Guest post by Joe Hoft
The New York Post reported in August that “Obama’s leaving his successor a national debt nightmare!” Under Obama the US is now clearly a debtor nation with an economy that is growing at the worst post-recession pace since the Great Depression.
By the time Barack Obama leaves office in January of 2017, he will have amassed a national debt of $20 trillion dollars. When he took over as President in January 2009 the US debt was $10.6 trillion. Obama will have doubled the US debt in his 8 years in office. This means that Obama will have added to the US debt as much as all prior 43 presidents have done cumulatively.
(Chart by Joe Hoft based on Whitehouse.gov data)
In his first 6 years in office, Obama broke the world record for largest annual deficits accumulated under a President of any country ever. He went from $1.4 trillion in 2009, to $1.3 trillion in 2010, to $1.3 trillion in 2011 to $1.1 trillion in 2012, to $0.7 trillion in 2013 to $0.5 trillion in 2014. No other president has surpassed $0.5 trillion in a single year. George W Bush incurred $5 trillion in national debt over 8 years (which included 911, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the 2008 recession) but Obama matched Bush’s debt in his first 4 years in office alone.
After such horrible numbers, Obama then brags about cutting the deficit by a third. This is true in that Obama cut the deficit from $1.4 trillion record amount set in 2009 to $0.5 trillion in 2015, but what Obama doesn’t share is that no other president came close to the more than $1 trillion deficits Obama incurred in his first 4 years in office. GW had a $0.5 trillion deficit but that was in 2008.
What’s really sad about Obama’s spending is that there isn’t much to show for it. No major infrastructure improvements have taken place. The military is in shambles and it appears NASA spends more time on global warming than on space exploration. The majority of the costs that led to Obama’s debts were in social programs.
In 2015 25% of the federal budget went to health programs including Medicaid, Medicare and Obamacare; 24% of the 2015 budget went towards Social Security; another 13% went towards more subsidies like benefits for federal retirees and veterans, education, science and medical research; and another 10% went to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which assist low- and moderate-income working families and programs that provide cash payments to eligible individuals or households (referred to as safety net programs).
In total 72% of the US federal budget goes towards social programs. Only 16% goes towards goes towards defense and international security assistance (whatever that is), 6% goes towards interest on the debt and the remaining 6% goes towards infrastructure and other.
As the US continues to increase its debt and with rising interest rates, the portion of the federal budget spent on interest will drastically increase. Rates are very low now but even slight increases will increase the US debt interest payments significantly.
The $20 trillion in debt also does not include the more than $100 trillion in estimated unfunded liabilities related to these social programs and government employee pensions.
Obama’s spending is immoral and has left the country with a tremendous burden especially when rates go up. What a mess Obama has left the US from his Presidency in debt alone!