Yes, Obama does have, um, quite a record


I would like to take exception to William Henry’s assertions in his letter that appeared in the April 3 U-B. My concern deals with his suggestion that President Bush might be the worst president ever while President Obama will never have a shameful record.

For starters, Bush added about $4.9 trillion to the national debt during his eight years of service. President Obama has added about $5 trillion in his first four years of office. The balance of his second term in office should allow him to take credit for a national debt that all other presidents combined haven’t be able to achieve.

My thought is that President Obama will rank right up there with President Carter when all is said and done. The Obama administration’s outstanding performance on deficit reduction, reducing unemployment, the Benghazi cover-up, high energy prices, the immigration crises, the Solyndra scandal and achieving a lower national credit rating are events that should make his supporters proud.

Is he now celebrating his success in overcoming high unemployment and the worst financial crises since the Great Depression by taking a fourth vacation in 2013 or by just playing another round of golf?

Nat Webb

Walla Walla


mufbridge 2 years, 2 months ago

Wow Great the uniformed will not believe this But you got it right.


MyFamNews 2 years, 2 months ago

Here is a clue for the apparently uninformed. In recent years the debt has been increased as follows. Carter 42%- (652B) Reagan 188.6% (1.75T) - Bush, 55.6%( l.49T) - Clinton 35% (1.48T)- Bush, 89% (5.03T) - Obama 53% (5.7T) Bush fought trillion dollar wars with the debt and Obama has been closing them down. They are not yet over, so the money still went out through his first term. There are other factors that are unique to the Obama Presidency, but lets hold to the fact that based on percentage of increase there is no way that he will achieve a higher increase than all other presidents combined. Of course that would all change if he followed President Reagan and managed to reach a level of 188.6% increase in the debt. Opinions are just that, look at the facts based on increased percentages and it looks a lot different.


namvet60 2 years, 2 months ago

Instead of looking at percentages maybe you should look at the size of the toilet the great US of A is in right now. It doesn't take percentages to figure that out.


BluMtn 2 years, 2 months ago

namvet60, Surfs up and the waters warm, watch out for logs


namvet60 2 years, 2 months ago

You forgot to mention the remnants still arriving from Japan :)


PearlY 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, 40% of Bush's deficits occurred in the 2009 budget ($1,413B), and 53% in just the two budgets of 2008 ($458B) and 2009, driven by what was supposed to be a one-time major infusion to address the financial crisis. The House of Representatives, as you know, has a lot to say about budgets, and was in the hands of Democrats in the years both those budgets were enacted (2007 & 2008). His average annual deficit in the six previous years, when Republicans controlled the House, was under $280B.

Obama and the Democratic House of budget years 2010 & 2011 (calendar years 2009 & 2010) took what should have been a one-time emergency expenditure and turned it into an annual event, with average deficits of $1,297B over the next two years. When Republicans took back control of the House, for fiscal year 2012, they were able to bring that down by about $200B, but against enormous opposition from Obama.

Bush's total deficits over his two terms were $3,546B. Obama's first term deficits (including an optimistic estimate for 2013 fiscal year, are $4,654B. Projections for his second term are for lower deficits, but depend on projecting a 62% increase in revenues and only a 26% increase in spending over 2012 levels. Ain't gonna happen. The last time revenues increased like that was during the Carter administrationn, generated by tax increases that triggered the notorious stagflation (recession plus inflation) that swept Reagan into office. But back then, the federal debt was tiny. That kind of inflation today would balloon the interest on the debt to levels that would break the bank.

Last I remember looking this up a few months ago, the cost of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars was expected to be around $780B through 2020 (including costs of veteran services) and including what Obama has spent/will spend. (I forget: Is Guantanamo closed yet?)

There are factors that are unique to every presidency. Bush had to contend with a recession he inherited from Clinton, and then a $1T+ hit to the economy from 9/11, even before the wars started. He had to implement a Medicare reform as a compromise with the Democratic Congress that cost a ton, but would have cost far more if he hadn't kept Congress in check. Revenues in his first couple of years took hits from the April 2000 bust (all those losses showed up on returns filed in 2001, as well as 9/11. Yada, yada, yada.

There's always something.

You've presented one way to measure the debt - as percentage of increase over time. The flat dollar amount is another legitimate way, which I think is where the original writer was coming from. Yet a third and in my opinion the best, is the debt (or the deficit) as percentage of GDP. Obama is well on his way to winning the record for those, by a huge margin.


MyFamNews 2 years, 2 months ago

According to CBO , from 2001 to 2012 congress has appropriated 1.4 Trillion for war related operations for Iraq and Afghanistan. That is a far cry from your statement of $780B and does not include one dime for Veterans Healthcare. CBO also indicates that Veterans medical care costs have risen an average of 8% per year since 2003 and expect that to increase in the coming years. Veterans Healthcare will need $49 to $89 billion additional funds by 2020. The Veterans' Administration is not part of DOD.


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