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
President Clinton left us with a $2 trillion surplus.   (Getty Images)

(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.")

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Bush-Era Policies Account for Most of US Debt: Washington Post is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 264 comments
Nov 1, 2011 1:09 AM CDT
He borrowed money EVERY year. Where is the surplus. Why borrow if you have a surplus???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Oct 31, 2011 1:55 PM CDT
Who's to Blame for America's Massive Debt?...@readers:disqus you want to make $85 hourly and $7000 per month like me just working on laptop for few hours! Would you like to be your own boss!Opportunities like this don't come by often. Don't let this one pass you by! Ca sh Huge . com
Oct 31, 2011 11:48 AM CDT
Clinton borrowed from social security in EVERY year he was in office. How is that trying to save social security? If you have to borrow money to pay your bills, how is that a surplus? When he left office the country was 7.8 trillion in debt. When he took office the country was 4.4 trillion in debt. That would bea 3.4 trillion growth in debt. Wow, those are some good surplus years. This article is such a farce. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_surplus_did_the_US_have_when_Clinton_left_office There are two types of debt, public debt and inter government debt. Clinton borrowed from the government (social securtiy and other savings accounts) more than the pubic but he still borrowed money every year and NEVER paid it back. And if the writer of this article can't figure that out then there is something wrong in journalism today. But then again the first sentence of the article stating we had a 2 trillion dollar nest egg in 2001 is about as inaccuate as you can get.