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CHART: U.S. Debt To GDP 1940-2015

Clinton deserves very little credit for the momentary blip down, even though praise is lavished upon him by virtually all MSM.  Federal tax receipts exploded due to the Y2K spendout and associated tech and internet bubbles.   It had nothing to do with his policies; he just got lucky.  Seriously lucky.


Source - TPM


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Reader Comments (25)

More Drug-Smoking On The Debt


Michigan Rules MERS May Not Foreclose Non-Judicial

Apr 26, 2011 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterLiberatedCitizen
thanks lc...i've seen those...
Apr 26, 2011 at 4:41 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Apr 26, 2011 at 4:41 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
SO we've got a lower debt-toGDP ratio than after WWII? At least that's something...
Apr 27, 2011 at 8:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin
but unlike WW2, we have no prospects of growth to pull us out...
Apr 28, 2011 at 12:41 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Professional Politicians Smarter Than The Public?


Must see video......... about 1 minute in length.
Jul 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
great clip, john thanks...
Jul 12, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Considering the way GDP is calculated is about as reliable as the official unemployment numbers I find debt to GDP meaningless. What is real GDP?
Jul 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharles
"GDP"..............God D*m Pal-La-Tish-Ion..................................One big lye after an other. Just twist the facks, the people have no clue what the truth realy is........Just feed them bull shit, they have no clue. Job #'s, just more of the same.
Jul 12, 2011 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
You are right...gov economic stats aren't to be trusted...but john williams shadow stats fills the void nicely...
Jul 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
From 1945-1949 the U.S. had a lot of manufacturing and industry, bridge building, ship building, makers of steel, mining industry strong, exports stong. A healthy percent of the population had small farms..............The debt/revenue ratio graph doesn't look bad until you consider what I just wrote.......................Now we "PRODUCE Bernanke and Blankfein paper" and "consume" what is produced in China and elsewhere.................
Jul 29, 2011 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeo M. McCormick
The top charts shows debt to GDP at about 100%. That may not be correct. A large part of the GDP these days is essentially imaginary. Perhaps as much as $5 trillion of it is from various financial papers being traded back and forth, papers that do nothing to actually measure tangible wealth. It is like the old joke. “Two economists are shipwrecked on an island. After six months, they still have no hut, no raft and no reliable source of food, but they have both become millionaires by selling a hat back and forth between themselves.”

A more realistic present estimate of debt vs GDP would be 150% or higher.
Jul 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterJason Calley
Economy Grew Only 1.3% in Spring After Nearly Stalling in Winter

Read more: Economy Grew Only 1.3% in Spring After Nearly Stalling in Winter

Jul 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTexas Dar
well said Leo, you make good points.


You are absolutely correct about false gdp, which I covered in this story...

Chinese Rating Agency Says U.S. As Creditworthy As COSTCO, Pegs U.S. GDP At $5 Trillion (NOT $14T), And Downgrades Bernanke

Jul 29, 2011 at 3:23 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
The tax "receipts" exploded under Clinton because he RAIDED my Social Security "trust" fund!
Jul 29, 2011 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterrobertsgt40
One thing to bear in mind in historical figures of GDP is that GDP is not an accurate measure of a society's productivity, as only people in the official labor-force are counted. Earlier in the century, for example, many women worked as housewifes, and were not included in GDP. Now they may work as a secretary, while the family must hire cooks (fast foot outlets), clearning ladies, daycare / childcare, laundry service, etc. to do the work she once did at home, causing an "increase" in GDP, even though society is no more productive (and one could argue, feminist propaganda about the "slavery" of taking care of one's own family aside, that the family, the basic building stone of society, is much worse off for it).

So roughly speaking, 100% of GDP in 1945 is equivalent to 60% of GDP today, as GDP today is relatively inflated, by counting productive capacity that was not counted in 1945.

Another huge difference between 1945 and now is that in 1945, a very high proportion of that GDP was used in manufacturing to make products that could be sold to pay off debt. Nowadays, GDP is comprised much more of services, which can never be used tro pay off the debt (as the debt is held largely by foreigners), and which are also increasing being (i) off-shored, and (ii) replaced by machines / computers.

Moreover after WW II the US was the primary power in the world. The economices of tis competitors lay in shambles. Today, the economies of the US' competitors are sharply on the rise.

Hence the historical comparison is very misleading. We are in MUCH MUCH MUCH worse shape than after WW II.
Jul 30, 2011 at 6:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterCalDre
DB: It had nothing to do with his policies; he just got lucky. Seriously lucky.

Luck? oh, ok, lol. Great reasoning.

Solution to the deficit - TAX THE RICH. Why not? If it encourages "entrepreneurs" and bankers to leave for tax-havens overseas......then we've exposed their lack of patriotism....and we should gladly let them go. Oh, and we keep their assets.
Jul 30, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterTLNL
Luck? oh, ok, lol. Great reasoning.


TLNL. By luck I thought it was clear I was talking about the timing of the tax revenue bubble coinciding with his 8 years as president. We had a technology upgrade on a massive scale that lasted 6 years as companies, governments prepared for y2k. This build out boosted the tech sector, and the stock market on a massive scale. Then add the internet bubble to the mix, which also boosted tax receipts as the nasdaq exploded ever higher.

The only thing Clinton did was raise the marginal rate on incomes above $250k if I remember correctly from 36 to 39 percent. I stand by my original statement. Clinton got lucky. Right place, right time.
Jul 30, 2011 at 4:06 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail

Great comment. Enjoyed reading that.
Jul 30, 2011 at 4:26 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
But was it "luck" that he didn't do whatever he might have done.....and chose not to?

Like.......slash taxes.

It just seems, the Democratic Pres under which USA economy did very well as compared to both the Repubs that preceded and followed him.......was "lucky". Whereas for the others? And for the crises......was that "luck" too, only of a different sort?

That surely isn't the upshot of what you're trying to say here, is it?
Jul 30, 2011 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterTLNL
No. I blame the GOP and Bush for the wars, his deficits, his tax cuts, etc. I was only making the point that Clinton gets too much credit for the supposed surpluses, since they wouldn't have been there without the stock bubble. And I blame both parties for medicare part D that is perhaps the most fiscally irresponsible bill in our nation's history. It was passed without giving the government the right to negotiate drug prices. And the man behind that push (for no negotiation) was a Democrat Bill Tauzin who was at that point no longer a Senator but had become a lobbyist for Big Pharma..
Jul 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
tax receipts went up because (i) tax rates went up (ii) the economy grew. Certainly the first was due to Clinton/Gore.
Dec 21, 2011 at 11:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterelial
According to economist, Mike Kimel, the five former Democratic Presidents (Clinton, Carter, Johnson, Kennedy, and Truman) all reduced public debt as a share of GDP, while the last four Republican Presidents (H. Bush, G. Bush, Reagan, and Ford) all oversaw an increase in the country's indebtedness.
Jun 22, 2012 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeaceful Protester

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