Republicans usage a sound bite the the federal debt doubled under Obama. In looking at the numbers the is close to being numerically correct yet falls short of gift 100%. Yet when you take right into account the an excellent Recession, making W. Bush’s temporary tax cuts permanent, increased Social Security and also Medicare spending as an ext Baby Boomers retire and become 65 years old and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars he inherited the story is fairly different.

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U.S. President Barack Obama, previous President George W. Bush, former President invoice Clinton and... <+> former President George H.W. Bush attend the opened ceremony that the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

There room multiple databases that have dollar quantities of the federal debt. While they have various numbers they are overall close to each other and also essentially show the exact same dollar alters over the years. I am using details from the federal Reserve of St. Louis.

Impact from the good Recession

According to the U.S nationwide Bureau of financial Research, the an excellent Recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009. President Barack Obama was sworn in top top January 20, 2009, so that had already started before he gotten in office.

The very first thing you notification when looking in ~ the federal deficits from budget 2007 (the U.S. Government fiscal year ends in September) is that it boosted by virtually $1 trillion from fiscal 2008 (two months before Obama to be elected and also four months prior to he to be sworn in) to budget 2009. It remained over $1 trillion per year for 4 years and got below Bush’s critical years deficit in budget 2015. It continued to decrease till Obama’s critical year and also has raised in Trump’s very first year in office.

fiscal 2007: $161 exchange rate (next to critical year that Bush’s second term) budget 2008: $459 billion (beginning impact from the good Recession) fiscal 2009: $1.4 sunshine (Obama’s very first year and also in the this of the Recession)
fiscal 2010: $1.3 trillion Fiscal 2011: $1.3 trillion Fiscal 2012: $1.1 trillion Fiscal 2013: $680 billion fiscal 2014: $485 billion budget 2015: $438 billion budget 2016: $587 billion fiscal 2017: $666 billion (Trump’s first year the his Presidency)

It is clear that the virtually $1 sunshine jump in between fiscal 2008 and also 2009 was due to the great Recession. Taxation receipts fell, expenditure rose and Obama and Congress happen the American Economy and Reinvestment Act to combat the recession.

A much better way to analyze the federal debt

Using percentages is a much better way of examining data in a many of instances as that compensates as soon as the data set numbers are larger or smaller from every other. Federal debt drops into this classification as it rises over time. The compounding influence of growth can make making use of absolute numbers meaningless.

How much did the full deficit climb by every President because Reagan

Again using data from the St. Louis federal Reserve, this are starting and finishing federal debt numbers because President Reagan. I have computed the full percentage increase and the compounded yearly rate.

What the numbers show is the the total debt increased the many at 184% over 8 years and at the fastest rate under president Reagan at practically 14% per year. In fact, the 3 Republican presidents had actually the fastest growing debt on a yearly basis.


started Presidency: $965 billion finished Presidency: $2.74 trillion raised 184% or 13.9% per year

H.W. Bush

began Presidency: $2.74 trillion ended Presidency: $4.23 trillion raised 54% or 11.5% every year (only in office for four years)


started Presidency: $4.23 trillion finished Presidency: $5.77 trillion increased 36% or 4.0% per year

W. Bush

started Presidency: $5.77 trillion finished Presidency: $11.1 trillion boosted 93% or 8.5% per year


began Presidency: $11.1 trillion ended Presidency: $19.85 trillion enhanced 78% or 7.5% every year

President Obama’s blame actually flourished at a slower yearly rate than any of the Republican presidents also though over there were occasions that negatively affected the deficit the started before he became President. The great Recession is most likely the greatest of lock as deserve to be watched in the yearly deficit numbers. When all politicians use data to support their positions, the sound bite that the debt doubled under Obama is really misleading.

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I provide independent study of modern technology companies and was previously one of two analysts that determined the technology holdings because that Atlantic to trust (Invesco"s high net worth group), a firm through $15 billion under management. Before joining Atlantic Trust i was the net Security software analyst because that Smith Barney (where i authored the most comprehensive industry report “Internet protection Software: The Ultimate web Infrastructure”) and an companies Server Hardware analyst in ~ Salomon Brothers. Prior to becoming an equity analyst, I spent 16 years at IBM in a range of sales and also manufacturing positions. I have actually a B.S. In Industrial design from Stanford University and also a Postgraduate Diploma in economics from the college of Sussex, England.