Has Anyone Published the National Debt by President?


Quick Answer

The historical contribution by president to the national debt can be found in several resources online. The Office of Management and Budget publishes a summary of receipts, outlays and surpluses or deficits for years 1789 through 2014, with projections through 2020.

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Has Anyone Published the National Debt by President?
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Full Answer

There is more than one way to look at each president’s contribution, according to About.com. One method is to examine each year’s budget deficit. This is not necessarily the most accurate portrayal, however, as a president can make his deficit appear smaller by borrowing from one governmental source to bolster another.

A more accurate way is to look at how much the debt grew during a president’s administration. The important figures are the percentage increases from one administration to the next rather than a dollar figure. For example, Franklin Roosevelt’s $236 billion increase to the debt was far smaller than President Obama’s $6.167 trillion increase. However, Roosevelt increased the debt by more than 1000 percent over his predecessor, while Obama’s budget increased the debt by only 53 percent.

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