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Sat May 19, 2012, 11:14 AM

How much total debt has Barack Obama created?


We know that the national debt has gone up by about $5 trillion dollars in the last four years. How much of that debt is Barack Obama responsible for?

This seems to be the issue that most Republicans and Tea Partiers bring up to show how much damage President Obama has done to our economy and our country. This is the issue that gets them fired up.

Mitt Romney said the other day that Barack Obama had doubled the national debt and spent more than all the other presidents combined. Obviously, that is a lie. But how many people know that it is a lie?

If President Obama had come into office with a balanced budget, like George W Bush did, how much more in debt would we be today?

We know that the TARP bailout, in the last days of the Bush Administration, added about $800 billion dollars to the last deficit of 2008. President Obama started with a deficit of $1.2 trillion dollars. Unfortunately, it did not magically go to zero when Obama was sworn in. That was not his debt.

The President asked for a stimulus of about $800 billion to keep the economy from going into a deeper recession. That was his debt.

The President spent billions on extending unemployment insurance to the unemployed. That was his debt.

Also, there were still two wars going on, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Although he eventually ended most of the war spending in Iraq, that was not his debt.

The President inherited the Bush taxcuts for the first two years of his Administration. That was not his debt. He was then forced to extend the Bush taxcuts for everyone for an additional two years. That was his debt.

Overall, how much of this $5 trillion dollars in debt is Barack Obama responsible for? Obviously, being the President, he is responsible for it all. But, how much of the debt did he create with his health plan and stimulus, etc?

I think the truth needs to be told and Republicans need to understand that this President has not doubled the national debt. It is an important point to make.

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply How much total debt has Barack Obama created? (Original post)
kentuck May 2012 OP
MadHound May 2012 #1
kentuck May 2012 #2
MadHound May 2012 #3
kentuck May 2012 #4
MadHound May 2012 #22
patrice May 2012 #9
MadHound May 2012 #23
patrice May 2012 #26
shraby May 2012 #5
Mc Mike May 2012 #7
Surya Gayatri May 2012 #10
kentuck May 2012 #12
Populist_Prole May 2012 #13
kentuck May 2012 #14
Surya Gayatri May 2012 #21
lonestarnot May 2012 #15
TBMASE May 2012 #16
dems_rightnow May 2012 #24
cthulu2016 May 2012 #6
kentuck May 2012 #8
Surya Gayatri May 2012 #11
ErikJ May 2012 #17
Dustlawyer May 2012 #18
countrygirl Aug 2012 #29
Zax2me May 2012 #19
ErikJ May 2012 #20
SmileyRose May 2012 #25
Chloebug3 Jul 2012 #27
underpants Aug 2012 #28
NoelAndLeon Sep 2012 #30

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 11:25 AM

1. Well, since the 2009 budget was Bush's budget, we can throw that out

 

However, the budget deficit for 2010 was 1.3 trillion. The deficit for 2011 was approximately 1.5 trillion. The projected deficit for 2012 is 1.1 trillion. So add those together and you get close to 4 trillion. He is on pace to match Bush if this continues.

The bigger issue that needs to be addressed however is that debt isn't necessarily a bad thing. It depends upon what you are going into debt for. If you're going into debt in order to create jobs and boost the economy, great. You will be able to pay off the debt when economic times are better. However if you are spending that money on war, you're basically pissing that money away.

Sadly, for the last eleven years, it seems as though that's what we're doing, pissing money away in war after war.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #1)

Sat May 19, 2012, 11:29 AM

2. But, to be fair to the President...

We must ask how much of the deficit of 2010 and 2011 was due to the Bush taxcuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Bush "recession" that was left in the lap of this President? The President did not create that debt.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #2)

Sat May 19, 2012, 11:38 AM

3. Well, Obama could have ended the wars the day he walked into office

 

Instead, Iraq dragged out for another two years, and Afghanistan is going to go beyond his first term and possibly much longer. That is on the President.

