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Barack Obama lacks solutions to the debt problem

One Facebook, a liberal friend shared this image purporting to showing how much debt the nation accumulated under the presidents since Reagan.  It seemed the purpose was to exonerate the incumbent while laying the blame at the feet of his predecessor for our nation’s $16.208 trillion debt.

On January 20, 2009, the day the incumbent took office, the national debt stood at $10.627 trillion, meaning it increased approximately $5.581 trillion on this Democrat’s watch (less than a full term in office.)  By contrast, “[t]he Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency.

Now, to be sure, maybe Obama did indeed “inherit” a budget out of balance, but he had solid Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress during his first two years in office.  In his campaign, he had promised a “net spending cut” while he office as he had promised to cut the deficit in half in his first term.

He achieved neither of those goals.  He didn’t even come close.

On the current campaign trail, he is not putting forth any plan to reduce the deficit should he win reelection.

It seems that those who created the above chart seek to pass the blame for the nation’s debt onto Obama’s immediate predecessor, as if that will absolve the incumbent of not having a plan to control federal spending.



  1. WAIT A MINUTE! Social Security Trust Funds? I would have sworn that the Congress, in its infinite wisdom, transferred the SS money into the General Fund decades ago.

    Comment by SailorMan — October 26, 2012 @ 7:35 pm - October 26, 2012

  2. Although many conservative bloggers and organizations have more updated versions of this chart which originally appeared in the Washington Post illustrating actual deficits from 2000-2008 and projected deficits from 2009-2012, I think it’s always worth going back to the original, just because most leftists are likely to dismiss charts which do not come from a government source or a left-leaning media organization.

    That chart always needs to be accompanied by some basic facts. See the increased deficits between fiscal 2007 and fiscal 2008? That’s the consequence of the Democrat takeover of both houses of Congress after the 2006 election. The budget is supposed to be passed by Congress before the start of the federal fiscal year, which starts in October. That means the 2007 budget was the last one passed by Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress prior to the 2006 election. The budget for 2008 was passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature. Furthermore, the Democrats in Congress didn’t pass a budget prior to the start of fiscal 2009 because they expected Obama to win, and they didn’t want to have to work with Bush on a budget. The budget for 2009 wasn’t passed until March of 2009, and that was the last budget that the Democrats in the Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid have passed. Furthermore, the biggest increases in spending in 2009 included TARP (which was “bipartisan” and which Obama voted for), and the “Stimulus” (which was the creation of Obama and his fellow Democrats and which had the effect of adding to the baseline spending for future years). So in other words, the argument that Obama and his party aren’t responsible for the recklessly increased spending is completely bogus.

    But, then again, what can we expect from Obama. After all, this is a fellow who says that he is “pretty lost” when it comes to helping his daughter with her 9th grade math homework. That sounds more like Teen Talk Barbie to me.

    Comment by Kurt — October 26, 2012 @ 8:12 pm - October 26, 2012

  3. Correction: the chart I alluded to in the first paragraph of my comment includes projected deficits through 2019 (not 2012, as I accidentally typed).

    Comment by Kurt — October 26, 2012 @ 8:14 pm - October 26, 2012

  4. What many of the Obama supporters is forgetting is this:

    It doesn’t matter who was in charge before.

    It doesn’t matter what mess they left.

    What matters is Obama is in charge and hasn’t done f*cking sh*t to fix it!

    I guess, he better go play another round of golf or shoot some hoops in between talking to the ladies on The View.

