There seems to be a lot of debate around the water cooler and the dinner table as to which President is most responsible for the increase in the National Debt. In this article, I’d like to take a look at the growth in the National Debt by President using an unbiased approach. This analysis uses National Debt figures from the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House Office of Management and Budget.
To be sure, there is plenty of blame to go around for the uncontrolled growth in the National Debt. For this analysis, I’ve begun with Ronald Reagan’s first term and followed it through the first year of Barack Obama’s administration. No effort has been made to cast any particular President in a favorable or unfavorable light.
The numbers below do NOT reflect the actual National Debt. Instead, they reflect the amount of the INCREASE in the National Debt during each presidential term.
> Ronald Reagan’s First Term – $656 billion increase
> Ronald Reagan’s Second Term – $1.04 trillion increase
> George H.W. Bush’s Term – $1.59 trillion increase
> Bill Clinton’s First Term – $1.12 trillion increase
> Bill Clinton’s Second Term – $418 billion increase
> George W. Bush’s First Term – $1.88 trillion increase
> George W. Bush’s Second Term – $3.01 trillion increase
> Barack Obama’s First “Year” – $1.57 trillion increase
> Obama’s projected First Term – $6.29 trillion increase