$6,688,935,719,341.77: Biden Sets Record For Increasing Federal Debt At This Point In His Presidency

Photo by Pictures of Money via Flickr

The federal debt increased more under President Joe Biden in the first 1,142 days of his presidency than it did under any of his predecessors.

When Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021, the total federal debt was $27,751,896,236,414.77, according to the data published by Treasury Department. As of March 6, 2024 —the last day for which the numbers have been reported—the total federal debt was $34,440,831,955,756.54.

That means that in Biden’s first 1,142 days in office, the federal debt increased by $6,688,935,719,341.77.

Given that there were 160,968,000 people employed in the United States in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Biden’s $6,688,935,719.341.77 debt increase equals approximately $41,554.44 per worker.

When President George W. Bush was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2001, the total federal debt was $5,727,776,738,304.64. That means that the debt has now increased more during President Biden’s time in office than it did from the founding of the country to the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

By March 6, 2004—or 1,142 days into Bush’s first term—the federal debt had increased by $1,371,790,557,261.15 to a total of $7,099,567,295,565.79.

When the $1,371,790,557,261.15 debt increase that occurred in Bush’s first 1,142 days is adjusted for inflation from March 2004 dollars to January 2024 dollars (using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator), it equals approximately $2,257,649.550,000.

In February 2004, there were 138,542,000 people employed in the United States. That means the debt increase under Bush in that period equaled approximately $16,296 per worker in January 2024 dollars.

When President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009, the total federal debt was $10,626,877,048,913.08. On March 6, 2012—1,142 days into Obama’s first term—it had increased by $4,872,146,580,769.36 to a total of $15,499,023,629,682.44.

When the $4,872,146,580,769.36 debt increase that occurred during Obama’s first 1,142 days is converted into January 2024 dollars it equals approximately $6,550,589,520,000. That is slightly less than the $6,687,053,831,546 increase during Biden’s first 1,142 days.

In February 2012, there were 141,858,000 people employed in the United States, according to BLS. The inflation-adjusted $6,550,589,520,000 increase in the debt during Obama’s first 1,142 days equaled approximately $46,177 in January 2024 dollars for each of those workers. That is more than the $41,495 increase in the debt per work during Biden’s first 1,141 days.

When President Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, the total federal debt was $19,947,304,555,212.49. By March 6, 2020—or 1,142 days into Trump’s presidency—it had increased by $3,521,363,246,735.29 to $23,468,667,801,947.78.

That $3,521,363,246,735.29 equaled approximately $4,207,614,000,000 in January 2024 dollars—and approximately $26,516 for each of the 158,683,000 workers there were in the United States in February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2020—President Trump’s last full year in office—the federal deficit jumped dramatically in April as a result of federal spending in response to the COVID pandemic. In March 2020, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, the deficit was $118,988,000,000. But, in April 2020, it jumped to $738,022,000,000. In May of that year, it was $398,754,000,000. Then, in June, it spiked to $864,074,000,000.

Through Trump’s entire presidency—from Jan. 20, 2017 to Jan. 20, 2021—the federal debt climbed from $19,947,304,555,212.49 to $27,751,896,236,414.70, a four-year increase of $7,804,591,681,202.30.

The debt would need to increase by about $1,117,537,849.656.30 between now and Jan. 20, 2025 for Biden to equal that number in non-inflation-adjusted terms.

For this fiscal year, which runs through the end of September, the Office of Management and Budget has estimated that the federal deficit will be $1,877,209,000,000.


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