    Comment by Charles — October 27, 2012 @ 12:49 am - October 27, 2012

  5. So many things wrong with the chart, it’s hard to know where to start.

    I’ll just point out ONE of the many things: per the United States Constitution, it’s actually Congress who decides the budget, spending, taxes, deficit and debt.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 27, 2012 @ 9:39 am - October 27, 2012

  6. (And a chart which reflected that, would show most of the debt being accumulated by Democrat-majority congresses.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 27, 2012 @ 9:41 am - October 27, 2012

  7. Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid blew up the deficit with Porkulus, Dodd-Frank & ObamaTax; they want to increase spending to obscene levels. Think $25-30 trillion deficit. Obama wants his USSA.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — October 27, 2012 @ 9:58 am - October 27, 2012

  8. (Or by divided ones, like today. Less of it by Republican-majority congresses.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 27, 2012 @ 10:00 am - October 27, 2012

  9. @ILoveCapitalism – You are of course entirely correct about Congress’ level of responsibility? How do we factor in *presidential* responsibility, since they often submit budgets, ask for budgets, and theoretically sign them into law? Not disagreeing with you, just think presidents do play a big role.

    Comment by Rick67 — October 27, 2012 @ 11:21 am - October 27, 2012

  10. Oh, how cute… by dishonestly moving the FY 2009 Budget which was signed by President Obama to Bush’s term, they subtract $1.5 Trillion from Obama’s total and add it to Bush’s.

    Excuse me, I rarely use allcaps, but, LIBERALS LIE EVERY STINKING DAY OF THE WEEK AND TWICE ON SUNDAY!!!

    Comment by V the K — October 27, 2012 @ 12:17 pm - October 27, 2012

  11. he promised “a net spending cut.” he lied!

    Comment by tommy651 — October 27, 2012 @ 2:21 pm - October 27, 2012

  12. Not disagreeing with you, just think presidents do play a big role.

    Yeah… but only because (or to the extent) that Congress has abdicated their constitutional responsibility.

    Kind of like how Congress abdicated (though they would say ‘delegated’) the responsibility for managing the currency to the Federal Reserve, who now act as the Politburo (central planners) for the economy.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — October 27, 2012 @ 2:35 pm - October 27, 2012

  13. Many people have defended Obama by saying he inherited the debt problem until I remind them of two major factors:
    1) FY 2009 Budget did not pass Congress until after the 2008 election. Congress refused to pass a budget that year because they did not want it to be a political liability going into the election. It was finally signed into law in March 2009 with Obama’s signature.
    2) TARP – Toxic Asset Relief Program. Was to provide $700 billion to overcome the effect of the toxic real estate assets. But it came in 2 increments. Bush signed the bill and executed the first $350 Billion which did the actual heavy lifting of calming the markets. Obama executed the second $350 billion primarily in order to bail out GM and Chrysler but also to further bail out other banks that may or may not have needed or wanted it.

    So, both of those tabs fall under Obama’s watch ’cause his signatire is at the bottom of both.

    Comment by SShiell — October 28, 2012 @ 2:17 am - October 28, 2012

  14. […] start of his term, an increase of nearly $5.6 trillion during his tenure his office.  By contrast, as I blogged last Friday, “[t]he Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Under Obama, federal gov’t continues to live beyond its means — November 1, 2012 @ 6:54 pm - November 1, 2012

  15. […] incomes? Record deficits? Sounds like what we got those things when we tried […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » In closing argument, Obama is still running against W . . . . . . .blames “other folks” for problems of his White House tenure — November 3, 2012 @ 2:19 am - November 3, 2012

  16. […] “On January 20, 2009, the day the incumbent took office, the national debt stood at $10.627 trillion…”   As I write this, it stands at $16.235 trillion, an increase of $5.608 trillion, $709 billion more than the debt accumulated under his predecessor — in two terms.  Now comes a report saying ”U.S. Per Person Debt [Is] Now 35 Percent Higher than that of Greece“: “On a per person basis, that means U.S. debt is $53,400 for every man, woman, and child, compared to $39,400 for every man, woman, and child in Greece. The disparity between per capita debt in the U.S. and Greece has grown 40 percent (roughly $8,400) since 2011. Now, U.S. per person debt is 35 percent higher than that of Greece, and is also higher than per capita debt in Portugal, Italy, or Spain (which together with Greece make up the so-called PIGS countries).” […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Once again, what is Obama’s plan to deal with the debt? — November 6, 2012 @ 12:30 am - November 6, 2012

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