President Obama is going for the record.

In honor of President’s Day, the Washington Examiner charted how much debt each President left for the country after their time in office. The winner by far was Franklin D. Roosevelt. When FDR left office – after four terms as president spanning a world war and finishing with his New Deal policies – the country’s public debt equaled 95.7 percent of our GDP.

Not to be outdone, Barack Obama is currently sitting at 74.1 percent. Experts predict that our debt will exceed our GDP in 25 years if it continues at this rate. By then, thankfully, Obama will be out of office.


Though Presidents don’t have complete control over the federal budget, “the president deserves more credit or blame than any other individual.” Debt usually increased in times of war, or when government programs expanded. “Debt has since never recovered to the pre-World War II levels of Coolidge, let alone the minuscule levels seen under Taft before World War I,” Jason Russell writes.

Merely electing a new President isn’t likely to solve the problem. Regardless of which party held the White House, our national debt has barely dropped below 25% of our GDP since the days of Herbert Hoover. It seems a much more radical fix is needed.

We should take a lesson from our early Presidents, many of whom were Founders of our country. They knew they had to eliminate the national debt as soon as possible, and by the time Andrew Jackson left office the debt incurred in the Revolutionary War was gone. Where have those budgeting skills gone?

The Founders also left us with just the kind of radical fix we need when the Presidency becomes drunk on its own power and constantly lets spending spin out of control. It’s called an Article V Convention of States, where the people can initiate amendments to the Constitution and limit the power of the government as originally intended.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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