by: Mark Dorlester
Repubs like to scream about health care and other Obama initiatives bankrupting the nation. They belly-ache about the burden we’re putting on our grandchildren.
Well, I’ve done some serious research, and I say: BULLCOOKIES!
As a percentage of the national economy, all the borrowing we’re doing now – even including potential costs of health care reform – is not in the same league with the debt we ran up during WWII.
I’ve located the complete tables of total federal expenses and total national debt as a percentage of the national economy (Gross Domestic Product) from 1932 to the present. It is taken from the annual Economic Report of the President. The source of the data includes the reports of GWBush as well as the Obama White House. It shows:
• The peak national debt as a percent of GDP was in FY1946, 121.7% We seem to have recovered just fine. I/my generation paid the taxes to pay off that debt, and I never suffered poverty or inability to buy a house or a car or put my kids through college.
• The low national debt as a percent of GDP was in FY 1981, the last FY of the Carter Administration, 32.6%
• During Reagan and GHW Bush, national debt as a percent of GDP rose from 35.2% to 66.2%
• The national debt as a percent of GDP dropped from 66.7% to 57.4% during the Clinton years (FY1994-2001)
• The national debt as a percent of GDP rose from 59.7% to 70.4% during the GWBush years (FY2002-2009). The FY2009 data includes last year’s stimulus and bail-out spending.
The current GDP is approximately $15 trillion (final data for Q2 of last year was $14.4 trillion). If there were NO economic growth for the next 10 years, and $4.5 trillion in added debt, the national debt as a percent of GDP would rise from the FY 2009 level of 70.4% to almost exactly 100%, still far below WWII levels. This is approximately 10 times the added debt forecast for even the most pessimistic added health care costs.
If you wish to view the actual tables, go to GPO.gov – Economic Reports of the President and download Table B-79 and other tables of your interest from any year/years of your interest.
This is not about health care. This is not about spending or taxes. This is about power, and the other side is using lies to gain power, not to win any aspect of rational debate.