Monday, September 26, 2005

U.S. Presidents and the National Debt

It drives me crazy that fiscal conservatives still believe that the Republicans are their party. If any of my readers still believes this, please study the following graph:



(Apologies, I can't remember where I originally found this.)

13 comments:

Gil Student said...

You have to look at it as a percentage of GDP!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deficit

Jewish Atheist said...

Gil, according to the chart on this page, the debt as a percentage of GDP is pretty similar post-1980: It goes way up under Reagan and Bush I, levels off and then declines under Clinton, and starts zooming up again under Bush II.

Gil Student said...

True. But it still looks very different than the chart you posted.

BUT, don't forget that Clinton presided over an economic boom, when tax revenues were pooring in. Bush Jr. presided over a recession he inherited from Clinton, when spending was wise to keep the economy afloat.

Sadie Lou said...

looks like it's been a steady incline through every president. It doesn't look like anyone managed to keep it level let alone, bring it down since the war.

Laura said...

Yeah... a steady exponential trend has occurred since about 1976. Maybe this system of ours could use some changing? Nah... change means weakness. Stay the course right?

JC Masterpiece said...

Funny that it seems to be a bipartisan thing. The only one even seeming to attempt to quell the problem was Clinton, but even he didn't care to do a whole lot about it until the end of his term.

Laura said...

JC: Do remember though that for a good chunk of his first term, anything Clinton did (no matter how middle of the road) was quashed by Newt's mafia. It wasn't until his second term that he was really able to start getting shit done... but true, he could have done more. Somehow I don't think tax cuts are gonna do the trick though

JC Masterpiece said...

Nope, it's never as simple as just cutting the taxes.

Sadie Lou said...

Looks like both Bushies have the biggest gaps in their steep incline--lotta spending going on there.
When was the Persian Gulf War?
I mean, when did it start?

Laura said...

1990-91 I believe, but that war didn't really spawn a whole lot of production like WWII (actually no war since then has, has it?). I wish the chart had raw numbers available - what would be very interesting is seeing the percent change between each year for each president... you can see it would be astronomical for Georgie Jr. and relatively small for most others...

Sadie Lou said...

I asked because it seems interesting to me that Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. have a very similar looking incline and both of them had a war going on during their presidency.
You can really see how the cost of war has gone up since Viet Nam.

Eric said...

Actually Sadie - Bush Sr. and the first Iraqi war were not anywhere as expensive as the current occupation/war/quagmire. Kuwait and a large coalition paid for a lot of it, and it was over with quickly.

DNA said...

Point well taken, but to be fair, Raegan and Bush I brought down the USSR by outspending it.