National Debt Hits $12 Trillion, Will Double By 2019
Barack Obama has been president for just under 10 months but he’s added two trillion to the national debt and will double it by the end of the decade. CBS’ Mark Knoller:
This latest milestone in the ever-rising journey of the National Debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the first time. The latest high-point is not unexpected, considering the federal deficit for the just-ended 2009 fiscal year hit an all-time high at $1.42-trillion — more than triple the previous year’s record high.
Much of the increase in the deficit and debt is attributed to government spending outpacing revenue — both exacerbated by the recession and the government response to it — including hundreds of billions in bailouts and stimulus spending and tax cuts along with decreased tax revenues due to rising unemployment.
The National Debt has increased about $1.6 trillion on Mr. Obama’s watch, though less than $4.9 trillion run up during the presidency of George W. Bush.
But the White House budget review issued in August projects that by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept 30th, the National Debt could top $14 trillion. It gets worse. The same document projects that by the end of the decade, the National Debt will hit $24.5 trillion — exceeding the Gross Domestic Product projected for 2019 of $22.8 trillion.
According to the Treasury Department, the debt stood at $5.727 trillion on January 19, 2001, Bill Clinton’s last day in office, and $10.627 trillion when Bush left office eight years later. That’s $612.5 billion (or $0.6125 trillion) a year, during which we fought two major wars, had the 9/11 attacks, and at least two major bailouts to deal with a global financial crisis.
We’re thus far averaging $1.92 trillion a year under Obama, or a factor of 3.146 more. And the government is projecting that we’ll continue spending at this crisis rate for the next decade, more than doubling the current record level?
That ain’t good.
Presumably, we’d have had another major bailout had Bush stayed in office for a third term (were that Constitutionally or politically possible) or had John McCain been elected. So spending and thus the debt would have escalated substantially regardless. But we likely wouldn’t be talking about adding a massive health care payment on top of the pile.