Debt Limit Increase Per President

Of course, the president isn’t solely responsible for raising the debt limit on his own, he has the aid of whatever congress is in session at the time, but these are the numbers I found and how I interpret them.

First, to be fair and balanced, I found the data on the Fox News website. They gave “raw data” as shown here.

Raw Data from Fox News

So then, I calculated the total increase per president in trillions of dollars. This is where Fox News could use a remedial math class.

Totals Per President

Does Fox News think so little of their reader’s intellectual ability that this data has been up for the last month without a correction? A mistake like this just points to really poor editorial work, or a blatant attempt to misinform the public. Here is a screenshot for when they change it later.

Then I charted these increases in trillions of dollars.

Chart of Total Increases

Next, I calculated the average per hike in trillions of dollars. Since Fox News was incapable of doing basic subtraction, their reported figure here was also wrong.

Average per Hike

Then I charted the average hike in trillions of dollars. Remember, these numbers do not account for inflation.

Chart of Average per Hike

Last, but not least, I calculated the percent increase per president. For you, Fox News, the next time you do calculations, here is the formula for calculating the percent increase:

I added extra parenthesis, Fox News, so that you might get it right. Of course, that will only help you if you learn to subtract first. Multiplication, division and order of operation are a bit advanced, which might explain why you, dear Fox News, didn’t attempt this yourself. Or you didn’t like the results.

Percent Increase Per President

And finally, the chart for the percent increase per president.

Chart of Percent Increase Per President

The long and the short of it is this: Democrats flaunt the chart of percent increase per president, Republicans flaunt the chart of average per hike, and no one likes the chart showing total increases. And again, none of these figures account for inflation, which has definitely increased since the 80’s. I’ll leave that exercise up to the dedicated reader.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sue on August 27, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Gawd, you’re good! “A mistake like this just points to really poor editorial work, or a blatant attempt to misinform the public.” Fox network news…who knew.

    I am of the opinion we only need to print more money. It can be legally and politically correctly done, along with common sense guidelines that enhance the economy. I do believe it is already in the works. Our President is one smart cookie.


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