The Peace Resource

Writing, Organizing, & Creative Arts

Dueling Public Debt Deceptions

Debunking the Junk:

It’s not true that the US Public debt has increased only 16 peImagercent since Obama took office. That erroneous calculation originally came from the office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. And — despite being corrected later — it has continued to circulate via email.  Even the corrected version, currently appearing on the site of the liberal group MoveOn.org and Pelosi’s Flickr site, is many months out of date as of this writing. It shows a 35 percent increase for Obama, which is now far too low.

And it’Images also untrue — as claimed in a graphic widely circulated by email and in social media postings — that the debt has increased more under Obama than under all previous 43 presidents combined. In fact, as of Jan. 31, 2012, the rise under Obama had yet to surpass the rise under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

The figures in that graphic are pure fabrications, as anyone can easily confirm by plugging Obama’s inauguration date — Jan. 20, 2009 — in the Treasury Department’s handy “debt to the penny” website. That shows the nation’s total debt stood at $10.6 trillion on the day Obama took office (not $6.3 trillion), and it had increased to nearly $15.4 trillion by the end of January 2012 — a rise of more than $4.7 trillion in just over three years (not $6.5 trillion). That’s a huge increase to be sure — 44.5 percent. And the Congressional Budget Office now projects that it will grow to more than $16 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30. At that point, the debt will have increased by more dollars in Obama’s first four years than it did in George W. Bush’s entire eight-year tenure, when it rose by $4.9 trillion. The rise under Obama would then be the biggest dollImagear increase for any president in U.S. history. Here is how the nation’s total debt has fared under the past several presidents, as of Jan. 31, 2012, in trillions of dollars. The percentage increases are given in parentheses.  http://www.factcheck.org/2012/02/dueling-debt-deceptions/

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