Political  Calculations

On 15 August 2008, the total U.S. public debt outstanding was just over $9.6 trillion (or if you're a stickler for accuracy, $9,606,975,957,798.46). Four years later, on 15 August 2012, the total public debt outstanding for the United States had risen to just over $15.9 trillion (or rather, $15,919,488,010,442.70). In four years then, the U.S. national debt rose by more than $6.3 trillion, or by 65.7% of its value in 2008.

To put those numbers on a more human scale, the amount of the U.S. national debt per American household has increased from $81,984 to $131,113 - the latter number being nearly equal to the cost of a 3 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath house in Hartville, Ohio. This represents a 59.9% increase over the last four years, as we estimate that the number of households in the U.S. has increased over the same time from 117,181,000 in 2008 to about 121,418,000 in 2012.

A good question to ask is how much of this increase in the national debt might be attributed to President Barack Obama, who was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on 20 January 2009?

Typically, an incoming President bears little responsibility for the spending that occurs during their first year in office, since the budget that applies for that fiscal year will usually have been approved by the U.S. Congress in the previous year and signed into law by their predecessor.

How the U.S. government's budget for 2009 became law however was anything but typical. U.S. National Debt per Household, 2008 and 2012 (15 August of each year)


Political Calculations

Political Calculations is a site that develops, applies and presents both established and cutting edge theory to the topics of investing, business and economics.

Be the first to read Political Calculation's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.