And yes, Bush created this recession, but Obama and the Democratic Congress could have come up with a much more effective stimulus, but instead they gave us a stimulus that consisted of forty percent tax cuts and tax credits, which are the least effective form of economic stimulus going.

As far as the Bush tax cuts go, well, what can I say. Obama came out, and in a demonstration of how not to play chicken with Congress, gave away the extension on those tax cuts in December of 2010.

Sorry, but it is disingenuous to say that Obama holds no responsibility for the debt that he has incurred. He had the chance to radically reduce what we were spending on war, but didn't. He had the opportunity to help forge a meaningful stimulus that would have really lifted the economy, but he didn't. He has wasted many opportunities, especially in his first two years, and now we're paying the price.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Sat May 19, 2012, 11:51 AM

4. Realistically...

It is not logistically possible to stop the war in one day. It takes weeks and months to move military equipment and supplies.

I agree about the stimulus. The taxcuts were not the most effective stimulus. That is Obama's debt and we credit him with that debt.

He is responsible for much of the debt, but not the entire $5 trillion, in my opinion.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #4)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:19 AM

22. I agree, it would have taken a few months to get everybody home,

 

Probably around six months. But, in the meantime, there could have been a cease fire as we packed up and got ready to go.

And staying in Iraq for only six more months, as opposed to the additional two years, would have saved a lot of money. Same goes for Afghanistan, six months vs. an indefinite commitment, that's lots of money that could be coming home.

As I've shown above, Obama is responsible for 4 trillion of the new debt, basically because the '09 budget was a Bush budget. But after that, it is all Obama's.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #3)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:40 PM

9. He's Commannder and Chief of the ARMED FORCES, Not. A. King. Do you think just maybe

the Armed Forces would have had SOMETHING to say about "ending" the wars "the day he walked into office'?

You're assuming all of it would actually have ended and not gotten worse in some way that wasn't even on the radar yet. Yes, the same thing CAN be said about continuing on that course, but in either case the Armed Forces ARE involved not only in those hypothetical decisions about the future, but also about the Armed Forces past experiences this last decade at least.

NO ONE, Commander and Chief or not, orders the Armed Forces into savage LOSS situations, without regard for the military's own understandings of HOW to validate those losses in SOME form of a solution. They ARE, they MUST be, an authentic and powerful part of the decision making process.

And if you're wondering:

How does a peace-person occupy this position with any integrity?

Peace, MUST be a personal choice, otherwise it is not Peace. Coercion does not result in peace. It IS my Human Right to CHOOSE Peace for my own reasons. All of my moral integrity is based upon the FREEDOM to make that choice for myself. If I have a right to that Freedom to choose Peace, for moral reasons in my case, so must I also respect the free choices of others, though they differ from mine fundamentally. As long as these different persons are authentically free (a VERY high standard there for any and all of us), and CONSEQUENTLY honest about an authentic CHOICE (not just something that is called a choice), I am required as a cultivar of freedom and all of the salutary benefits thereof to respect that choice.

So, the military, the people who we hope authentically CHOSE to risk THEIR lives, SHOULD have nearly as much power as the Commander in Chief in determining the course from a recent past of horrific losses, not only to themselves but TO THE PEOPLE WHOM THEY WERE REQUIRED TO HURT, into a future that does NOT, in effect, turn its back on what happened to them and to the people of Iraq and say, kind of, "Oooopps, guess that didn't work. We'll just change horses here. Sorry!!"

And yeah, I know MANY of them, the armed forces, did NOT authentically choose. And certainly the people of Iraq did not choose, but to me, that makes it even that much much more incumbent upon those who DO have the choices, to try to bring SOMETHING constructive out of their suffering and deaths. I KNOW that's not the ideal world, but this IS what happened.

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Response to patrice (Reply #9)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:36 AM

23. He is Commander in Chief,

 

And as such, he could have ordered the troops home on the day he was sworn into office. Instead, he waited two years before he ordered the troops in Iraq home, and we are still currently fighting a war of indefinite length in Afghanistan.

