When Bush took office at the beginning of 2001, the national debt (accumulated over the previous 224 years of American history) was $5,727,800,000,000. By the time he left office eight years later, it had grown 86%, to $10,626,900,000,000. . . an increase of $4,899,100,000,000.Infidel goes on to discuss the recent addition to the debt caused by the stimulus, although I suppose tax revenue will fund costs for a portion of the legislation. Regardless, the statistics are very sobering.
Here's an illustration of how much money $4,899,100,000,000 is: if you spent a million dollars per day, it would take you 13,422 years to spend that much. That's more time than has passed since the dawn of agriculture. It's more than twice as long as humans have had writing.
Here's another: if the Bush debt increase were converted into a stack of one-dollar bills, the stack would be 327,000 miles high. This is almost one and a half times the distance from Earth to the Moon.To put it yet another way, during Bush's Presidency the average American's share of the national debt rose from $19,093 to $35,423, an increase of $16,330.
This should lay to rest claims that suggest the stimulus is crippling future generations. Eight years ago, the national debt was almost 1/2 its present size (not counting the stimulus), and there was a budget surplus. Arguments that focus only on the present grossly distort this history. We can only improve the situation -- as I tell my liberal colleagues -- by not acting like hypocrites and by pursuing honest assessments, even when they hurt. I believe this is such a moment for conservatives who want the nation's leaders to do a better job. Don't fall for the partisan trap of blaming others and not looking inward.
I do not agree with all aspects of the stimulus package and have some pretty significant concerns about it. But this does not permit me to ignore the past eight years of tax cuts coupled with a dramatic increase in spending by the government. Those policies did far more to enlarge the government's deficit and debt ratios than the stimulus.
Note: You can view the level of the public debt for any given day or range of days on the Bureau of the Public Debt website. This is a bureau within the Treasury Department. Here's the debt page: National Debt.