Today on the Senate floor, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) broke out the familiar GOP talking points to argue against raising taxes on millionaires as a means of deficit reduction, declaring it tantamount to “rais[ing] taxes on America’s job creators to prevent the economy from recovering from this recession.” But instead of sticking to the same-old song, Inhofe decided to throw in a eye-raising factoid. According to him, President Obama has increased the debt more “than all presidents throughout the history of America”:
INHOFE: President Obama has managed to increase spending by 30 percent — 30 percent. He incurred trillion dollar deficits each year and pushed our national debt up by 35 percent. The statistics that no one seems to care about, and we say it over and over again, that this president has increased the debt more in his two and a half years than all presidents throughout the history of America, from George Washington to George W. Bush.
Even assuming Inhofe did not mean the debt from all presidents combined, he’s still wrong. As ThinkProgress’s Judd Legum pointed out, Bush started with a $236 billion budget surplus, yet still managed to add $4.4 trillion to the nation debt.