Please copy this Chart or download one of the versions below and put it up on your website or print out copies and pass them around! Email copies to your friends! Or best, get together with your friends and put a copy of this chart in an ad in your local newspaper! You don't have to attribute it to anyone, the important thing is to show every American how the Republicans are bankrupting America (while cutting every program they can get away with) and passing their debts to your children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren!
To see the levels of the National Debt from
17911953 to the present, click Historical Information. (Sorry, they've moved to a new page on "TreasuryDirect" that only shows the Historical Debt from 1953 to the present. You can still view the old "Historical Debt" page on the "Internet Archive Wayback Machine" by clicking here -- choose Feb 08, 2007 or earlier and click on the appropriate date range under "Historical Debt Outstanding - Annual" to see the older data.)
To see the National Debt from 1993 to this week, to the PENNY, click Debt to the Penny.
The chart above is based on data from the Bureau of Public Debt up to September 8, 2008, the last reporting day before this chart was created. The 2008 Fiscal Year ends on September 30th. It seems likely that the National Debt will exceed $600 Billion (!) for the first time ever in fiscal 2008. Not that any of the Press, mostly owned by Republicans and right-wing foreigners, will report it.
By comparison, please note that Democratic President Bill Clinton increased the National Debt by less than $18 Billion in his ENTIRE LAST YEAR in office! At the rate that the Clinton administration was reducing the debt increases, an Al Gore administration would have almost paid off the entire National Debt by 2008! We would have had EIGHT STRAIGHT YEARS OF DEBT DECREASES!!! A far cry from what Bush and the Republicans gave us.
Bill Clinton steadily reduced the debt increase while he was in office, thanks largely to the 1993 Debt Reduction Act* that was OPPOSED BY EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN IN CONGRESS, led by Newt Gingrich! The Republicans claimed that the Debt Reduction Act would result in HIGHER deficits and also result in an economic recession during President Clinton's term. Obviously, with hindsight they were completely wrong. Republicans don't seem to be very good at math, or economics.
Now, after 20 years of huge Republican deficits and Republican recessions, the National Debt has increased from $937 Billion -- LESS than $1 Trillion -- the day Ronald Reagan took office to ALMOST $10 TRILLION!!! The Debt has increased more than TEN TIMES what it was when Ronald Reagan promised to reduce the National Debt by 1983! We and our children and their children will be paying off the debt added by Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for the next 100 years and more! For what !?!? Services have been cut across America. Police and Fire Departments haven't grown nearly as fast as our population. Even the number of troops in the military has been cut while military spending has skyrocketed!
* (The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 -- the Republicans used their claim that this bill would increase the taxes of middle-income Americans to take control of the House of Representatives in 1995. In reality, only the top 2% of earners -- those earning million$ or more per year -- had an increase in their taxes. George W. Bush and the Republican Congress have given those high earners, including many foreign billionaires who earn dividends in the U.S.A., numerous huge tax cuts since Bush was appointed President, with the results you see above. And of course the Repubs have gutted the Debt Reduction Act of 1993 since they took control of both Houses of Congress.)
Back in the 1980s Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan repeatedly complained that Ronald Reagan was running up the national debt in order to bankrupt the USA so that the Federal government could no longer afford any of its social programs, from Aid to Families with Dependent Children to Social Security to Medicare to veterans' benefits. He was right, but hardly anyone listened.
The Republicans are still trying to bankrupt the Federal government and they're still trying to eliminate every Federal social program, not only the remnants of FDR's New Deal but even going back to Teddy Roosevelt's conservationist programs.
They want to turn the National Park Service upside down and sell off our wilderness areas to pay for their tax cuts for billionaires. Some say that they were even trying to eliminate FEMA before the Hurricane Katrina disaster!
After Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the Gulf coast of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and the city of New Orleans, the Republicans in Congress even used the disaster to try to sell off Federal wilderness areas to "pay for the rebuilding of New Orleans!" This after President Bush promised $200 Billion for that reconstruction effort without specifying where the money was to come from. That's the danger we faced from Republican control of both houses of Congress and the White House.
Much of New Orleans, of course, is still waiting to be cleaned up and rebuilt.
