A BIG Lie found floating around the internet – National Debt from George Washington to Barack Obama


Disclaimer: Was not an Obama voter in 2008 and don’t expect to be an Obama voter in 2012. Stretching the truth is occasionally OK but I strongly dislike BIG lies. I’m on the side of the red, white and blue. BIG LIES only destroy us all as Americans.


The following graphic was busy floating around the internet during late December 2011.

National Debt over time from George Washington to President Obama

Alleged National Debt from George Washington to Barack Obama

I hate to be Mr. Grinch Fact Checker but this chart is VERY wrong.

This chart is not even close to being just misleading. This chart is so wrong that it wins my award of The BIG Lie.

The actual national debt in January 2009 when President Obama took office was $11,909,829,003,511.75 (Jan 30, 2009) per the U.S. Treasury.

This chart is also wrong on several other levels.

For this chart to be accurate, actual national debt over time should be expressed as a cumulative. These numbers do not even begin to show total cumulative national debt.

For example, the total cumulative national debt racked up just under President George W. Bush (Jan 2001-Jan 2009) was $6.1 trillion dollars. Keeping that number in mind, according to this chart all presidents before George W. Bush created a total national debt of just $200 billion. This chart is obviously nowhere near reality.

Note: For comparison, after eight years of President Clinton debt increased $1.5 trillion vs $6.1 trillion under eight years of President Bush.

What this chart really portrays is that reality doesn’t matter … and as for fact checking: that’s for losers. It is all about winning. Politics is a contact sport don’t you know?!

Source for all numbers: U.S. Treasury http://tinyurl.com/3xjc7y — the Treasury provides a history of all national debt numbers so don’t trust me – go do a fact check yourself.

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1 Comment

Filed under Economics, National Debt

One response to “A BIG Lie found floating around the internet – National Debt from George Washington to Barack Obama

  1. Elena

    Bill, you are awesome. Needed this info ASAP and where did I know to look? Your blog. Thank you!

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