What the Armed Forces thinks, what the public thinks, what the Congress thinks is irrelevant. As Commander in Chief, the President can order the military into and out of war. It is indeed that simple.

As far as the war somehow getting worse, the fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter when we leave, or how we leave. When we are gone, the Afghan people are going to repudiate everything American, including the government that we set up. Yes, there will be violence, much like there is violence going on in Iraq right now. But we simply cannot prevent that from happening, for it is going to happen whether we leave now, two years from now, or two decades.

Therefore, since we can't prevent this violence, all we're really doing is running up the body count in Afghanistan. Why? What purpose are we serving in that country? Absolutely none. All we're doing is adding to the problem, running up the body count. Thus, the only logical thing to do is leave, now.

Your contention of what is a pacifist is rather. . .unique. It essentially translates to "I don't want to fight, but I won't object if you want to." That really isn't pacifism, but rather lethargy, "I'll do what I want, you do what you want, it's all good." Pacifism is an active position, one that opposes all war and violence. If Gandhi had followed your definition of pacifism, he would have remained alone and ineffective, as would King and others. But the kicker is that you assume that I'm a full fledged pacifist, I'm not. I believe that there are times, such as self defense or confronting a great evil, that violence is needed and justified. WWII comes to mind, but frankly not a single armed conflict this country has been in since then. From Korea through Vietnam down through until today, we have been engaged in needless wars of empire that are designed to secure resources for the elite and powerful while simultaneously keep the military industrial complex well fed and cared for.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #23)

Sun May 20, 2012, 01:23 PM

26. Your assumption about exactly how I am a pacifist is rather ... cliche. My responsibilities for

who/what I am are my own, not something you can define, and they always have and always will necessitate action in ways that you do not, nor will ever, know, so your zero sum assessment of that is evidence of your own somewhat aggressive, not so peaceful, ground. The difference between us is that I admit that and you don't.

"It essentially translates to ..." YOU. What follows is an fundamentally hierarchical and, ergo, power-based authoritarian position that you are trying to sell as somekind of universal understanding of anyone in my position . . . without even beginning with a question to an individual in order to rationally validate whether you are even remotely correct, or perhaps, just perhaps, WRONG.

BTW, you should disregard all Buddhism, since it's roots are found in the Bhagavad Gita, which is quite clear on the issue at question here, in Krishna's discussion with Arjuna before the great fratricidal war on the plains of Kuruksetra. You see, Buddhists are honest about what is happening, thus, they recognize that not everyone is so enlightened as to be outside of the struggle, not even you as your absolutist authoritarian driven reply so clearly demonstrates, TTE, "There is ONE truth about peace and that is MadHound's."

There is no right to self-determination, unless everyone, right or wrong, has that same right. Were it otherwise, we'd not be talking about rights, but privilege instead, a privilege that you apparently claim against all who disagree with your "essential" translation.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 11:58 AM

5. You have to remember that Bush put the wars off budget, Obama put them into the budget.

Under Bush the cost didn't show up as deficit..under Obama it does. That's not Obama's debt.

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Response to shraby (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:20 PM

7. +1. NT.

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Response to shraby (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:55 PM

10. Crucial point that's almost never talked about...

It should be brought up every time the deficit question is mentioned. Why isn't it?

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #10)

Sat May 19, 2012, 01:11 PM

12. Republicans are getting a lot of mileage out of this issue...

Because nobody responds to them. They believe what they are told.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #12)

Sat May 19, 2012, 01:21 PM

13. It's funny hearing cons take a shine to big government when it comes to defense

The ones I know ( and who are as unread as Sarah Palin ) started throwing the term "the deficit" around since Obama was elected. There's some real cognitive dissonance here since they are chickenhawks of the highest order and can't spend enough on the military, but now that it's Obama's military ( so to speak ) they get picky on how it is run. They dodge the issue of Bush's spending by saying he wasn't a true conservative ( though they fawned over him like a starlet when he was in office )

Bastards are more slippery than a greased eel and have an answer for everything. It's amazing how their dislike of having a black president has triggered such a shrewdness in their otherwise anti-intellectual, unread minds.

