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As a believer of small government and fiscal responsibility, I’ve considered myself a Republican. My parents are Republican. My Grandfather and In-laws are staunch Republicans. Upon getting tired of listening to the rhetoric of both parties, I decided to research the facts on my own. Starting with Jimmy Carter in 1977, what I found was eye opening.
1. In 1977, the United States had $706 billion in debt. During Jimmy Carter’s tenure, the debt increased 41% to $994 billion in 1981.
2. Ronald Reagan believed that debt was good and taxes could be decreased to create growth. It sounded like a good idea at the time, especially with the top Federal tax rate at 70%. Unfortunately, the Federal debt increased 189% under Reagan from $994 billion in 1981 to $2.867 trillion in 1989 when Reagan left office.
3. George Bush Sr. took office as President in 1989. Between 1989 and 1993, the Federal debt increased 52% from $2.867 trillion to $4.351 trillion.
4. The day Bill Clinton took office as President the country was adding approximately $400 billion a year to the Federal debt. The debt grew 33% under Clinton from $4.351 trillion to $5.769 trillion. Clinton balanced the budget and began chipping away at the annual deficit. By the time Clinton left office, the Federal debt had its first decrease of 2.1% in approximately 20 years. Clinton stated that he had set up the United States to be debt free by the end of 2013. I’m unsure if this is true, but Clinton did a great job of bringing expenses in line with revenue and creating a surplus; something the Republican Presidents have failed to do for over 30 years.
5. George Bush Jr took office as President in 2001and the Federal debt increased 81% from $5.769 trillion to $10.413 trillion in 2009.
6. When Obama took office in January 2009, the United States was adding approximately $1 trillion a year to the Federal debt. The federal debt has grown approximately 50% to $16 trillion under Obama. I would have liked to have seen Obama reduce the deficit, but I understand the U.S. economy was collapsing at a faster rate than in 1929. If Obama didn’t keep spending, we would have probably had the largest depression this county has ever experienced and unemployment could have exceeded 20%. Unemployment during the Great Depression reached 28%.
Results: Federal Debt Combined Growth
Democrat President Carter, Clinton and Obama 124%
Republican President Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. 322%
Republican Presidents have increased the Federal debt almost 3 to 1 over Democrat Presidents.
Republicans have stated they want a balanced budget amendment, yet not one Republican President in the last 30 years has balanced a budget.
Reagan increased annual spending from $678 billion in 1981 to $1.144 trillion in 1989. George Bush Sr. increased spending from $1.144 trillion to $1.410 trillion in 1993. Spending under George Bush Jr. increased from $1.863 trillion in 2001 to $3.107 trillion in 2009.
Since Jobs are extremely important, I researched jobs created under each president. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, non-farm jobs created under Republican Presidents were approximately 18.0 million and under Democrat Presidents, approximately 33.3 million.
As much as I like what Republicans say about having small government and reducing the debt, every time a Republican becomes president, the size of government spending substantially increases and the national debt increases; to the tune of almost 3 times more than when a Democratic president is in office. In addition, Republican Presidents have a history of creating approximately 50% the amount of jobs as Democrat Presidents.
If I had to rate each President on financial management, I would give George Bush Jr. an F and Bill Clinton an A. Since Obama is using many of the same financial advisors as Bill Clinton, and Romney is already tapping advisors from the Bush Jr. administration, my vote is going to go Democrat for the first time in my 42 years.