- The Washington Times - Friday, January 13, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has a theory on who should shoulder the blame for over $9 trillion in debt the nation has amassed over the last eight years: former President George W. Bush.

Social Security, Medicare, and ballooning costs for unfunded federal mandates were not singled out on Friday by Mrs. Pelosi during a press conference as the prime drivers of U.S. debt. Instead, the California Democrat said Mr. Bush was culpable for debt incurred during President Obama’s time in the White House.

“When President Obama stood on the steps on the Capitol eight years from next week, the [budget] deficit was $1.4 trillion — one year deficit,” Mrs. Pelosi said, the Washington Examiner reported. “It’s reduced by 70 percent in his administration. Much of the increase in the national debt that has occurred from this time still springs from two unpaid-for wars, cost that we owe our veterans following that, giveaways that they gave to the pharmaceutical industry, and the high-end tax cuts that have carried forward without any job production. Absent the work of President Obama, this national debt would be even higher.”

Mrs. Pelosi also blamed Republicans under Mr. Bush for abandoning a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) law that theoretically saved the federal government one dollar for every dollar spent.

“Republicans come in, throw pay-as-you-go out the window,” the congresswoman said. “They make us pay for any investments in education that we may make, but they won’t pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.”

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., estimates that federal debt now amounts to “$125,000 for every tax-filing household in America.”

“To set aside enough money today to pay the current debt and future unfunded costs just from Social Security and Medicare, each person in America today, including their children, would owe more than $210,000,” the nonprofit organization wrote when U.S. debt tallied $18.8 trillion.

The group’s data was gleaned from the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. Department of Treasury, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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