CNSNews.com) – In the first 19 months of the Obama
administration, the federal debt held by the public increased by $2.5260
trillion, which is more than the cumulative total of the national debt
held by the public that was amassed by all U.S. presidents from George
Washington through Ronald Reagan.
The U.S. Treasury Department divides the federal debt into two categories.
One is “debt held by the public,” which includes U.S. government
securities owned by individuals, corporations, state or local
governments, foreign governments and other entities outside the federal
government itself. The other is “intragovernmental” debt, which includes
I.O.U.s the federal government gives to itself when, for example, the
Treasury borrows money out of the Social Security “trust fund” to pay
for expenses other than Social Security.
At the end of fiscal
year 1989, which ended eight months after President Reagan left office,
the total federal debt held by the public was $2.1907 trillion,
according to the Congressional Budget Office.
That means all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Ronald
Reagan had accumulated only that much publicly held debt on behalf of
American taxpayers. That is $335.3 billion less than the $2.5260
trillion that was added to the federal debt held by the public just
between Jan. 20, 2009, when President Obama was inaugurated, and Aug.
20, 2010, the 19-month anniversary of Obama’s inauguration.
contrast, President Reagan was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 1981 and
left office eight years later on Jan. 20, 1989. At the end of fiscal
1980, four months before Reagan was inaugurated, the federal debt held
by the public was $711.9 billion, according to CBO.
At the end of fiscal 1989, eight months after Reagan left office, the
federal debt held by the public was $2.1907 trillion. That means that in
the nine-fiscal-year period of 1980-89–which included all of
Reagan’s eight years in office–the federal debt held by the public
increased $1.4788 trillion. That is in excess of a trillion dollars less than the $2.5260 increase in the debt held by the public during Obama’s first 19 months.
President Barack Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, the
total federal debt held by the public stood at 6.3073 trillion,
according to the Bureau of the Public Debt,
a division of the U.S. Treasury Department. As of Aug. 20, 2010, after
the first nineteen months of President Obama’s 48-month term, the total
federal debt held by the public had grown to a total of $8.8333
trillion, an increase of $2.5260 trillion.
In just the last four
months (May through August), according to the CBO, the Obama
administration has run cumulative deficits of $464 billion, more than
the $458 billion deficit the Bush administration ran through the
entirety of fiscal 2008.
The CBO predicted this week that the
annual budget deficit for fiscal 2010, which ends on the last day of
this month, will exceed $1.3 trillion.
The first two fiscal years
in which Obama has served will see the two biggest federal deficits as a
percentage of Gross Domestic Product since the end of World War II.
currently estimates that the deficit for 2010 will be about $70 billion
below last year’s total but will still exceed $1.3 trillion,” said the
CBO’s monthly budget review
for September, which was released yesterday. “Relative to the size of
the economy, this year’s deficit is expected to be the second-largest
shortfall in the past 65 years: At 9.1 percent of gross domestic product
(GDP), that deficit will be exceeded only by last year’s deficit of 9.9
percent of GDP.”