Total U.S. Debt Surpasses $19 Trillion; Rises $8.4 Trillion Under President Obama

Tyler Durden's picture

Two months ago, when we calculated that the US would need a new "debt ceiling" of $19.6 trillion to last until after Obama's tenure, we may have been too optimistic: since the increase in the hard debt limit of $18.15 trillion which was raised at the end of October, the US appears to be growing its debt at a far faster pace than we had originally expected, and according to the latest public debt data, as of the last day of January, total US debt just hit 19,012,827,698,417.93.

This means that if the nominal US GDP as of December 31 which was $18.12 trillion grows at the 1.2% rate expected by the Atlanta Fed, total debt to GDP is now on pace to hit 105% at the next GDP tabulation, and rising fast from there.

It also means that since his inauguration in January 2009, the US debt has now risen by a whopping 78.9%, or $8.4 trillion. It was $10.6 trillion when Obama came into office.

Indicatively, the Congressional Budget Office forecasts that the national debt will hit $22.6 trillion by 2020 and will rise to $29.3 trillion by 2026.

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Pheonyte's picture

Nothing a $19 trillion coin couldn't take care of.


Till' debt due US part....

p.s. play on words intentional

Pinto Currency's picture



Total US debt is > 62 trillion : check the Z1 flow of funds report.

This is only Federal debt.

SWRichmond's picture
Total U.S. Debt Surpasses $19 Trillion; Rises $8.4 Trillion Under President Obama

That's racist!

NihilistZero's picture

To be fair, Obama is on pace to just more than double the debt.  Reagan tripled it.

Just Sayin'...

NihilistZero's picture

To the down-voters, math is not opinion, it is fact.  If you have a problem with my comment, you have a problem with me mentioning a basic, verifiable mathematical fact.  Move past the Team Red/Blue shenanigans.


Reagan got a bigger bang for the buck.  Its all relative however.  Reagan added 1 trillion. Obama added almost 9. 

Lies, damn lies and statistics. 


Sturm und Drang's picture

"Move past the Team Red/Blue shenanigans."

Yes, please do.

FireBrander's picture

In 2015 dollars, Reagan added $2.2T to the debt.

Libertati Aut Ad Mortem's picture
Libertati Aut Ad Mortem (not verified) NihilistZero Feb 1, 2016 6:31 PM

Debt never exceeded 60% of gdp under Reagan,

The GDP growth rate reached 7.4% in 1984 and averaged over 3.5% during his tenure,

Reagan cut the number of pages of the CFR by 1/3,

and Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.

Take those statistics and shove them up your ass, imbecilic asswipe!

ersatz007's picture

You might want to consider reading some David Stockman. Unlike you, he actually worked for Reagan and could offer you some insight that might make it unnecessary to concern yourself with what people should or should not put in their rectums.  More importantly, it might change your mind on Reagan's fiscal responsibility not to mention that whole cold-war thingy.

Falcon49's picture

Its all relative....and it depends on perspective.  Just like statistics which can used to make a true statement that hides the true meaning or an objective comparison.

XitSam's picture

And Money Tipping is the fastest growing hobby in the US! It went from 1 hobbist to 5 in one year. A 500% increase!

How to Lie With Statistics, one of my favorite books.

peddling-fiction's picture

I hear you NihilistZero.

Down voting truth cracks me up. And here in ZH. /lol

Actually team red and blue are really the same team behind the deep scenes. (now this will get all sorts of reactions of the non mathematical sort) /lol

NostraThomas's picture

National Debt at the start of Reagan's presidency: $997,855,000,000.00.


Tripling it would equal $2,993,565,000,000.00.


National Debt at the end of Reagan's presidency: $2,857,430,960,187.32.

1033eruth's picture

I'm going to give an exaggerated analogy to make my point.

Which would you rather have, a tripling of a penny or a doubling of a trillion dollars?

The interest on the additional debt Obomit is responsible for is far, FAR greater.  Down voted and no, its not "simple" math.   

Oh and Reagan was no freakin' hero.  It was just as financially irresponsible as every president we've had for decades. 

Clashfan's picture

NZ's right. It tripled under Ronnie Ray-gunn and doubled under the Bushmonkey. So what's the big deal?

No I'llbombya fan here, but this is just business as usual. 

maxblockm's picture


Total U.S. Debt Surpasses $19 Trillion; Rises $8.4 Trillion Under President Obama 

That's racist!



hawaiian waverider's picture

Also, this 19T doesn't count the Fed 3T on their balance sheet.  Watch the MSM keep coming out talking about deficit.  They confuse the masses by talking about deficit and rarely mention debt.  When your friends spew out "but I heard the deficit is shrinking" remind them they are  TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

Clint Liquor's picture

The fed has over $4T on their Balance sheet. You know what they say 'a Trillion here and a Trillion there and pretty soon you're talking a lot of money'.


Meh, that's just a rounding error.

The FEDerale's will have a hundred times that printed up in a jiffy for their favorite banks.

As for the back stopping American tax payer ?

" Let them eat cake. "

Story has a happy Robespierre ending for the great unwashed masses.

Replacement for Monday Night Football.

More entertaining.

waterwitch's picture
    A column of bills this high would extend 28 times higher than the orbiting International Space Station. The height of a stack of 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillionone dollar bills measures 67,866 miles. This would reach more than one fourth the way from the earth to the moon. Grasping Large Numbers
BeanusCountus's picture

Will get to total debt shortly. In the meantime, this is no surprise. Note that everyone has been saying how the annual budget deficit is going down. Well, it is before counting excess annual social security disbursements greater than receipts. Been saying this for a while. Once that line crosses the annual excess of disbursements ADDS to the national debt just like when excess annual receipts SUBTRACTS from the national debt. The same slight of hand used to under-report the total debt comes back to bite. And we are there.