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #13)

Sat May 19, 2012, 01:31 PM

14. Amongst their own...

They still love Dubya.

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #13)

Sat May 19, 2012, 04:30 PM

21. "Bastards are more slippery than a greased eel and have an answer for everything."

You just about said it all there, PP!

(With no offense to eels, who are slippery through no fault of their own, and who do no harm to anybody!)

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Response to shraby (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 01:35 PM

15. Bushitler charged everything to the ground and still awaits the rain to settle it.

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Response to shraby (Reply #5)

Sat May 19, 2012, 02:12 PM

16. What budget?

 

We haven't operated with an actual Budget for 3 years

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Response to shraby (Reply #5)

Sun May 20, 2012, 09:44 AM

24. Not so, as far as the debt is concerned.

The amount of debt outstanding reflects any and all spending and revenue, regardless of whether it was in a budget. That's why it's a more realistic number than "deficit", which a President can manipulate.

President Obama's including it in the budget does not change debt figures.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:01 PM

6. Discretionary spending is down. Federal employment is down.

At this point all of our increase in deficit is due to the bad economy, not to discretionary government policy.

Medicaid and unemployment costs are up due to high unemployment and lousy wages.

Tax revenues are down due to a weak economy.

That is the increased deficit right there.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #6)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:22 PM

8. No doubt, the recession is responsible for most of the debt...

under Obama. There would have no need for a "stimulus" if not for the recession. It's difficult, even for Republicans, to try and revise the history to blame Obama for the recession.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #8)

Sat May 19, 2012, 12:57 PM

11. +1! n/t

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 02:26 PM

17. Two main reasons: Historically low taxes and historically low revenues to blame

C&L's Blue Texan wrote this concise analysis:

In 2001, the national debt Bush inherited was around $5.7T, give or take. Some of that debt in 2001 has to be attributed to Clinton, just as some of the debt in 2009 when Obama took office has to be attributed to Bush. When W. left office in 2009, the debt was nearly $11T. That’s an increase of 89 percent.

Under Obama, the debt has increased from about $11T to about $15T, about 40 percent.

And what’s behind that increase? Historically low taxes and historically low revenues — and the worst financial crash since the 1930s. There’s been no “binge” in spending, as Knoller wants you to believe.


So I just tell Cons that if we doubled the top tax rate back up to pre-Reagan levels and cut defense spending back to 1997 levels from 700 billion to 300 billion we could probalby balance the budget next year. But the Republicons would never allow either of those options. Drives them crazy.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 02:29 PM

18. Ask Romney what the debt would be if he took over from W. and how he would have handled the

situation! Love to see his answer!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #18)

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 01:07 PM

29. 18. Ask Romney what the debt would be if he took over from W. and how he would have handled the

He don't have the answers. That's why he dropped out in the last running for President. Plus I don't see him having the answers now!! He is so clueless!!

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 02:33 PM

19. Obama takes ownership of everything. He's not running. He's solving.

 

That's the difference between him and the selected President.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat May 19, 2012, 03:44 PM

20. Bumpersticker answer: Blame Bush tax cuts and Bush Recession.

The Dems and Obama need a quick soundbite comeback for this Republican talking point.
Blame the Bush tax cuts and Bush recession. or Get rid of the Bush tax cuts and the Bush military buildup.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 10:31 AM

25. NONE - the Constitution gives Congress the purse strings.

All the President can do is sign it or veto it and send it back to Congress. He can also whip up the American public to put pressure on their congress and senate critters but ultimately it all in the hands of Congress.

Any president blamed or credited for any budget anything is a false. But all that said, Obama is willing to take the responsibility for it and do everything in his power to put things in a right direction. "Buck stops here".

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