Our Threatening National DebtPosted: February 21, 2017
Our Threatening National Debt
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
When a new president takes office, he is saddled with a budget agreed to by his predecessor for the first nine months of his term. This procedure occurs because the federal fiscal year begins on the first day of October every year. Therefore the additions to the national debt attributable to Barack Obama’s eight years in office are not complete. But we can get an idea of the increase under his watch by looking at what is rightfully attributable to his leadership.Author/commentator Terence Jeffrey claims the red ink accumulated by Mr. Obama totaled $9,335,000,000,000 on the day he left office. That’s $9.3 trillion. The previous deficit accumulated by a two-term president was $4.9 trillion for the George W. Bush years (2201-2009). That’s a little bit above half of what his successor, Barack Obama, piled up.
Congress produces a federal budget. A president can veto what he is given but presidents rarely use that constitutional power because no occupant of the White House wants the blame for government shutdown. So the planned deficit wins approval and the nation proceeds down a path to extinction. Extinction? Yes, the indebtedness cannot continue. As the old saying goes, “The piper will be paid.” Who might that “piper” be? Probably world government with total power.
A review of past decades and the indebtedness amassed by a succession of president indicates ascending guilt for each of the past 13 chief executives. They have all contributed to placing our nation’s neck in a noose, the most recent being the worst culprits. Here are some debt figures supplied by the Treasury Department.
Roosevelt (1933-1945) $.236 trillion, up 1,048% from Hoover
Truman (1945-1953) $.007 trillion, up 3% from Roosevelt
Eisenhower (1953-1961) $.023 trillion, up 9% from Truman
Kennedy (1961-1963) $.023 trillion, up 8% from Eisenhower
Johnson (1963-1969) $.042 trillion, up 13% from Kennedy
Nixon (1969-1974) $.121 trillion, up 34% from Johnson
Ford (1974-1977) $.224 trillion, up 47% from Nixon
Carter (1977-1981) $.299 trillion, up 43% from Ford
Reagan (1981-1989) $1.860 trillion, up 186% from Carter
Bush I (1989-1993) $1.554 trillion, up 54% from Reagan
Clinton (1993-2001) $1.396 trillion, up 32 % from Bush
Bush II (2001-2009) $5.849 trillion, up 101% from Clinton
Obama (2009-2017) $7.917 trillion, up 68% from Bush II
(The figure for the Obama years is not complete.)
The largest percentage increase (186%) occurred during the Reagan years when the debt total flew through the $1 trillion plateau. The largest dollar increase occurred during the Obama years (not yet complete).
What does all this mean? It means the U.S. government is spending the nation into bankruptcy. As economic guru Doug Casey states: “Giving politicians the ability to borrow is like giving a teenager a bottle of whiskey and the keys to a Corvette. The debt is an albatross around the necks of the next several generations: it’s criminal to make indentured servants out of people who aren’t even born yet.”
Congress is the key to either fiscal sanity or fiscal suicide. If you value freedom and love your children, let your representative and your two senators hear from you.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.