Supply SLIDE Economics: GOP's $9.1 Trillion U.S. Debt

"Everyone Knows" Republicans are Better for the Economy, Right?

Fact: Republican Administrations have Created over 80% of All U.S. Government Debt Since 1978 

Let’s keep it simple. The success of supply side economics is a lie, brought to you by Fox News, the Republican Party and bankers everywhere, and here’s how you prove it to even the most unwilling listener.

Since 1978, Republicans have created over four-fifths of all U.S. Public Debt.

Republicans:          $9.1 TRILLION in Debt since ’78.

Democrats:            $2.1 Trillion in Debt since ’78.


Excel Spreadsheet of U.S. Public Debt Data and Free, Downloadable Bumper Sticker Templates:

A Debt Is A


In the last third of a century, over 81% of U.S. Public Debt has been created under Republican Presidents.

Only 19% has been created under Democratic Presidents--and most of that came last year as President Obama was trying to dig us out of the incredibly deep hole George Bush Jr. dug for us. The only "achievements" supply siders can legitimately claim are the massive bankrupting of the U.S. Treasury, the TRILLIONS of dollars of taxpayer guaranteed loans to the already very rich (often erroneously called tax cuts), and the bankrupting of the middle class.

Now, how do we convince a nation of disbelievers of this?

Supply Side Economics Explained:

Here’s supply side economics: A rich guy wants a Rolls. You need a job. So he convinces you to take out a loan he’ll never have to repay, and tells you that you’ll stimulate the economy if you buy him a Rolls: That it will trickle down: That free U.S. government loans to billionaires will pay for themselves in increased tax revenue and that the economy will be great if you just give him a free loan/tax cut to buy his Rolls--oh, and did he mention that you and I, the U.S. taxpayers, will have to pay off his loan?

(Is it just me, or does this sound like every college sophomore’s get-rich-quick scheme that Mom and Dad quickly refuse?)

But, they say that tax cuts are supposed to pay for themselves in new tax revenues and a stimulated economy, right?

Well, here’s the only answer you need to that crock.

$9,100,000,000,000. Nine point one trillion dollars. That's how much debt Republican supply side presidents have created for the U.S. Treasury during their presidencies since 1981. If supply side worked, it would be income neutral, or at least close to it. Instead, it is a massive U.S. Debt creation machine that continues to churn out almost unimaginable debt while GOP shysters continue to insist that it stimulates the economy.

That’s a nine, followed by a one, followed by eleven zeroes. Too much to count. Too much to comprehend—and WAY too much to have to pay back. And you will. Right now, of course, you’re only paying interest, but soon enough, you or your children or their children will pay for this gigantic loan made by you, the U.S. taxpayer, to rich people who are thrilled to let you help them pay it back—and who’d like to continue to get free government loans, sometimes erroneously called tax cuts.

We have to make people understand that an unfunded tax cut is a debt, not a return of piles of tax money sitting in a vault in Fort Knox. A debt is a tax. An increase in U.S. Debt is no different than a car loan, just a lot bigger. We, the U.S. taxpayers will still have to pay it back sometime in the future. So a debt is a tax on your kids.

(There is one more way to balance out the debt that they are happy to mention: Just drastically cut back Social Security and Medicare--you know, the only income that 50% of us will have to retire on?)  Even better, if you're a supply sider you can claim that you're only doing it because these entitlements, (that we've paid all our lives for), can't pay for themselves. What they really mean of course is that we can't pay to help our Seniors, (and for your eventual retirement), if we give most of our collective taxing and borrowing capacity to our already wealthiest citizens.

So here’s how we stop that once and for all.

They can take away your MSNBC, they’ve taken away progressive radio in rural areas, they’ve taken away to ability of your little campaign contribution to make much difference in the face of corporate billions, but there’s one thing they can’t take away.

They can’t take away the bumper on your car.

And they can’t take away your bumper sticker.

So here's your bumper sticker.

Gentlemen, (and gentlewomen), start your bumpers!

Here are the cold, hard facts—drawn from U.S. Office of Management and Budget tables and adjusted so that all dollar figures are in 2010 dollars.


Democratic Presidents:

Jimmy Carter (Fiscal Years 1978-1981)        Minus $0.143 Trillion 
Bill Clinton (Fiscal Years 1993-1996)                    $0.733 Trillion 
Bill Clinton (Fiscal Years 1997-2001)            Minus $0.235 Trillion 
Barack Obama (Fiscal Year 2010)                        $1.785 Trillion

Total Democratic Debt (1978-2010)                    $2.140 Trillion

Republican Presidents:

Ronald Reagan (Fiscal Years 1982-1985)               $1.288 Trillion 
Ronald Reagan (Fiscal Years 1986-1989)               $1.355 Trillion 
George Bush Sr. (Fiscal Years 1990-1993)             $1.531 Trillion 
George Bush Jr. (Fiscal Year 2002-2005)               $1.794 Trillion 
George Bush Jr. (Fiscal Year 2006-2009)               $3.142 Trillion

Total Republican Debt (1978-2009)                     $9.110 Trillion

Go to for the full charts.

All charts are based on information and data from the US Office of Budget and Management website and all numbers are updated to 2010 equivalent dollars. For more on the methodology used--(See Footnote 2).  

And we’ll have bumper stickers available on line to print out yourself or (with union bug) to give to your local party chairs, and Democratic campaigns and to have them share with their constituents.

You can also get to the numbers behind this analysis by going to the simpler version of the meme:

A Debt Is A

Also, Democrats perform better on virtually every economic indicator, so why don' they ever talk about it, and why do average voters think, completely inaccurately, that Republicans are better for the economy?

Democrats Better on Jobs, GDP, Stock Market

Democratic Presidents Better on Top Eight Economic Indicators

Tags: Economy, Democrats Better, Bumper Sticker, $9.1 Trillion (all tags)



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