the national debt

There are many indicators of a healthy or troubled economy, but I never took economics (stupid, stupid, stupid!) so I’m not in a position to tell you much about them.

However, I got curious tonight about one of those indicators, the National Debt, and did some research. Here’s a quick look at what I found (data is straight from Uncle Sam hisself):

National Debt, early in the Clinton administration

national debt figures from Sept. 1993

This was the oldest data available on the site linked above; as you can see, it’s just the aggregate and doesn’t include the breakdown of personal vs. intragovernmental debt (again, all that was available for this point in history).

National Debt, end of Clinton administration

national debt figures from Sept. 2000

So, over those eight years, we see an increase overall of about 1.5 trillion dollars. Damn.

National Debt, end of George W. Bush administration

national debt figures from Sept. 2008

Then, after eight years of Dubya, we see an increase of about 4 trillion dollars.

Yes, there’s been a Democratic Congress throughout much of the Bush administration, and Congress is the body that actually controls spending, but the President has the power of the veto over any spending bill that the Congress produces.

I realize that John McCain != George W. Bush, but after a glance at those figures I can’t help feeling like we probably can’t afford another Republican administration, no matter what their candidate has to say.

All snarkiness aside, it’s a big ol’ complex issue that I look forward to learning more about.

In other political news, I just discovered and plan to spend a lot of time reviewing the voting records of all three Senators on the two major party tickets. At first glance, it’s a pretty ugly sea of NVs (Not Voting, Excused, Absent, or Present) on both sides.

folks before you had this to say:

  1. Peter

    Technically, the democratic congress has been in for less than two of the eight years so I wouldn’t say it can blamed that heavily.

  2. Chris

    i think no matter who is in the white house we need the opposite party in congress. obama with a democratic house will be a repeat of the first 6 years of devastation the bush admin brought upon us, just with a different ideological bent. When there is opposition and the government is in gridlock the economy seems to do the best.

  3. michael

    As a reminder, a Democrat-controlled congress has been around for only 2 of the last eight years. Before that, things were decidedly Republican controlled…

got something to say about that?

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