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Which Presidents increased the debt the most?

In this presidential election year, let’s talk about the national debt and which party, and hence its Presidents, increased it the most during their terms in office. There’s a much maligned chart originally put out by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s office which demonstrates quite well visually the differences between conservative and progressives when in office.

While it’s true the numbers are off, they’re not that far off; calculating the amount of debt each President inherited from his predecessor, as compared to the level of debt he passed on is not rocket science; it’s basically Government 101 that any President’s first year in office is not their budget, it’s the last year’s budget of his predecessor, thus any President’s first year of debt is not theirs’ but their predecessor’s last year of debt; Reagan’s first year of fiscal accountability was FY82 not FY 81, and that’s how each administration’s percentage of increase of the national debt should be calculated, thus it wasn’t President Obama’s first budget that dramatically exploded the national debt, it was President Bush’s final federal budget. Here are the actual debts and the percentage of increase in Billions of dollars, as well as a graphic representation of deficit increases and decreases under each president:

Under President Reagan, the National Debt was $994 billion at the end of 1981 and $2,867 billion at the end of 1989 = a 118% increase in the debt and an increase in deficit spending.

Under President George H.W. Bush (41), the National Debt was $2,867 billion at the end of 1989 and $4,351 billion at the end of 1993 = a 51% increase in the debt and an increase in deficit spending.

Under President Clinton, the National Debt was $4,351 billion at the end of 1993 and $5,807 billion at the end of 2001 = a 33% increase in the debt, but a decrease in the deficit spending.

Under President George W. Bush (43), the National Debt was $5,807 billion at the end of 2001 and $11,909 billion at the end of 2009 = a 106% in the debt and a corresponding explosion in deficit spending.

Under President Obama, the National Debt was $11,909 billion at the end of 2009 and $15,270 billion by current estimates = a 29% increase in the debt, but like President Clinton (while not a surplus) a drop in deficit spending.

I’m sorry conservatives, but the largest increases of our National Debt and deficits were under Presidents Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 where conversely the smallest increases have been under Presidents Clinton (deficit decreased) and Obama – you’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own set of facts.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in 2012 Election

 

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President goes on offense?

Original photo official White House photo

President Barack Obama using the strength of the bully pulpit took the battle into the enemy’s home turf today pitching his $447 billion jobs program of tax cuts and new spending in Richmond, VA, the home District of the Republican Tea Party (GOTP) whiny boy – House Majority “Leader” Eric Cantor.

“I know that folks sometimes think they’ve used up the benefit of the doubt but I’m an eternal optimist,” the President told more than 8,000 people at the University of Richmond. “I’m an optimistic person. I believe if you just stay at it long enough, after they’ve exhausted all the other options, folks do the right thing.”

Thus far, the GOTP has remained “noncommittal”, which is much better than remaining “diametrically opposed”.

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration,” GOTP House Speaker John Boehner, said after the president’s speech. “We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.

“It’s my hope that we can work together,” Boehner added.

You hope the President gives serious considerations to what ideas? The ideas the GOTP voted for in lock step to dismantle Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veteran’s benefits? The so-called “plan” put forth by Paul Ryan? Is that what passes as ideas today in Boehner’s world?

“You should pass it right away,” the President told GOTP lawmakers more than once, and he pledged to campaign for its enactment “in every corner of this country.”

The President masterfully made his point about where he would take the fight when he identified the need fix a certain bridge; “There’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky,” he said. Coincidently the two states represented by the Speaker and Senate GOTP leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell was not fazed, and retorted in typical obstructionist fashion, “For months, we’ve been engaged in a national debate about spending and debt, about the need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, about the need to rein in government. … Yet here we are, tonight, being asked by this same president to support even more government spending with the assurance that he’ll figure out a way to pay for it later.”

Yes, that’s right Mitch always with the negative ways. But what is to be expected from a Senator who declared his number one priority is to make sure President Obama only has one term? Not to put Americans back to work; not to defeat Al Qaeda; but to make sure President Obama only has one term. Wow, what a sterling example of unselfish service to our country. Kind of makes you want to run right out and add Mitch’s likeness to Mount Rushmore doesn’t it?

Meanwhile, getting back to meaningful, adult, conversation on the country’s troubles, the President said the tax cuts he’s recommending would mean $1,500 a year for the typical working family and $80,000 for businesses with 50 employees of average pay, and he said he would outline legislation in coming days to offset the bill’s $447 billion price tag so it wouldn’t add to federal deficits.

All-in-all, the President’s asking for $253 billion in tax cuts, with an additional $194 billion in new spending to fund highway and other construction projects, modernize schools, stabilize blighted neighborhoods and help states hire teachers and first responders.

Of course McConnell wasn’t the only GOTP dinosaur to oppose the President’s challenge, soon to retire – thankfully – Senator Jon Kyl whined, “Rather than offer a new road map for recovery and reform, he merely dusted off a tired agenda of old ideas wrapped in freshly partisan rhetoric.”

Very insightful offering from Kyl, who’s serving on the newly formed uber-committee responsible for finding ways to cut the nation’s debt and has threatened to walk out if anyone suggests further cuts in defense spending. If I were a Democratic Senator I would suggest it every time the committee met just to push his buttons and see if he would be true to his treat, or to just see if his head would explode.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat, was as hopeful as ever saying he hoped the proposals would “present a litmus test to Republicans. I hope they will show the American people that they are more interested in creating jobs than defeating President Obama.”

Yeah, you hold on to that happy thought Senator, that and some fairy dust and one day you may just fly. Are you kidding me? Do you really believe the GOTP members of Congress are going to do anything to willingly help this President get the economy going? Most of them want things to stay as bad as possible in hopes of defeating him in 2012; and no, that is no exaggeration.

Democratic House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi is coming out swinging at her GOTP counterparts, “Republicans have a choice to either work with Democrats on the immediate need to create jobs or waste more time when American families are demanding action.”

Personally Congresswoman, I predict they’ll do nothing. They’ll hope to stall as long as possible. From a political point of view it’s a disaster either way for the GOTP. If they help the President the rabid Tea Party members of the far-right will eat them alive; but if they do nothing, the President and any Democratic opponents will be able to truthfully paint them as the do nothing party they’ve become. It’s a win-win for the President, and a masterful play.

If his GOTP presidential opponents come out against the plan then they have to defend why. Again, a masterful play by the President; he’s put them in an indefensible position. They can stall, or oppose, and be portrayed as being anti-recovery and friends to the wealthy, or they can come out in support and be devoured by the Tea Partiers.

In going on the offense the President looks Presidential, while the GOTP presidential crazy 8’s in comparison look like fools.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in 2012 Election

 

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