Debts and Deficits
The Bush Administration set one record after another for debts and deficits. We have the largest debt, the largest budget deficit, and the largest trade deficit in the history of this nation. Much of our debt is held by foreign central banks in Asia, and any decision by those banks to stop buying dollars could have disastrous effects on our economy. Democrats in Congress are working to invest in our future and restore fiscal responsibility.
The Bush administration inherited a projected surplus of almost $400 billion by 2004 and turned it into a budget deficit of over $400 billion in that year. The budget deficit in 2008 was a staggering $455 billion, the highest on record. Over the course of his presidency, President Bush accumulated deficits totaling $2.1 trillion—more than $7,000 per man, woman, and child in America.
The Bush Administration promised to reduce the federal debt to $1.2 trillion by 2008. In fact, the Administration abandoned the bipartisan fiscal discipline that reduced the debt in the 90s and raised the debt limit seven times in eight years, to a record $11.3 trillion. Our outstanding public debt is $10.7 trillion, which means $35,000 of debt for each American.
The trade deficit in 2007 was $737 billion, and while this was an improvement over the record $788 billion set in 2006, our enormous trade deficit is unsustainable. For eight years, the Bush Administration’s position was that the crisis would be corrected by the continued fall of the dollar, but despite the dollar’s fall against other major currencies over much of 2008, especially the euro; that strategy has not worked.