- Posted March 8, 2013 by
Grand Prairie, Texas
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Who Owns the National Debt
First of all, the US fiscal year begins on Oct 1, xxxx and ends on Sep 30, yyyy. During such, there is revenue (income) and expenses (outlays). Revenue minus expenses, if positive, defines a surplus and if negative, defines a deficit. The National Debt is a running total from past to present comprised of Debt Held by the Public + Intragovernmental Holdings. The current National Debt is $16.6 trillion.
Let's look at some history. Reagan inherited a National Debt of approximately $0.9 trillion. GHW Bush on Oct 1, 1989 took over the debt at $2.9 trillion, a $2 trillion 222% increase. Bill Clinton on Oct 1, 1993 took over the debt at $4.4 trillion, a $1.5 trillion 52% increase. GW Bush on Oct 1, 2001 took over the debt at $5.8 trillion a $1.4 trillion 32% increase. Obama on Oct 1, 2009 took over the debt at $11.9 trillion, a $6.1 trillion 105% increase. The National Debt is currently $16.6 trillion, a $4.7 trillion
In summary. Reagan increased the debt by 222%, GHW Bush by 52%, Clinton by 32%, GW Bush by 105% and Obama by 39%. However, remember the President does not create the debt and Congress holds the purse strings. The examples used are to illustrate the growing debt, who was in the White House and to dispel the ludicrous accusations against Obama. However, this is an oversimplification of the current dynamics. Obama inherited the TARP fund, 2 unfunded off-the-books wars, deficit spending and the Great Recession.
I would submit that a better gauge, or metric, to look at the impact of the National Debt is the ratio of debt to the GDP, as a percentage. This better reflects the Nation's ability to manage its debt. Beginning with Reagan the ratio was around 32.5%, by the end of GW Bush's Presidency the ratio was approximately 84.2%. By the end of the fiscal year 2011, the ratio was hitting 99.6% and still climbing. This is truly alarming.
This is the responsibility of of both parties. Arresting this trend will take both revenue increases and balanced spending cuts, over time. Spending cuts alone will not suffice. In the end, we all own the Debt.