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The Triple The Debt Theory

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Our last president was elected with one word: “change.” The rivals are desperately trying to win the stage by pushing their 2012 slogans: “handouts,” “something for nothing,” and “free ride.” The Republicans/conservatives make claims that are, unfortunately, believed by their followers. One of the biggest repeated pretense is President Obama has tripled the national debt. Using the National Debt Clock I worked the numbers and numbers, unlike politicians, don’t lie.

The national debt is close to 15.7 trillion dollars. If Obama tripled the debt wouldn’t that mean that he began with about 5.2 trillion in debt? The debt in April of 2000 was 5.7 trillion. In April of 2004 the debt rose to 7.2 trillion. By April of 2008 the debt was 9.7 trillion, though that still left 8 months of Bush spending. These are not all of the expenditures that occurred between April 22 and December 31 of 2008, but they are highly significant:

The 700 billion dollar bailout of the banks was gifted in October of 2008. November 9, 2008, AIG was given 150 billion. The government used 40 billion of the original 700 billion to purchase shares giving it both stake and ownership in the insurance company. (In March of 2009, AIG reported a loss for last three months of 2008. The 61.7 billion dollar loss was the largest loss in U.S. corporation history.)

November 25, 2008, the Federal Reserve gave another 800 billion, 600 billion to buy mortgaged backed securities and 200 billion to unfreeze credit.

On December 19, 2008, 17.4 billion went to the automaker.
The Bush 9.7 trillion debt of April of 2008 rose to 11.3 trillion to December 19, 2008. There were some other very interesting facts.

Corporate taxes paid in April 2000 were 159 billion. In April of 2004 that was down to 150 billion, but by April of 2008 the corporate taxes paid took a huge leap to 350 billion. How can it be that in April of 2012 they are down to 177 billion? Interesting that the Conservatives are still cutting corporate taxes, but is it only to strangle the presidency? Look at the difference between corporate taxes paid under Bush and, now, under Obama.

In 2000, still under Bill Clinton, bank profits were 110.7 billion. Under George W. those profits almost tripled to 327.5 billion by April of 2004. The “Bank Profits” box was replaced by “Currency/Credit Derivatives” which were at 581 trillion in 2008 and 809 trillion in 2012. Who was getting rich? Not the American working class.

Once the past debt and the Bush April-December 2008 spending is deducted, we have a total of 4.4 trillion attached to President Obama.

Now, do the math. If Bush accrued an estimated 4.2 trillion in 2008 alone and President Obama accrued 4.4 trillion, where is the tripled dollar amount the conservatives sing about? It doesn’t exist.

Remember, believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear. Research before you vote!

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About Pam Messingham

  • Warren, I just read the food stamp comment. Of course food stamps went up during the Obama administration. So did unemployment..the only thing that took a huge nosedive was corp taxes. What are we supposed to do? Are we suppose to continue giving 24 billion subsidies to BIG OIL and let our people go hungry. I can’t stand the mindset of those who complain about feeding our people. I live in Michigan where the governor gave big business a 1.8 billion tax cut and replaced it by taxing the old people and cutting education, again. Of course, he has another agenda, he is the privatization God, so he wants the school systems to collapse so he can appoint a ruler to the cities “Emergency Financial Manager” but still…food stamps is the least of our worries…seriously…Come to America…let those poor people starve dammit!….barbaric.

  • Igor, I laugh everytime I see an AIG commercial on tv…All the complaining the conservatives did when Obama held stock in the auto companies…oh the conservatives cried and screamed “socialist…socialist!!!” Why didn’t they cry that when Bush bought stock in AIG and gave them a lot more money than the automakers recieved? I personally don’t know why all the whining over the healthcare…we are the only leading country that doesn’t have one, making us less civilized. Our education is dummied down, we’re broke, and we don’t have a national heathcare because we are still servicing Ins companies instead of people.

  • “liberate the economy from the predations of vicious insurance monopolies”

    Igor, cut out junk food and the American people will be healthier. Health care lines will shorten and costs will go down. Reintroducing enforced gym in the schools will help this process tremendously.

  • Igor

    If Obama had full demo party support in 2009 and been able to intimidate repubs with cries of “we need to save Americans from death by Insurance company bureaucrats and we need to liberate the economy from the predations of vicious insurance monopolies” he could have passed Single Payer Universal Healthcare and declared the costs “Off budget”.

