Debt Up $3T In Less Than 3 Yrs Under Boehner's Deals; More Than Under All Presidents from Washington Through Reagan

Terence P. Jeffrey | December 11, 2013 | 8:22pm EST
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House Speaker John Boehner (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

( - The new debt run up by the federal government since House Speaker John Boehner cut his first spending deal with President Barack Obama has now topped $3 trillion—exceeding all the debt accumulated under all American presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan.

Boehner became speaker in January 2011, after the Republicans won a majority of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. He cut his first spending deal with President Barack Obama on March 1, 2011, and that deal took effect after March 4, 2011 when the continuing resolution then funding the government expired. Since then, the federal government has been funded under legislation approved by the Republican-controlled House that Boehner leads.

At the close of business on March 4, 2011, the federal debt was $14,182,627,184,881.03, according to the U.S. Treasury. As of the close of business on Dec. 10, 2013, it was $17,234,005,998,603.93.

That means that under federal spending deals negotiated during Boehner's speakership and approved by a Republican-majority House that Boehner leads, the federal debt has increased $3,051,378,813,722.90.

At the end of January 1989, the month Reagan left office, the federal debt was $2,697,957,000,000, according to the Monthly Statement of the Public Debt. It did not exceed $3 trillion until March of 1990, when George H.W. Bush was president.

At the end of March 1990, the total debt the United States government had accumulated in its then-almost-214 years of existence was almost exactly as much as the increase in the debt during the less than three years of Boehner’s speakership: $3,051,956,000,000.

Boehner is the 53rd speaker of the House. Tom Foley, the 49th speaker, held the office in 1990 when the total debt topped $3 trillion. Under Boehner, the debt has now increased more in less than three years than under the first 48 House speakers combined—running from Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania to Jim Wright of Texas.

The $3,051,378,813,722.90 increase in the debt since Boehner cut his initial March 2011 spending deal with President Obama equals $26,530.729 for each of the 115,013,000 households the Census Bureau estimates there are now in the United States.

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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