Donald Trump falsely accused President Obama of doubling the national debt during his speech to Congress. Here are the facts.
Trump said, “In the last 8 years, the past Administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other Presidents combined.”
Here are the facts from the Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget:
Much of the debt increase was the result of laws and economic conditions in place before Obama took office rather than laws that passed under his presidency. The Congressional Budget Office’s first current law projections of the Obama presidency already projected debt held by the public would rise from $5.8 trillion to $9.1 trillion when Obama left office – and these projections didn’t incorporate the entire depth of the Great Recession, which reduced revenue and therefore further increased debt.
It is Congress that passes tax and spending legislation. There is little the president can do to impact the debt, positively or negatively, without a bill passed by Congress. Conversly there is little Congress can do without the president’s signature or a veto-proof supermajority. Further, during most of Obama’s term to date, control of Congress was split between a Democratic Senate and a Republican House. Both branches share blame, both for legislation that increased the debt and for failing to enact legislation that would curb the debt growth that was already projected to occur from the growth of entitlement programs and insufficient revenues.
Trump left out the fact that much of the debt was already in place before President Obama took office. The President also didn’t bother to mention that two previous Republican presidents caused the debt to explode with tax cut and spend policies like Trump is championing today.
To blame Obama for the debt increase is not only unfair. It’s flat out wrong.