    Then, he would not have to do all the tricks and stunts to layoff costs against other budget items.

    But, to Americans, it’s not as much fun actually solving a big policy and budget problem as to go to War against infidel foreigners. No waving of flags and beating up pacifists, just plain old problem solving.

  • Igor

    It looks like the American voter just shrugged his shoulders in bewilderment when Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld said they were taking the Iraq/Afghan wars “off budget”. Maybe voters just thought that was some kind of advanced Neo-Con deal that would disappear the cost of war. Surprise! All it did was move war cost directly to the Bottom Line, i.e., National Debt!

    As a consequence, NO budgeting had to be done. It was a shell game. But we voters were so eager to go to war and so eager to believe we could do it for free that we went ahead with it and gave BushCo our approval.

    But now the piper must be paid, and part of that is to replenish federal programs (like the New Orleans levees!) that were raided and depleted for ready cash for warfare.

    So here it is suckers: the bill has come due for our vanity wars in the middle east, that have profited us NOTHING!

  • Pam, you say, “The rivals are desperately trying to win the stage by pushing their 2012 slogans: ‘handouts’,’something for nothing,’ and ‘free ride’.” ALL of the characterizations you offer precisely describe food stamps. Here are two sources in which you may be interested – or not: Source and Source.

    Regarding the national debt, here is a source that may interest you. And this is from CBS!

    And this is the same Obama who said increasing the national debt was “unpatriotic.” Wait, he said Bush’s debt was unpatriotic. Does that mean that the debt he has run up is patriotic?

    You close with: “Remember, believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear. Research before you vote!” With that statement I could not agree more.

    • Carla

      Did you read your “sources”? They are #1-contradicting your “ALL of the characterizations you offer precisely describe food stamps” comment, #2-the national debt “source” is NOT a source at all, it is an op ed with no “real sources to back it AND #3 your “unpatriotic””source” was commentary. I guess YOU may be the one that needs to “believe only half of what you see and none of what you hear” OR possibly knowing when a “source” is not a good “source”. PEACE!

  • Yes, they have. I don’t think it’s due to lack of intelligence. I think the people have conceeded to “no power.” They have decided there is nothing they can do to change anything. It’s because the people have believed this for so long that they are probably right. I love when I hear the Occupiers being called “communists” or “pot smoking kids that need to get a job” Clearly, they have never stood with the Occupiers who are mainly professional, middle aged, or even old people trying to save us from what the blind have allowed to go unnoticed…I just shake my head…it is unbelievable.

  • Igor

    The American people have shown an amazing passivity and ignorance in the last several years. Perhaps it started with Reagans show-biz inspired fantasies of Golden Cities on Hills, and other such dreams. This gave people the chance to ignore reality and vote based on fantasy. The republicans found that it wouldn’t cost them votes if they surrendered fiscal responsibility as a campaign promise, so they indulged their propensity to give away public money to the private 1%.

  • Dr. Joe, agreed, but there is more of a push to conserve big money, ins co. and pharm. co. than to save the poor. Lobbyists are huge…I do believe GREED has won out over what is good and just.

  • Population growth is exceeding the death rate by about 750,000 people a year. In addition, the baby boomers are aging. Many things are happening concurrently. Although there is an 8%+ unemployment rate right now, the retiring baby boomers will leave a huge vacuum in open positions.

    We need to tax wasteful consumption so that the money will be there for the various health care programs. A health and wellness program aims to make people healthier so that they will not need as much medical attention. We should be looking for ways to keep people healthier rather than just throwing more money at treatment.

    Progress on this front will begin by feeding the public better food. Excess sugar should be taxed out of the system in favor of natural substitutes like cinnamon, anise, stevia and others. Alcohol and tobacco should be taxed at higher rates to discourage consumption in favor of making healthier choices. The proceeds should go to treatment programs. The Hill Burton Program is in existence to lower medical costs for the poor and middle class.

    Medical facilities receive mortgage payment forgiveness in exchange for treating the poor either cheaply or at no cost. The program has worked for decades.

  • No…you’re right…not ALL of them. I don’t get how many poor people started voting republican back in 2000. It floors me. My dad was a union worker all of his life and the next thing you know he is voting republican…I don’t get it!

  • Zingzing

    Now, now, Pam… They’re not all racist, homphobic, Christian, gun-toting lunatics with no education and no idea the rest of world exists… More often, they’re just one or two of those things and can deal with the rest of them as long as rich people do alright.

