vcczar Posted April 21, 2021 Share Posted April 21, 2021 This list is only since Woodrow Wilson because we didn't really have huge deficit spending until World War I. In fact, Wilson was lowering the deficit before then and as he was leaving office. Teddy Roosevelt saw some deficit spending during peacetime, which was rare: Presidents since WWI by % Increase, ranked largest decrease to largest increase) Coolidge, 26% decrease Harding, 6% decrease Clinton, 1% decrease [Surpluses every year of his 2nd term] Truman, 2% increase [Impressive considering National Security spending] Eisenhower, 6% increase [Cold War and Highway--1959 saw huge increase; had 3 surplus years] JFK, 6% increase [First "peacetime" president with consistent deficit spending each year] LBJ, 11% increase [Vietnam and Great Society...had surplus last year, spent less than JFK two years] Nixon, 20% increase [Escalated Vietnam Hoover, 30% increase [Great Depression ended two years of decreases] Trump, 33% increase [Covid] Carter, 36% increase GHW Bush, 36% increase Ford, 38% increase [Probably dealing with Stagflation. Can't explain increase otherwise.] GW Bush, 57% increase [War on Terror and Great Recession] Obama, 58% increase [Great Recession and Obamacare] Reagan, 142% increase [liberal spender Ronald Reagan greatly invested in defense spending...1st time deficit in the trillions. ] FDR, 186% increase [Great Depression + WWII...1938 saw almost no increase] Wilson, 775% increase [Almost exclusively WWI-related] Note on Wilson: His % is so high because there was almost no money in the federal budget for spending. By FDR, taxes was replacing tariffs as the chief source of revenue. More money means that any increase will seem minimal %-wise as compared with Wilson's %. In FDR's time, WIlson's % would be less than FDRs] 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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