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The Record for Racking Up Debt

Wednesday October 3rd, 2012   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 8:28am PDT   •  

Which modern U.S. President is responsible for racking up the most national debt the fastest?

That’s not as easy a question to answer as you might think, mainly because to be fair, you have to take inflation into account and also because the difference between Presidents for how long they were in office.

And then, there’s the problem of the size of the national debt itself, which is so large that it’s difficult to wrap one’s brain around!

So, to answer the question, we calculated the average annual change in the total public debt outstanding for the U.S. federal government per each U.S. household for each President from 1969 onward! The chart below reveals what we found:

Average Annual Inflation-Adjusted Change in National Debt per Household for Each U.S. President Since 1969

What we find is that the “winner”, by nearly a three-to-one margin, is President Barack Obama, who has nearly tripled the real annual rate of increase in the national debt per U.S. household of the “second-place” finisher, President George H.W. Bush!

But then, is that really a record of achievement of which one could genuinely be proud?

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October 2012