Thursday, July 7, 2011

Debt 'to the moon,' graphically speaking

The Progressive Pulse blog from N.C. Policy Watch, a project of the N.C. Justice Center, cued us in on a neat info-graphic on the debt ceiling on The Fiscal Times website (go to website and click on the "National Debt Ceiling" graphic below the Latest Opinions to the right on the page).

The graphic, as the Progressive Pulse notes, "puts the national debt ceiling in perspective for those of us who are non-mathematically inclined. By their calculations, if you were to convert the debt limit into dollar bills, and then stack them end to end, it would be four times as high as the distance between the earth’s surface and the moon."

It is a money trail that would wrap around the earth more than 39 times, The Fiscal Times said. Congress and President Obama must agree on a plan to raise the debt limit by August 2nd to avoid a government default.

The graphic provides a step-by-step climb to the present debt limit of $14.3 trillion reached in mid-May. Turns out the debt limit grew substantially during the years George W. Bush was in the Oval office. Republicans weren't so reluctant then to give the OK to raise the ceiling.

In 2001, the limit was $5.95 trillion. By 2004, after the Bush tax cuts took effect, it was $7.38 trillion. It was $8.18 trillion in November of 2004 as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan got under way. It was $11.31 trillion in October of 2008 as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, famously known as TARP, began.

The month after Barack Obama was sworn in as president, Feb. 17, 2009, the debt limit was set at $12.10 trillion dollars. It was $14.29 trillion in Feb. of 2010 where it stands today.


IMO said...

Taylor etal:
This is just irresponsible use of a bully pulpit. Bush was no spendthrift, and deserves criticism for his fiscal policies, but he looks miserly when compared to Obama. Bush added $4.9 trillion to the debt during his 8 years - $610 billion per year. Obama has thus far added $3.9 trillion. That is a rate of $1,570 billion per year, more than 2-1/2 times as fast as the Bush administration. That projects to $6.3 trillion in only 4 years.