Debt Under Obama Up $8,000,000,000,000

Terence P. Jeffrey | November 25, 2015 | 1:01pm EST
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President Obama pardons a turkey in November 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

( - The debt of the federal government has now increased by more than $8,000,000,000,000 during the time President Barack Obama has been in office, according to the official debt numbers published by the U.S. Treasury.

The total federal debt, which was $18,722,746,583,118.03 at the close of business on Monday, now equals about $159,007 per household.

It has increased approximately $68,756 per household during Obama’s presidency.

On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08. On Nov. 23, 2015, it was $18,722,746,583,118.03 Thus, so far in Obama’s presidency, the federal debt has increased $8,095,869,534,204.95.

As of September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 117,748,000 households in the United States. The $18,722,746,583,118.03 in federal debt equals $159,006.91 for each one of those households.

The $8,095,869,534,204.95 that the debt has increased under Obama equals about 68,755.90 for each one of those households.


As reported last month, the portion of the federal government’s debt that is held by the public—as opposed to the portion that is borrowed out of government trust funds such as the Social Security and Medicare trust funds—has more than doubled during President Barack Obama’s time in office.

When Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the $10,626,877,048,913.08 in federal debt consisted of $6,307,310,739,681.66 in debt held by the public and $4,319,566,309,231.42 in intragovernmental debt. The $18,722,746,583,118.03 in total federal debt at the close of business Monday consisted of $13,487,562,419,580.15 in debt held by the public and $5,233,308,167,077.60 in intragovernmental debt.

So far under Obama, the debt held by the public has increased by $7,180,251,679,898.49—or 113.8 percent.

When President George W. Bush took office on Jan. 20, 2001, the total federal debt was $5,727,776,738,304.64. During his eight years as president it increased $4,899,100,310,608.44 to $10,626,877,048,913.08

It took the United States, which declared independence in 1776, 229 years to accumulate its first $8,000,000,000,000 in federal debt—with the debt first surpassing that level in October 2005.

"Debt held by the public represents federal debt issued by Treasury and held by investors outside of the federal government, including individuals, corporations, state or local governments, the Federal Reserve, and foreign governments,”  explains the Government Accountability Office. “The majority of debt held by the public consists of marketable Treasury securities, such as bills, notes, bonds, floating rate notes, and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities that are sold through auctions and can be resold by whoever owns them. Treasury also issues a smaller amount of nonmarketable securities, such as savings securities and State and Local Government Series securities."

"Intragovernmental debt holdings represent federal debt owed by Treasury to federal government accounts—primarily federal trust funds such as Social Security and Medicare—that typically have an obligation to invest in federal securities their excess annual receipts (including interest earnings) over disbursements,” says GAO.

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