Debt Up 15-Fold During Harry Reid’s Time in Congress; $145,131 Per Household

Terence P. Jeffrey | March 27, 2015 | 1:10pm EDT
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Sen. Harry Reid (AP Photo)

( - The debt of the federal government has grown $16,955,289,814,977.42 during the 32 years that current Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has served in the United States Congress. That equals an increase of about $145,131 for every household in the country.

There have been five presidents during that time, including three Republicans (Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush) and two Democrats (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama).

Reid was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and then was elected to the Senate in 1986. He first took office in the House on Jan. 3, 1983, the first business day in January of that year. At the beginning of that day, according to the Monthly Statement of the Public Debt for December 1982, the total public debt of the federal government was $1,197,073,000,000.

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Reid announced today he would not seek reelection in 2016. As of March 25 of this year, the latest day for which debt numbers are available, the federal debt was $18,152,362,814,977.42.

That means that since Reid first joined Congress in 1983, the federal debt has increases $16,955,289,814,977.42.

As of December 2014, According to the Census Bureau, there were 116,827,000 households in the United States. The $16,955,289,814,977.42 that the debt has increased since Harry Reid first joined Congress thus equals $145,131.60 per household.

The $18,152,362,814,977.42 total debt of the United States equals $155,378.15 per household.

Of that $155,378.15 in federal debt per household, more than 93 percent of it ($145,131.60) has accrued during Harry Reid’s tenure in Congress.

In rising from $1,197,073,000,000 the day Harry Reid joined the House of Representatives to $18,152,362,814,977.42 today, the federal debt increased by more than 15 fold.

The $1,197,073,000,000 in federal debt as of Jan. 3, 1983 equals $2,821,078,000,000 in 2015 dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculators. That means that even when that 1983 debt is adjusted to 2015 dollars, today's debt of $18,152,362,814,977.42 is still $15,331,284,814,977.42 more than the debt when Harry Reid entered Congress. That inflation-adjusted number equals an increase in the debt of $131,230.66 per household during Harry Reid's time in Congress.

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