Friday, August 12, 2011

National Debt After Each Administration - 1976 to present

(note: this article is periodically updated just to keep the data current)

The national debt, per capita after each Presidential administration [election year] from Ford (1976) to Obama (Present):

(figures are approximate)

1976 After Gerald Ford  - $2,844
1980 After Jimmy Carter  - $4,352
1988 After Ronald Reagan  - $12,000
1992 After George HW Bush  - $15,875
2000 After Bill Clinton  - $20,121
2008 After George W. Bush  - $31,600

2012 After Obama (1st term)  - $52,300 [and still counting]

2014 Obama 2nd mid-term (Dec) -  $57,067      [total of $18.039 Trillion and still counting]
2016 Obama (Sep 2016) - $61,442 [total of $19.5 trillion an still counting, $160,000 per family]

The debt debate is nothing new. It is not an Obama problem. It is not a Democrat or Republican problem. The two major political cults (parties) have held hands in the spirit of "compromise" for decades to send us over this cliff.

And "compromise" is a code word that a lot of people like but it really means that both sides will "compromise" the principles of those that elect them in order to say they accomplished something.

Dave Ramsey was recently quoted in a snippet that went viral on Facebook, "‎"If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year & have $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand."

I think it is important to point out that Dave left out the $2,000,000 mortgage that this family has (we get this by looking at the additional $90 trillion in "future obligations" that our government already calculates it has committed to).



Interest on the Debt Consumes Almost HALF of Personal Income Taxes

I attended Congressman Dan Burton's (R-IN 5th) town hall in Carmel this past evening and was pleased to hear him reference some cooperative efforts he has with Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) but he said something very early on in his talk about U.S. fiscal matters that caught my attention.

He made a statement basically saying that interest on the debt consumed 46 cents out of every tax dollar and that they then had only around 54 cents to spend on everything else like the military, social security, etc... Immediately this struck me as untrue but I knew he likely didn't pull that number out of thin air. But, it did get me to thinking and I worked out the math on the back of one of his political flyers.

We are quickly approaching the point where annual debt service is around $500 billion (one half trillion dollars).

The Federal government budget is around $3.6 to $3.7 trillion.

Federal tax receipts are in the $2.15 trillion area.

Of that $2.2 trillion, a little less than $1 trillion is Personal Income Taxes.

So, interest payment on the debt, will likely run well over $450 billion for the current fiscal year.

$450 billion is:

...about 12% of the total Federal budget.

...about 21% of all expected 2011 Federal tax receipts.

...about 46% of all expected 2011 Federal PERSONAL INCOME taxes.


So, there you have it. Out of every dollar in PERSONAL INCOME TAXES almost half of it now goes solely to pay interest on the national debt. So, the only error the Congressman made was in not being specific enough in his language. He was, basically, correct in his statement. Anybody with two brain cells to rub together still need a wake up call?

The Federal Government is too big and it costs too much. Repeat until it sinks in.


All Good Things: Thank You to Abdul In The Morning

Friday morning was the final “Abdul in the Morning” show on WXNT Newstalk 1430AM in Indianapolis. I had started to listening to WXNT in the mornings when Greg Browning had the morning slot and I was a bit skeptical, but intrigued, when they announced that a “conservative, black Muslim from Illinois” was taking over the morning show. I still remember I was driving my toddler daughter (now nine years old) to her aunt's house in Brownsburg before going into the office that morning when I heard of the upcoming change.

Very quickly. Abdul's show became my favorite on radio not only because of his excellent coverage of local and state politics, cutting a different path than most that focus on the easier national issues, but because he did it so well and so fairly to all involved. I have to say I was amazed and impressed at how quickly he was able to establish himself as a fixture amongst all things political in Indianapolis. His show quickly became a daily must listen to event for anyone interested in staying up on government affairs in Indiana.

The next few years evolved in such a way that I became not just a listener to the show and sometimes caller, but a sometimes guest on tax policy, libertarian politics and as a candidate for public office. Eventually, I even got the opportunity to act as a guest co-host along with good friends like Chris Spangle (the current Executive Director of the Indiana State Libertarian Party and a former producer of Abdul's show). My loyalty to WXNT and Abdul's show even prompted me to advertise on their station a couple of times.

I remember sitting in my office one day when a gentleman named Tom Hervey walked in and introduced himself as being in radio sales with WXNT and I told him that any friend of the Abdul show was a friend of mine. Tom has also always been a class act. Somewhere along the way Abdul, miraculously, even managed to find a beautiful, charming woman who could tolerate his (and Abdul would say this himself) ego and was willing to marry him.

I think that ultimately, while Entercom had to make a financial decision, they may have shot themselves in the foot with the loss of Abdul's show. I like some of the other shows they have on WXNT but without Abdul anchoring the station with a friendly local presence, fresh locally significant content and his outreach to the community that they may have lost the biggest reason to keep 1430 AM as a featured pre-set in the car. If Abdul lands somewhere else on the local dial he is sure to take his audience with him. And his reporting and commentary can still be picked up at his Indiana Barrister BLOG site or his upcoming new site Indy Politics.

Abdul's last show can be heard at my friend and political ally Chris Spangle's web site http://www.chrisspangle.com/. Impressively, those calling in or stopping by to say thanks and wish him well included:

  • Governor and almost was Presidential candidate Mitch Daniels (R)
  • Congressman Mike Pence (R)
  • former Marion County Libertarian Party Chair Tim Maguire
  • Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (R)
  • former Indiana Libertarian State Chair Brad Klopfenstein
  • Libertarian Party of Indiana Executive Director Chris Spangle
  • Speaker of the Indiana House Brian Bosma (R)
  • Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R)
  • Indianapolis City Councilor Ed Coleman (L)
  • Congressman and former Secretary of State Todd Rokita (R)
  • and, of course, Larry

You know you have made an impression and a positive impact when your list of friends and well wishers includes that esteemed group of folks.

So, let me say thank you to Abdul for his service to the community, his friendship and the opportunities he afforded me and others in being a guest on his show from time-to-time. Let me also say thank you to Andrew Lee, Brian Moore, Chris Spangle and everyone at WXNT that was involved along the way. I know there are a lot of us out there who look forward to Abdul's next broadcast media endeavor(s) – Democratic mayoral candidate Melina Kennedy and IPS Superintendent Eugene White not being among them.