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Round numbers are very powerful psychologically. 

That is why, for example, sales of PC's took off several years ago as soon as the price came down below $1000 and people recently started regarding the price of oil as too high as soon as it went above $100/barrel.  Another case is that a lot of people started thinking, as soon as the Dow went back above 10,000 following the downturn, that we maybe have a real chance at full economic recovery again after all (which was never true to begin with - this website explains why). 

But another, much bigger, round number seems to have gotten the attention of many people in recent times, especially among the Republicans.  That is Obaba's deficits of over $1 trillion/year.  However, the fact that Obama's deficits went above $1 trillion/year is not what is bankrupting the country, the fact that our total debt is past the knee of the exponential is what is bankrupting our country, and that happened before Obama was even elected (president).  

A characteristic of exponentials is that they do not start going up quickly immediately after they are past the knee - there is still some time after that when the exponential can be acted upon within reason to reverse it - but once the exponential is past that time period and starts going up quickly, it has reached the point where it is impossible to stop the uptrend.  For the U.S., the slow period was from later in 2008 to late 2009.  From December 2009 onward, the exponential has been rocketing upward and has added $2 trillion to the national debt in just over one year, 13 months (it went from $12 trillion to $14 trillion, a point it reached on about Jan. 1, 2011).  It is precisely that rocketing up that got everyone's attention - and it is precisely that rocketing up that means it is too late to do anything about the situation in the big picture.

In other words, no, it is not Obama's huge deficits that caused the debt to start rocketing upward, it was the compounding interest on the previous debt - it is the compounding effect that makes the exponential, including going past the knee, in the first place.  Obama's deficits certainly did not help - and they did, in fact, help the compounding along - but they did not cause the compounding to go through the knee of the exponential in the first place.  I might add that once an exponential is underway, it is quite usual for nothing to be done to reverse it (and, in fact, in nature it does not happen at all) - and this time, what happened was that it was actually helped along by Obama's even much higher record deficit spending.  But the math simply does not support the idea that Obama's huge deficits are what got us into trouble in the first place - the simple reality is that George W. Bush's at-the-time record deficits are what put us past the knee of the exponential.  Saying that the $1 trillion-plus deficits are destroying the country sounds good, and even impressive, but they are not actually the reason why the national debt is rocketing up so quickly in the meantime, and that is what is bankrupting the country, not the (mere) fact that Obama's deficits are as high as they are, over $1 trillion/year.  

Some people could simply insist that Obama's deficits actually did put us over the top, since the national debt did not start racing up until after they happened.  No, all Obama's deficits did was speed up the compounding - and not by much, at that - the national debt was already heavily compounding on itself before Obama's deficits came along.  The national debt woul have started rocketing up soon anyway. 

A line of reasoning, with regard to the national debt itself, that is being used by some people is that we can somehow grow our way out of the situation again and pay the debt back down.  It should, in this context, be noted that we also had record deficits during the Reagan years in the 1980's - and the economy did quite well by most people's view then and in the 1990's.  So why can't we do it this time again, too?  Because in the 1980's, the economy was doing well, but the big deficits were a threat to future prosperity - this time, the big deficits are being used to hold the economy up in the first place at all.  In other words, in the 1980's, the economy was holding up on its own - this time, the deficits are being used to prop up the economy in the first place