National debt passes $10 trillion.: The Swamp reports today that “on the last day of September, the national debt hit $10 trillion plus,” as the “gross national debt as a percentage of the gross domestic product has, under the Bush Administration, hit a 50-year high. The debt grew the fastest under supply-siders Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
The debt was $5.7 trillion when Bush took office; the bailout legislation passed by the Senate last night would raise the debt ceiling further to $11.315 trillion. The Wonk Room has more.
Wonk Room: Six Years After Cheney Said ‘Deficits Don’t Matter,’ The National Debt Hits A 50-Year High: Bush has presided over the largest increase in the debt of any president in history. When he took office, “the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion.” In eight years, there has been an increase of over 70%.
And the Bush administration has seemingly not learned any lessons from this, as the FY2009 budget had a near-record deficit of $407 billion. This deficit was calculated before the administration spent $900 billion rescuing troubled financial institutions and proposed a $700 billion economic bailout. The bailout bill put forth by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson increased the federal debt ceiling - the amount to which the debt is legally allowed to go - to $11.3 trillion.
As the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities has shown, 42% of the “fiscal deterioration” and explosion of the deficit that occurred under Bush was due to tax cuts:
The key factors have been large tax cuts and increases in security-related programs. For fiscal 2009, some $1 trillion of the $1.3 trillion deterioration in the nation’s fiscal finances stems from policy actions, and tax cuts account for 42 percent of this $1 trillion deterioration.
The conservative practice of cutting taxes while spending millions on wars has led to the largest debt in half a century, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is proposing exactly the same policies. An analysis by the Center for American Progress found that if McCain’s economic plan was in place for eight years, it would leave a debt of $12.7 trillion, besting Bush’s record.