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Deficit Has Only Been Reduced By Two Presidents in 50 years?

Summary:

This makes the claim that there was only a reduction in the budget deficit under these two presidents over a 50 year period. In fact, at least one year in every presidency from 1967 until 2017 had a reduction from the previous years deficit.

Deficit reduced by Obama and Clinton

Presidents and Reduced Deficit

Clinton and Obama were the only two presidents to reduce the federal deficit since 1967? Since 1967 there has been Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Obama in office.

The table below shows all of the years (marked with an X) that the deficit was lowered compared to the previous year. [1]

YearDeficit (in millions)Decrease?President
1967-8,643LBJ
1968-25,161LBJ
19693,242XLBJ
1970-2,842XNIXON
1971-23,033NIXON
1972-23,373NIXON
1973-14,908XNIXON
1974-6,135XNIXON
1975-53,242FORD
1976-73,732FORD
TQ-14,744XFORD
1977-53,659FORD
1978-59,185CARTER
1979-40,726XCARTER
1980-73,830CARTER
1981-78,968CARTER
1982-127,977REAGAN
1983-207,802REAGAN
1984-185,367XREAGAN
1985-212,308REAGAN
1986-221,227REAGAN
1987-149,730XREAGAN
1988-155,178REAGAN
1989-152,639XREAGAN
1990-221,036BUSH
1991-269,238BUSH
1992-290,321BUSH
1993-255,051XBUSH
1994-203,186CLINTON
1995-163,952XCLINTON
1996-107,431XCLINTON
1997-21,884XCLINTON
199869,270XCLINTON
1999125,610XCLINTON
2000236,241XCLINTON
2001128,236XCLINTON
2002-157,758BUSH
2003-377,585BUSH
2004-412,727BUSH
2005-318,346XBUSH
2006-248,181XBUSH
2007-160,701XBUSH
2008-458,553BUSH
2009-1,412,688BUSH
2010-1,294,373XOBAMA
2011-1,299,590XOBAMA
2012-1,086,963XOBAMA
2013-679,544XOBAMA
2014-484,627XOBAMA
2015-438,406XOBAMA
2016-615,805OBAMA
2017-503,482OBAMA

Note that the definition of the fiscal year changed between 1976 and 1977. TQ is the transition quarter, the 3-month period July 1, 1976 to September 30, 1976.

Source: White House Historical Tables (Archived)


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