Deficits and Debt- Republicans or Democrats?

As we watch the Republican Convention, here are some documented facts:

  • The last 4 Democratic presidents all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last 4 Republican presidents saw increase in public debt.
  • The debt has increased since 1973, except during terms of Presidents Carter and Clinton.
  • Spending, taxes and deficits are all lower today than when Obama took office:
  • VP Dick Cheney said in 2002, that “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

History of the U.S. Public debt

“Economist Mike Kimel notes that the five former Democratic Presidents (Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Harry S. Truman) all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last four Republican Presidents (George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford) all oversaw an increase in the country’s indebtedness.”

“Debt as a share of the US economy reached a maximum during Harry Truman‘s first presidential term. Public debt as a percentage of GDP fell rapidly in the post-World War II period, and reached a low in 1973 under President Richard Nixon. The debt burden has consistently increased since then, except during the presidencies of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.”  (From above link)

Interesting national debt chart:


The deficit is the amount we spend more that we take in annually.  In other words, how much more debt we add on each year, which is added on to the overall debt.  The debt is the total amount owed.

If we look at yearly deficits, we can at least see which way the economy is headed, and this is usually for a variety of reasons.   Look at this link and notice the deficits for each year, represented by red dollar signs on the right side of the chart.  Looking at Ronald Reagan, (1980-1988) see a trend of rapidly growing deficit amounts, and the same general trend under George H.W. Bush.(1989-1992)  See Bill Clinton’s years, (1992-2000) and see the shrinking deficits.  Now for the alarming years of 2000-2008 under George W. Bush, the deficits are alarming.  President Obama’s first 3 years, although still showing large deficits, are at least trending in the right direction.   Are Republicans the economic saviors they claim to be?
One more, just to make a point:


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