Democratic President Jimmy Carter's 1980 increase in the national debt was slightly larger than Gerald Ford's 1975 increase. It was larger because President Carter had increased defense spending 50% in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. President Ford had no excuse for his huge jump in the National Debt in 1975, other than that he was a very weak President. President Ford's increase in the debt was $83.98 Billion, up from President Nixon's final year $22.77 Billion increase in fiscal 1974.
Republican President Nixon's largest increase in the National Debt, by the way, was $34.97 Billion in 1971.
Democratic President Lyndon Johnson's largest increase was $15.34 Billion in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, and Democratic President John F. Kennedy's largest debt increase was $7.30 Billion in 1962, a result of increases in defense spending for the Cold War. At the end of 1962, by the way, there was peace throughout the world -- U.S. News & World Report featured a dove holding an olive branch on the cover of its year-end issue! The only hot spots were insurgencies in the Congo and in Vietnam, and President Kennedy was planning to remove the U.S. advisors from Vietnam, starting in December 1963.
The last non-conservative Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, actually DECREASED the National Debt three of his years in office. Eisenhower's predecessor, Democratic President Harry Truman ALSO DECREASED the National Debt three times, but by far more than President Eisenhower did, in the years following the Second World War.
Compare these numbers with the HUGE, UNPRECEDENTED INCREASES in the National Debt that both George Bushes (and Ronald Reagan) have created! Since Ronald Reagan promised to reduce the National Debt (he must have had a lot of laughs over that joke), THE NATIONAL DEBT HAS INCREASED MORE THAN TEN TIMES OVER!!!
HEADLINES THAT YOU NEVER READ IN THE REPUBLICAN/FOREIGN-OWNED U.S. MEDIA:
President Ronald Reagan is the first President to increase the National Debt by more than $100 Billion in one year!
President Ronald Reagan is the first President to increase the National Debt by more than $200 Billion in one year!
President George H.W. Bush is the first President to increase the National Debt by more than $300 Billion in one year!
President George H.W. Bush is the first President to increase the National Debt by more than $400 Billion in one year!
President George W. Bush is the first President to increase the National Debt by more than $500 Billion in one year!
President George W. Bush has increased the National Debt by more than $500 Billion AGAIN! Almost hits $600 Billion!
President George W. Bush has increased the National Debt by more than $500 Billion a THIRD time!
President George W. Bush has increased the National Debt by more than $500 Billion a FOURTH time!
President George W. Bush has increased the National Debt by more than $500 Billion a FIFTH time!
"Our National Debt is up Three Trillion Dollars under George W. Bush!"
It's nice to know that someone else has noticed what George W. Bush has done to our National Debt! This is from a California Democratic Party commercial opposing the reelection of Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006.
NOTES FROM PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF THIS CHART:
* (1996) A number of Republicans have sent e-mails complaining that the Congress was Democratic while Ronald Reagan was President. Unfortunately, only half the Congress was Democratic during President Reagan's first 6 years in office, when the entire National Debt more than DOUBLED. The upper house of Congress, the U.S. Senate, had a Republican majority during those six years, which comprised most of President Reagan's time in office. That's why Bob Dole was the Senate Majority Leader while Reagan was President. Those Republicans also don't seem to know that any Bill passing out of Congress had to be approved by BOTH Houses of Congress, even by the Republican Senate! Furthermore, to go into Law a Bill must be signed by the President -- none other than Ronald Reagan during those critical years! President Reagan almost TRIPLED the National Debt during his eight years in office!
(1996) Other Republicans have written that the above chart couldn't possibly be correct, because the "National Debt Clock" clicks UP all the time! Well, whoever programmed that "Clock" set its algorithm to INCREASE every second. But whoever maintains the Web site surreptitiously "adjusts" the numbers every evening after the Bureau of Public Debt publishes its new, up-to-the-minute, National Debt figures. For instance, in October 1996 the National Debt actually went DOWN over several weeks, but the "National Debt Clock" ticked UP every second of those weeks. Yet, from one day to the next the National Debt Clock's level was often LOWER than the day before, without the "Clock" ticking backwards once!!! Must be post modern math! Perhaps that's why the CBS finally stopped showing that "Clock" on its Evening News! Also, based on the records of recent Presidents, the "National Debt Clock" should tick upwards at a much faster rate for Republican Presidents, which it doesn't. If you want to see the true level of the National Debt, just visit the Bureau of Public Debt website. (That text was written for the 1996 version of this chart; it is even more apt after eight years of "President" George W. Bush.)