And it might not just be social security. It is all inter-government debt borrowing. There is no way to tell how much of this BS there is. Bottom line is the debt is going higher. Much higher when the manipulation ends.

max2205's picture


nmewn's picture


I can hardly wait for the next Op-Ed from one of those asshole Keynesian's yammering on about "Don't sweat the debt, we'll just inflate it away!" 

Remember those articles?

No, I didn't buy it either but of course I was (and am still) of the mind its not my debt, it's theirs  ;-)

Sudden Debt's picture

What people also should know about NIRP is that it lowers GDP. So when your debt is way over 100% and you implement negative rates, you make it worse pretty damn fast.

Not that central bankers want to admit this now but the problems are about to quadruple in the next few years.

FireBrander's picture

Total fucking bullshit!


The President either goes along with, or vetoes, what CONGRESS wants to spend!

The real question is "How many TRILLIONS has Obama ALLOWED the REPUBLICAN controlled CONGRESS to spend?".

It's a Red/Blue team effort morons.

Clashfan's picture

FB, don't get in the way of folks' partisanship. They'll hate you for it.

+1 from me though.

NostraThomas's picture

The Prez submits a budget. That's what the House works off...

chrsn's picture

Shockingly, Fiat is the vehicle of choice for elites the world over.

skinwalker's picture

If I could borrow $19T, I'd build an anarchist only civilization on Mars. Fuck Earth. 

xrxs's picture

You could probably get it done for a 20th of that.

EscapeKey's picture

so debt has increased by $1tn in a year, but the deficit is only $483bn?

lunaticfringe's picture

The power of compounding US treasury debt which the deficit does not account for. Wait till rates rise and this shit is gonna get real and fast.

EscapeKey's picture

so you're saying that interest is not considered?

in that case, surely the headline should be "PRIMARY budget deficit hits $483bn"?

The federal budget deficit fell in fiscal 2014 to the lowest level since 2008, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.

For fiscal 2014, which ended Sept. 30, the shortfall was $483 billion, 2.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Last year, the deficit was 4.1 percent of GDP.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

EscapeKey, see my comment just below.

Sudden Debt's picture

It's what they call "ROUNDING ERRORS"

It's all technical and stuff, let's just ignore it.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"so debt has increased by $1tn in a year, but the deficit is only $483bn?"

Same thing happened during the Clinton administration-- while they were boasting about "balancing the budget", they were adding massively to the debt thanks to using some clever accounting shenanigans. Obviously the Obama administration just copied those pages right out of the Clinton playbook.

The Myth of the Clinton "Surplus"

"Time and time again, anyone reading the mainstream news or reading articles on the Internet will read the claim that President Clinton not only balanced the budget, but had a surplus. This is then used as an argument to further highlight the fiscal irresponsibility of the federal government under the Bush administration.

The claim is generally made that Clinton had a surplus of $69 billion in FY1998, $123 billion in FY1999 and $230 billion in FY2000 . In that same link, Clinton claimed that the national debt had been reduced by $360 billion in the last three years, presumably FY1998, FY1999, and FY2000--though, interestingly, $360 billion is not the sum of the alleged surpluses of the three years in question ($69B + $123B + $230B = $422B, not $360B).

While not defending the increase of the federal debt under President Bush, it's curious to see Clinton's record promoted as having generated a surplus. It never happened. There was never a surplus and the facts support that position. In fact, far from a $360 billion reduction in the national debt in FY1998-FY2000, there was an increase of $281 billion.

Verifying this is as simple as accessing the U.S. Treasury (see note about this link below) website where the national debt is updated daily and a history of the debt since January 1993 can be obtained. Considering the government's fiscal year ends on the last day of September each year, and considering Clinton's budget proposal in 1993 took effect in October 1993 and concluded September 1994 (FY1994), here's the national debt at the end of each year of Clinton Budgets..."


Son of Loki's picture

Yes, it's alot but ... it's for the children.

lunaticfringe's picture

My favorite statist quote. Oh, the stories I could tell.

peddling-fiction's picture

Could you spare some for the Morrocan children over there in Sweden. /lol

GreaterFool1965's picture

don't be silly, anarchists don't have civilizations

Xibalba's picture

$Trillion Dollah Platinum Coins!!!

wmbz's picture

20T by years end!

Yea we're winning! Print baby print!

alexcojones's picture

A Trillion here and a Trillion There,

Pretty soon you're talking about Clinton Speech Money

pods's picture

lol, budget "deficit" is shrinking. Just the debt going up by $1 trilion a year.

Move along, inflation's low and UE dropping.


matermaker's picture

Add up all the percentage gains from 1960 through 2014[it's not decreased in that time] and divide by 54.  You will see that the national debt has risen an average of 7.9%.  This means it will exponentially double in less than ten years.  This is pretty much the case for the entire planet.

Berspankme's picture

VS average GDP growth of what? 3.0%?

matermaker's picture

correct sir. 

GDP Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.24 percent from 1947 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 16.90 percent in the first quarter of 1950 and a record low of -10 percent in the first quarter of 1958. GDP Growth Rate in the United States is reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The latest expectations are that GDP will grow on average of 2.2% through 2025, according to the CBO.