Responsible Fiscals 0
The Booman looks at the record (emphasis added):
Here’s some historical fact. In the Roosevelt/Truman term from 1945-1949, public debt dropped twenty-four percent. During Harry Truman’s full-term (which included most of the Korean War), public debt dropped twenty-two percent. During Dwight Eisenhower’s two terms, public debt dropped by 11% and 5%, respectively. During the Kennedy/Johnson term, public debt dropped eight percent, and it dropped 8% during LBJ’s full term (which included the beginning of the Vietnam War). During Nixon’s first term (which included the remainder of our major involvement in Vietnam), public debt dropped three percent. It wasn’t until the Nixon/Ford term from 1973-1977, that our debt rose, and it rose a meager 0.2 percent. Jimmy Carter dropped the public debt 3.3%, despite a very weak economy.
This was our history until Ronald Reagan came to power. During Reagan’s two terms our public debt increased eleven percent and nine percent, respectively. Under George H.W. Bush, our debt increased fifteen percent. This was rectified under Bill Clinton, whose two terms delivered a one percent and seven percent reduction in our public debt. And then came George W. Bush.
In Bush’s first term, our public debt increased seven percent. During his second term, our debt increased by a post-war record of twenty-percent.