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Numbers Lie

There’s a new demotivational picture floating around the internet and the numbers on this photo don’t necessarily lie but they definitely don’t tell the whole truth. On one half of the picture it says “Debt added by the 43 previous presidents combined: 6.3 trillion”. On the other half of this picture it says “Debt added by this president: 6.5 trillion”. While this picture is factually correct it does not relay all of the facts.

Yes through the first forty-three presidents only 6.3 trillion dollars were added to the deficit but that 6.3 trillion was also added by a single president. When Clinton left office there was a surplus and that means when Bush took office there was a surplus. When bush left office there was a deficit, a 6.3 trillion dollar deficit. Now if I only tell you these facts it makes it seem like President Bush was a pretty shitty president, and I don’t believe he was. Now if I tell you that when Bush was in office we entered two wars, had many tax cuts, and other things that would influence the deficit, would you still feel the same way. Maybe, it really depends on what your political views and other circumstances.

Now there’s the whole forty-fourth presidents added debt. Obama has added a ton and I mean a ton of money to the deficit, 6.5 sounds about right. 6.5 trillion dollars is a lot to add to a deficit in ten years let alone three but then there’s the whole numbers being taken out of context thing. If I told you any other person added 6.5 trillion dollars in three years you’d probably have an aneurysm. However, if I told you that that person inherited a crumbling housing market. Big banks that were too big to fail so they had to bail them out. They also inherited a crumbling automobile industry. That person also had companies shipping jobs to other countries so people got laid off therefore more people collect welfare and unemployment benefits. Had to prevent two new wars. And that person also inherited the biggest recession since The Great Depression. Now that all those things have been introduced to the equation, that 6.5 trillion, albeit it is still a tremendously large number, seems a little bit more reasonable.

Then there’s other things that the presidents cannot account for. Such as inflation, a do nothing congress, population increase, and other things. While Obama has collected the most debt in the shortest amount of time, if you put the debt numbers at the time of The Great Depression into what they would be today I am almost certain Herbert Hoover would have accumulated a similar amount of debt. I’m not saying Obama doesn’t have some faults because he has faults and he is to blame for some things. I’m just saying rather than spread half lies put everything out there and allow people to come to their own conclusions.


16 responses

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