Since Obama Took Office, Debt Has Nearly Doubled


Joanna Andreasson

Barack Obama likes to brag about how he brought federal deficits down, and that's true: In FY 2010 (the first year covered by an Obama administration budget) the deficit was just under $1.3 trillion, while in FY 2017 (the final year covered by an Obama administration budget) the deficit will be just over $500 billion. The federal debt, on the other hand, has almost doubled over his eight years, as this chart shows.


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  1. I really feel for Obama: he couldn’t even do a simple thing like doubling the debt! Embarrassing.

  2. but he lowered the deficit! /derp

    1. Way to preempt shriek, LH.

  3. Governments should not be allowed to borrow money. It creates a perverse incentive to neer properly pay it back as it is less immediately painful to the electorate, allowing them to spend extravagantly to buy support that the jurisdiction simply cannot afford long-term. By the time the bill comes due, the politicians who benefited will be long gone.

    1. Parchment barriers don’t stop the bleeding. If they did, I would create the best sanitary napkins in the world.

      1. Straffin’s Best Damn Paper Dam! – Stopping The Red Tide Everywhere!!

        1. Straffinrun Panty Shields

          Makes sense.

  4. Obama doubled the debt? Pfft – Trump’s a Master of Debt, he’ll triple the debt.

    1. …and get Mexico to pay for it

      1. And then fly away in a helicopter while America files bankruptcy!

        1. Helicopter? Shouldn’t it be a rocket by now?

    2. the debt nearly tripled under Reagan. *2.89 times. Our country was debt free for maybe 6 months while Andrew Jackson was in office. Unfortunately, there was also a depression that his critics blamed on the debt being paid off. The debt has climbed every year since then–except 1 year while Clinton was president but Newt claims it was his doing. I feel it would be nice if we could get a Congress and an President who want to try to lower it again.

  5. Pithy on-topic anecdote: within a year of Obama’s contribution to the bailout of the financial industry, I was called back to my university to sit on an advisory board for the department from which I had graduated. At that time, I got to visit with one of my old professors from the department, a guy you could characterise as “hard left” and definitely in the minority of engineering professors, but extremely soft-spoken and deferential.

    Anyhow after some initial pleasantries, and other fluffy banter, he suddenly became wild-eyed and proclaimed that “surely” the US economy would have been thrown into utter calamity if the bailout hadn’t occurred. What I do recall is that I had definitely not solicited the topic of talking about the bailout itself, unless you could characterise “it’s certainly been a dynamic past year” as a solicitation to dig deeper. It was at that time that I understood first hand how invested some people get in feelz, despite decades of exclusively dealing with the Scientific Method and reproducable experiment, standards for evidence can drop dramatically in support of a narrative.

    1. ‘Surely’. As in, you’re mad if you challenge this narrative.

    2. It was not that you solicited a topic about politics.

      It is that Nanny-Staters have to repeat it so many times, so it will help them believe it.

    3. His behavior would suggest that he wanted to be supported in his conclusion, like someone with a guilty conscience.

  6. The federal debt, on the other hand, has almost doubled over his eight years

    Ah, but have you factored in inflation?


  7. The federal debt, on the other hand, has almost doubled over his eight years

    Ah, but have you factored in inflation?


  8. The federal debt, on the other hand, has almost doubled over his eight years

    Ah, but have you factored in inflation?


    1. + multiplier

    2. Fiat posting, leading to comment inflation?

  9. Ah, but have you factored in squirrels?

    1. Squirrel inflation…damn, like there aren’t enough of those #$% things around here.

  10. Buuuuussssssssshhhhhhh


  11. And the MSM will discover this along with homelessness, wars, crony business as soon as Trump is inaugurated, if not sooner

    1. They’ve probably already got a backlog of stories written for as soon ans they can say “President” Trump.

  12. You know what else doubled every fixed period of time?

    1. The blind bets at a poker tournament?

  13. Debt will matter to the progs again, in what, three days from now?

    1. Don’t anyone dare say “Yeah, but Obama left it in shambles.”

    2. I believe it started mattering to Krugman again way back in November.

      1. I don’t regularly read Krugman, but Kevin Williamson of National Review recently quoted two recent Krugman columns. One was pre-election, when he assumed Hillary would win, arguing that we should borrow more money to spend in infrastructure since interest rates are low. The second, after the election, boiled down to “It’s time to start worrying about the deficit!”

  14. We, as libertarians, can acknowledge that the federal deficit is a bi-partisan effort: the graph shows the deficit continued to climb even after the House went Republican in 2010. Because spending bills originate in the House, it is unfair to solely blame “Obama”. (There, that fulfills my obligation to pro-Obama colleagues to say at least one nice thing about him while he is in office.)

  15. Agreed. But in the way back machine – the House went to the Republicans but when Muddy (dirty, unclean) Harry was in charge of the Senate, when did they put out a budget?

    Don’t worry under Trump the US will file chapter Z of bankruptcy and we can start from scratch. We might need to sell off assets like Guam.

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