21 September 2010

Another BS chart

MSNBC | Rachel Maddow Show | Chart: National debt, by president

Rick Seaman of Portland, Oregon, made this chart from data he found on TreasuryDirect.gov.

"If voters don't understand this, the media has failed them," Seaman writes.
Now hold on one hot minute there. You say two thirds of the debt is from the last three Republican administrations Okay. That's two terms of Reagan, one of GHWB, and two of GWB. That's five terms. In that time period we've also had two Clinton terms, and about half a term of Obama.

So the GOP can be blamed for two thirds of the debt. And they've held power for... two thirds of the years! SHOCKING!

On a practical level I don't see how continuing to run from the "Blame it all on Bush" playbook is going to play out well for the Dems.  I don't pay much attention to the horse-race type political maneuvering coverage, but I don't see how after years of Congress and the White House and hyping on about how they had a mandate for Change and they were going to invent a whole new political process and whatnot that the Dems can convince Sammy Swingvoter that it's not their fault because the last guy left things too messy.  I don't see how much mileage you can get out of "Things are broken; we're going to fix it," followed a few years later by "Not our fault things are broken: it was like that when we got here."

I can't close this post without making it absolutely clear that Obama has run up this much debt in under half a term. He's managing to make even the profligate GWB look stingy. Look at that: both Red Team and Blue Team love spending other people's money, and writing checks they can't cover. Keep that in mind when you get all psyched up about trying to fix things by electing the other batch of bandits.

Finally, another reminder: stop getting so worked up about deficits and debts.  Debt is not the problem. Spending is the problem.  Spending is the problem. Spending. Is. The. Problem.


  1. Excellent catch. I am curious though, and lazy enough I didn't click through, to know if the post author included TARP with Bush or Obama and if the number for Obama is just what he added or what he's subtracted from interest earned on loaned funds.

  2. Great point. I'm also too lazy to try and figure it out, but I'd sure like to know.