Now that the George W. Bush era has finally ended, we can do a tally of the national debt he has left to us, our children, and our grandchildren:
When Bush was sworn in on January 20, 2001, the national debt was $5,727,776,738,304.64.
When “W” left office on January 20, 2009, the national debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08.
The growth in the national debt during his eight years in office: $4,899,100,310,608.44.
The average yearly growth in the national debt during Bush’s presidency: $612,387,538,826.05.
During much of Bush’s tenure, he had a Republican majority in both the House and the Senate.
He claimed that tax cuts would pay for themselves – they did not. He claimed that tax cuts would result in growth – we are in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Let us hope that once the economy rights itself, we will find the political will to insist that we pay what it costs to run this country. We need to do it as a general principle of what is right for America, and not empty words conditioned upon every citizen agreeing with how every dollar in the government budget is being spent.
What George Bush did to this country profoundly weakened us. We worry about the effect of spending a trillion dollars to bring us back from an economic precipice because, during times of relative prosperity we were sold a bill of goods about how our budget would be balanced at some time in future, despite all evidence to the contrary.
There can be no more “magical thinking”. No more tricks of accountancy. No more ignoring the costs of our aging population. This time, when we restore our economy to some semblance of health we need to pay as we go, not borrow as we cross our fingers.
The dollar figures are from “Debt to the Penny”: