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Thursday, April 19, 2012
The $5 Trillion Man And His Historic Milestone
Obama taking the oath of office
In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office
as president of the United States, the federal government’s debt has increased
by $5,027,761,476,484.56. a historic milestone
— at lightning speed.
The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during
the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $5,027,761,476,484.56. trillion
since President Obama took office.
Although he has served less than a
term, Obama is now the first American president to see the federal government's
debt increase by more than $5 trillion during his time in office.
George W. Bush
During the full eight years that
George W. Bush served as president, the federal government's debt increased by
$4,899,100,310,608.44. (Rising from $5,727,776,738,304.64 to
$5,027,761,476,484.56 that the debt has increased during Obama's presidency
equals $16,043.39 for every one of the 313,385,295 people the Census Bureau now
estimates live in the United States.
At the close of business on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Obama was
inaugurated, the federal government’s debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to the U.S. Treasury. By the close of business on April 16, 2012—as many
Americans were working to finalize their 2011 tax returns to meet an April 17
filing deadline—the debt had reached $15,654,638,525,397.64.
The National Debt also now exceeds
100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and
The $5,027,761,476,484.56 in
additional debt that the U.S. government has taken on during the 39 months that
Obama has been president is more debt than the federal government accumulated
in the first 219 years of the Republic.
total federal debt did not exceed $5,027,761,476,484.56 until March 14, 1996,
when President Bill Clinton was in the last year of his first term in office.
On that day, the national debt rose from $5,025,887,531,178.79 to
It doesn’t get any better, either. Obama has proposed a new
budget for FY2013 that will add another $900 billion to the national debt under
the most cheery, best-case scenarios imaginable, and likely will exceed the
trillion-dollar mark for the fifth time in his presidency. In the budget
projections released with that proposal, Obama expects to leave office with a
national debt of $21 trillion — which will mean that Obama himself would have doubled the debt during his eight years in office, adding $10.34 trillion
for an increase of 97%.
course, the proper way to calculate debt responsibility is by control of
Congress. As I pointed out multiple occasions, that’s actually worse for Democrats. First, let’s me 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, less than Obama has added
since taking office a little over three years ago. Since taking control of
Congress Democrats have added $4.992 trillion to the
it would be fairer 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 would add to the national debt in just one term.
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
in control for 12 years: Added $4.034 trillion (avg $336.17 billion per year)
in control during Bush era: Added $3.201 trillion (avg $533.5 billion per year)
in control of Congress during Bush/Obama era: Added $4.603 trillion (avg
1.48 trillion per year)
solution for out-of-control deficit spending will have to come from Congress,
since this President consistently refuses to take responsibility for it. Guy Benson has an
in-depth rundown of Rep. Paul Ryan’s new budget, which at least takes a large
step in the right direction:
Spending - The Path to Prosperity
spends $3.53 Trillion in FY 2013, a number that grows to $4.88 Trillion by the
end of the decade. It restores full military funding to pre-Budget
Control Act sequestration levels, off-setting those dollars elsewhere and
preventing a harmful gutting of our national defense. It reduces
spending by $5 Trillion over the next ten years, compared to Obama’s
budget. It restores federal spending to the historical norm of 20 percent
of GDP by 2015.
Deficits - Ryan’s blueprint reduces
budget deficits by $3 Trillion over the coming decade, relative to Obama’s
budget. Although it doesn’t happen immediately, and unlike Obama’s plan,
this budget balances. Within the current decade window, it comes closest
to primary balance by achieving a $166 Billion annual deficit in 2018 (to put
that into perspective, 2010′s deficit under this president was $1.6
Trillion). The closest Obama’s budget comes to primary balance is a $617 Billion shortfall in 2017, which is
still roughly double the size of President Bush’s average deficit.
Debt - Unlike President Obama’s
unflinching debt express, the GOP budget’s lowers spending and enacts crucial
reforms to chart a more sustainable debt course, allowing the United States to
gradually begin paying down the national debt. The plan would retire the
publicly-held debt by the 2050′s. Gross debt reached 100 percent of US
GDP this year, an alarming tipping point — yet President Obama’s new budget offers ever
higher debt in perpetuity.
sure to read it all. Ryan’s plan takes the right approach, but
doesn’t go far enough. It’s not sufficient any longer to slow the
rate at which we add to the national debt; we have to start subtracting from
it. Now that we have reached the Greece threshold of debt at 100% of
our GDP, we can’t afford to keep adding to it. Unfortunately for
Ryan — who certainly understands the problem — he doesn’t have enough people in
Washington that will show the necessary leadership to get that kind of
approached passed and signed into law. Until voters get serious and
toss Obama and other unserious spenders out of office, Ryan can’t do any better
than incremental improvements, which I’ll take over the alternatives offered at