‘Washington Through Reagan’

CNS News: Obama Added More to National Debt in First 19 Months Than All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan Combined, Says Gov’t Data

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.

When 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.

What more can I possibly add to this? I mean, the numbers speak for themselves.

I don’t know — maybe today, once I come out of that Metro station near the Capitol building this afternoon, I’ll suddenly have some sort of twisted epiphany and be able to wrap my head around numbers like this. Otherwise, I don’t understand it. At this point, when we’re dealing with a total federal debt held by the public of $8.8333 trillion (that’s 8.8333 million million dollars, for those counting at home), it just isn’t real anymore.

Just to make you physically ill, take a look at this little demonstrative item sent over to me by new AR contributor Adam Baldwin: What Does One TRILLION Dollars Look Like? Adam actually suggested that, instead of continuing to write “one trillion dollars,” we begin writing out the number as “one thousand billion dollars.”  I think we should take it a little further, and use “one million million dollars.”

Any way you look at it, though, and when you consider that the amount of debt incurred by this federal government is in the multiple trillions of dollars, it’s enough to make you wish that you, too, had air sickness bags in the seatback in front of you as I have now.



  1. Sam, and yes, I am an Uncle says:

    I added this to my Facebook, with the title “What does one trillion dollars, of your grandchildren’s money, look like?”

    Thanks to Adam for the find.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now, work up a graphic for the interest on that trillion. Let’s see the money the Chi-coms make off of us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One termers, tend to spend, and vacation, like crazy.

  4. George W. Bush says:

    Miss me yet?

  5. November 2, 2010 says:

    ” Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending……..”

    - Carl Bard

  6. Who wants to be a millionaire? and taxed at 100% says:

    Hmmmm, one million million.

    That means if we wanted to fund this, we would have to find ONE MILLION millionaires, and tax them at ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. This country is doomed, and at the point of no return…. I agree with Hillary there.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Will I live to see a deficit of one trillion trillion? I am only 58!

  8. Chi Chi says:

    How many rounds of golf can one buy with a trillion?

  9. Ms Mary's kindergarten class says:

    Would a trillion pay for an entourage to go to Spain and stay at a lavish hotel on the Mediterranean coast?

  10. Anonymous says:

    He could hide his birth certificate in one of those millions of pallets of 100 dollar bills and we would never, ever, find it.

  11. whats_up says:


    This is one of the areas that I disagree with Obama on, his spending practices. I do hope that we regain some fisical sanity soon. However given the track record of the GOP from Reagan on and the fact that for years they didnt believe that deficits mattered I am not sure that will take place. That may be one of the worst legacies that Reagan left us, the belief that deficits dont matter to the federal government.

  12. Dee says:

    There’s an interesting article in the American Thinker that discusses what has happened to the budgets in the past: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/the_good_old_days.html

  13. Anonymous says:


    There’s a big difference between a young couple utilizing a credit card responsibly, and a young couple maxing out 12 of them.

  14. Mr. Whipple says:

    The graphic for this story on the homepage, pretty much sums up the dollar.

  15. The First Lady (former) says:

    Eat anything ya want. You haven’t much time left anyway.

  16. Teachers union smackdown says:

    Future president, with FISCAL COJONES.


  17. HELP! says:

    Can CHUCK BARTOWSKI, SARAH WALKER and COLONEL JOHN CASEY do anything about this threat?

  18. John Buyon says:

    so I say again

    how do we do it?
    how do we balance the budget, I have read dozens of articles detailing how much we owe… but no one is describing how to fix it.

    85% of the federal budget is military, Social security, Medicare, Medicaid

    don’t come to me saying shit about the national endowment of the arts or PBS if you want to be taken seriously.

  19. Snip says:

    Step 1, just to get warmed up, get rid of Education and Energy Depts.
    And of course, monsieur’s PBS and NEA.

  20. Monsieur, roflmao says:

    My bad, Step 1, is repeal Obamacare-less.


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