Obama Cut the National Debt By $9 Trillion

On Wednesday, President Trump freestyled some stuff about the federal debt:

Just in the stock market alone, we have increased our economic worth by $5.2 trillion dollars….But listen to this because we’ve doubled — in the last eight years of the previous administration, the debt doubled, so that in eight years our debt — literally hundreds of years of debt — doubled in eight years to $20 trillion. But since the election on November 8th, I’ve increased the value of your U.S. assets by more than the $20 trillion that we currently owe. You haven’t heard those numbers.

Well, no, I had never heard those numbers in quite that way. Nor does this really make sense, even by Trumpian standards. Has Trump increased the value of our assets by $5.2 trillion or by “more than” $20 trillion?

Who knows? But let’s stick with the $5.2 trillion in stock market value. While all the rest of you have been moaning and groaning about how this comparison of the stock market to federal debt is “wrong” or “ridiculous” or “total nonsense,” I’ve been making concrete use of this new standard. Check it out:

This is great. It’s a whole new way of looking at the Obama era. Sure, federal debt went up by about $9 trillion, but the stock market went up by $18 trillion. That means Obama reduced our federal deficit by $9 trillion. Not bad!

Thanks to Trump, I guess Republicans are going to have to change their tune about Obama. Not only did he guide us out of a huge recession, but he slashed our national debt by trillions of dollars. It’s an amazing job, really. Thanks, Obama.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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