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George W. Bush’s Legacy: A $ 10 Trillion National Debt

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Doug Mataconis
Below The Beltway
Sunday, Oct 5, 2008

By the time he leaves office, George W. Bush will have increased the national debt more than any other President in American history:

With no fanfare and little notice, the national debt has grown by more than $4 trillion during George W. Bush’s presidency.

It’s the biggest increase under any president in U.S history.

On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

But wait, there’s more:

The bailout plan now pending in Congress could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt – though President Bush said this morning he expects that over time, “much if not all” of the bailout money “will be paid back.”

But the government is taking no chances. Buried deep in the hundred pages of bailout legislation is a provision that would raise the statutory ceiling on the national debt to $11.315 trillion. It’ll be the 7th time the debt limit has been raised during this administration. In fact it was just two months ago, on July 30, that President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which contained a provision raising the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion.

Of course Bush didn’t do it alone, for six years he had a Republican-controlled Congress that helped him do it. Because of both of them, the Republican Party has lost all credibility with the American voter as the party of fiscal conservatism. It will take a long time to earn that reputation back.

Thanks a lot, Mr. President. For nothing other than a boat load of debt.

This article was posted: Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 2:30 am

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