Obama's Blank Check

Recently, you may have heard that President Obama has run up more debt in one term than George W. Bush ran up in two.  Let's check that out.  On Inauguration Day 2001, Bush inherited a debt of $5.7T (see chart).   The data for this chart came from this Treasury Department webpage.  Notice that the first two lines are for Inauguration Days, and the third is for the ides of March, so beware. Eight years later, Obama inherited a debt of $10.6T. So, under Bush, the debt of the federal government went up by $4.9T.  That record was equaled under Obama on March 15, 2012. Those numbers, however, don't tell the full story about the national debt.  That's because the above figures are for the so-called "total" (or "gross") debt.  The debt that folks should worry about is the "debt held by the public," the hard debt, which is what we really owe.  So let's compare the growth of the hard debt under Bush and Obama. The Treasury webpage used for our chart...(Read Full Post)