obama’s, um, “age of austerity.” What about his big idea to stave off and neutralize the towering entitlement spending wave (which he’s admitted is a real threat)? Well, he doesn’t have one. But his White House is quite certain they don’t like Paul Ryan’s. I’ll leave you with this quasi-out-of-context — but fitting — soundbyte from Friday’s pre-vacation presser, which should be manna from heaven for GOP ad makers. Over to you, President Downgrade:
“We’ve already been very clear. We’ve run out of money.”
*It is a blend of fascism and racism to question this president’s patriotism.