Donald Trump: Has US debt fallen since the president took office?

President Trump saying: Maybe in a sense we're reducing debt

President Trump made quite a few claims about the economy in his first answer on Sean Hannity’s programme on Fox News on Wednesday.

This specific can be what he said:

“The country – we took This specific over, This specific owed $20 trillion. As you know, the last eight years they borrowed more than This specific did inside whole history of our country. So they borrowed more than $10tn, right? as well as yet, we picked up $5.2tn just inside stock market. Possibly picked up the whole thing in terms of the first nine months, in terms of value. So you could say in one sense, we’re genuinely increasing values. as well as maybe in a sense we’re reducing debt.”

Let’s go through in which one claim at a time.

The Treasury handily gives daily updates on the level of debt, which can be the total amount owed by the US government.

On 20 January 2017, the date of the president’s inauguration, the total outstanding public debt was $19.95tn (£15.2tn).

So he’s right on in which one.

Nearly right.

On 20 January 2009, when President Obama was sworn in, the debt was $10.63tn. The difference can be $9.32tn, which can be not more than $10tn, yet can be still a lot of borrowing.

Comparing figures with the amount of debt borrowed inside whole history of the country can be a bit tricky.

We have to assume he means since 1789, because in which’s when the US Treasury’s records go back to.

Clearly there are problems with This specific comparison, because the economy inside late 18th Century can be in no sense comparable with the one today.

If we take the outstanding debt on inauguration day in 2009 as the total amount borrowed since 1789, then President Obama did not borrow more than in which, he borrowed $1.31tn less than in which.

Of course, in which net debt figure can be not the total amount borrowed. The total amount borrowed will be considerably more than in which because some debt will have been repaid over the last few hundred years.

as well as if This specific’s not quite true in cash terms over in which period then This specific will certainly not be true using any measure in which takes into account the growth of the economy.

Bloomberg’s US exchange market capitalisation (measuring the value of all listed companies) puts the current value at $28.39tn, while the value the day after the inauguration was $25.55tn, doing sure in which’s an increase of $2.84tn.

yet we know through President Trump’s Twitter account in which he was actually comparing with the level on election day.

On 8 November, the market capitalisation was $23.89tn, so This specific has grown by $4.5tn.

in which’s not quite $5.2tn yet This specific’s still growth of about 19%, which can be pretty hefty.

This specific bit can be harder to interpret, yet This specific sounds like he can be comparing the US debt with the value of the shares on the US stock exchange.

Market capitalisation can be not the government’s money – This specific can be shareholders’ money.

This specific might lead to more taxes being paid eventually, yet the two figures do not belong inside same category.

Remember, on inauguration day, the debt was $19.95tn.

Well, the Treasury’s latest figure for 10 October was $20.38tn, doing sure in which’s gone up by $430bn.

Debt did actually fall inside early months of the presidency, yet This specific jumped on 8 September when the president signed a bill raising the debt ceiling.


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