There is a graphics file that is being linked around the web on political sites involving George W. Bush’s effect on the U.S. National Debt. It is quite a shocking graphic, but it can be very misleading because it doesn’t take any other economic factors into account like GDP, inflation or anything else for that matter.
This is the graphic that people are looking at.
Now, I took the data set from that website and looked up Nominal GDP for the corresponding years. When you go ahead and take the US National Debt as a percentage of the Nominal GDP (which is not adjusted for inflation, etc either) it gives you a more clear picture of what has happened relative to the economy.
Keep in mind, I am not an economics expert of any kind. Hell, I am not even giving an opinion on Bush’s performance in terms of the U.S. National Debt, but I thought that if people were going to really look at the issue, they ought to be armed with something a little more meaningful than a raw number that hasn’t been adjusted for any of the economics that are also occurring at the same time that the nation is incurring a national debt.