U.S. Deficit: Who’s To Blame?

Everyone’s been hearing about public debt, and each side of the political spectrum is blaming each other. Here is a simple graph to help you understand which party was in control each year the debt rose.

Year*

President

House

Senate

Debt ($)

Yearly Increase

1990

Republican

Democrat

Democrat

3,233,313,451,777.25

13.15%

1991

Republican

Democrat

Democrat

3,665,303,351,697.03

13.36%

1992

Republican

Democrat

Democrat

4,064,620,655,521.66

10.89%

1993

Democrat

Democrat

Democrat

4,411,488,883,139.38

8.53%

1994

Democrat

Democrat

Democrat

4,692,749,910,013.32

6.38%

1995

Democrat

Republican

Republican

4,973,982,900,709.39

5.99%

1996

Democrat

Republican

Republican

5,224,810,939,135.73

5.04%

1997

Democrat

Republican

Republican

5,413,146,011,397.34

3.60%

1998

Democrat

Republican

Republican

5,526,193,008,897.62

2.09%

1999

Democrat

Republican

Republican

5,656,270,901,615.43

2.35%

2000

Democrat

Republican

Republican

5,674,178,209,886.86

.32%

2001

Republican

Republican

Democrat

5,807,463,412,200.06

2.35%

2002

Republican

Republican

Democrat

6,228,235,965,597.16

7.25%

2003

Republican

Republican

Republican

6,783,231,062,743.62

8.91%

2004

Republican

Republican

Republican

7,379,052,696,330.32

8.78%

2005

Republican

Republican

Republican

7,932,709,661,723.50

7.50%

2006

Republican

Republican

Republican

8,506,973,899,215.23

7.24%

2007

Republican

Democrat

Democrat

9,007,653,372,262.48

5.89%

2008

Republican

Democrat

Democrat

10,024,724,896,912.49

11.29%

2009

Democrat

Democrat

Democrat

11,909,829,003,511.75

18.80%

2010

Democrat

Democrat

Democrat

13,561,623,030,891.79

13.87%

If one is to assume that a political party must control two of the three categories above to affect policy, which affects budget; we have come up with these figures:

Democrat Control (90-94, 07-10):
Average Debt: 7,174,589,617,302.99
Average % Increase: 11.95%

Republican Control (95-06):
Average Debt: 6,258,854,055,787.69
Average % Increase: 5.12%

*Fiscal year for the US Government ends on September 30th of each year.

Because of the fiscal year not necessarily reflecting a true term of a politician, we have based our results on the ‘calendar year’ the congressional term starts.

All information provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt