Who's to Blame for America's Massive Debt?

Bush policies account for $7T: Washington Post

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 30, 2011 2:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – The United States started 2001 with a cozy nest egg of more than $2 trillion, and now the country owes about $10 trillion—but who's to blame? Put simply, Obama-era policies account for $1.7 trillion of the debt, and Bush policies for over $7 trillion, the Washington Post reports in an economic breakdown of the past 10 years. As the Post has it, America's biggest challenge entering the 21st century was figuring out how to spend its Clinton-era surplus—and Bush decided to throw most of it at tax cuts.

Shrugging off Clinton's desire to save the money for Social Security, Congress approved $1.7 trillion in tax cuts with Alan Greenspan's blessing. Then the federal government went on a spending spree, paying for two wars on borrowed money, and ran right into the Great Recession. By then, most of the economic damage was already done. “Nobody would have thought that all these things would have happened after you cut taxes,” says former GOP Senator Pete Domenici. “You would pause before you did it, if you knew.” (Click through to read about the secretive debt "super committee.")

President Clinton left us with a $2 trillion surplus.
President Clinton left us with a $2 trillion surplus.   (Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 13: Former President George W. Bush speaks at the Summit to Save Lives on September 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. The event introduced a new initiative to screen women in developing countries for cervical and breast cancer.
WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 13: Former President George W. Bush speaks at the Summit to Save Lives on September 13, 2011 in Washington, DC. The event introduced a new initiative to screen women in developing...   (Getty Images)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
10%
5%
4%
12%
67%
2%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   MSN Living   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   Biography   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!