  • Zing…so so true. They are highly racist. Lets throw in some really bad “poor sports” too. They have became totally anti worker, anti women, anti anti…it’s horrendous. And…to top it off…they claim it all under the name of GOD!

  • zingzing

    i dunno, pam… but it’s high time republicans stopped saying and thinking that their candidates are or have been any good at handling the debt. if they think obama’s bad, they should look at their own people. it’s ridiculous. if the national debt is your pet issue, you had better not vote for a republican. that would be incredibly fucking dumb, unless you don’t believe in facts or history or any of that nonsense.

    ignorance and gullibility seems to be the only reason they continue to plague this nation. wait, there’s bigotry as well.

  • Baronius, I’ve heard the claim time after time.
    Zing, you’re right, but it certainly isn’t the way they ever tell it. When I saw that we had nat’l debt of 5.7 trillion under Clinton before Bush took office I wondered how much of that was due to the infamous Reagonomics? The thing is the Republicans preach this garbage and the people beleive it. I seriously wish they would run for office on their own merit instead of making up lies on the other. Just goes to show they don’t have strong enough personal attributes, I guess, eh?

  • Zingzing

    Not that he’s done that either. A search for “national debt by president” led me to a link that says it’s gone up 41% under Obama, compared to 89% under bush, 36% under Clinton, 56% under bush the elder, 189% under reagan, and 42% under Carter. So the claim’s wrong, baronius. And republicans are significantly worse at keeping the debt from growing (not that anybody seems to be good at it…). Credit makes the world go round, I guess.

  • Baronius

    I believe that the claim is that President Obama has tripled the growth rate of the national debt, not its actual size. At least I’ve never heard that claim.

  • Igor, I wish back the republicans like Eisenhower…he would be considered a liberal by todays standards! How can you take anything off budget? Then again, how can our president be appointed by the Supreme Court, how can a lot of things…eh?

  • Igor

    The Bush administration took the Iraq and Afghan war costs “off budget”, so it would go directly to the bottom line as national debt. It was a swindle, of course.

  • Hey…it was a ton of work researching all those numbers. It was a little confusing because when you go backwards it only goes to the current day of that year. I don’t know if they added the war, but it seems the Bush 2004 debt is far too low to include fighting wars in two countries. That is something we should check into…My personal fav on the “debt” clock was the banking profits…than BAM second Bush term…it was gone!

  • I’d have to do some dusting to find the specifics but, as I recall, went for several years before they decided to include the cost of the Iraq War in the general budget.

    Since it was also a national emergency, maybe TARP I & II shouldn’t be counted,either.

    BTW, is anyone else being put into a trance by the National Debt Clock, or is it just me?

  • Cannon, I agree with the “default” comment. I think that, too, is a flaw of politics. The incumbent shouldn’t always be the party pick. There were lots of interesting things I learned by looking at the numbers. Obama, who I didn’t vote for, had other issues that Bush didn’t have. Unemployment went from 8.7 million in April of 08 to 12.7 million in 2012. That’s the official, not actual, unemployment. The oil prices too have skyrocketted since 2008. Bush gave a ton of money to the Banks and when Obama gave money to the auto makers everyone cried “socialist” because he held stock. That was called “unamerican” by so many people, but not a word was said when Bush bought stock in AIG. After dumping 190 billion into AIG and 660 billion into the banks, AIG still reported the largest loss for the end quarter of 08 in U.S. History. Obama then gave them another 30 billion in March of 09. I personally don’t think they work against each other as much as they like to say they do. It became apparent to me by the overwhelming push for the NDAA law.

  • Cannonshop

    Pam, you really are missing something here, because you’re right-OBAMA didn’t triple it. Bush AND Obama tripled it-Bush by his policies, and Obama by CONTINUING AND EXPANDING Bush’s economic and fiscal policies-trying to spend our way out of debt while waging two Optional Wars simultaneously, while expanding the rolls of Government Employees at home, while paying off rich donors and Wall Street firms AND running the printing presses red.

    Bush’s spending was a good chunk of why Democrats took the Senate in 2006 and EVERYTHING in 2008, but Obama’s continuation of Bush’s bad policies is why Democrats lost Congress in 2010. He’s simply fortunate that there really isn’t a viable candidate on the other side of the aisle-the 2012 is going to be Democrat-by-default.