Under Boehner: Debt Up $3T In Under 3 Yrs--Enough to Buy Every Household 3 Yrs Tuition at State College

Terence P. Jeffrey | October 20, 2013 | 11:28pm EDT
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House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) - Since John Boehner became speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 5, 2011, the debt of the federal government has increased by $3,064,063,380,067.72. That is more than the total federal debt accumulated in the first 200 years of the U.S. Congress--during the terms of the first 48 speakers of the House.

It also equals about $26,722 for each of the 114,663,000 households the Census Bureau estimates are now in the United States.

The $26,722 in new debt per household accumulated under Speaker Boehner would have been more than enough to buy every household in the United States a minivan or pickup truck--or to pay three years of in-state tuition (not counting room and board) at the typical state college.

The Republicans won a majority of the House in the November 2010 elections. On Jan. 5, 2011, the new Republican majority elected Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as speaker. At the close of business that day, the federal government's debt was $14,011,526,727,895.85, according to the U.S. Treasury.

On Oct. 17, 2013, the most recent day reported by the Treasury, the federal debt was $17,075,590,107,963.57. That means that since Boehner became speaker, the federal debt has increased $3,064,063,380,067.72.

The Constitution of the United States gives Congress the power to authorize spending and borrowing by the federal government. Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 says: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Article 1, Section 8, Clause 2 says: "Congress shall have power ... To borrow Money on the credit of the United States." Unless the House of Representatives, which Speaker Boehner leads, votes to give the Executive the authority to spend and borrow money, the Executive cannot spend and borrow.

Thus, all spending and borrowing by the federal government are the de facto and de jure—n.b. constitutional—responsibility of the House of Representatives that John Boehner leads.

On March 1, 2011, the Republican-controlled House passed the first continuing resolution spending deal that Boehner negotiated with President Barack Obama. Since then, federal spending has been approved by legislation passed by the Republican-controlled House.

The Census Bureau now estimates there are 114,663,000 households in the United States. The $3,064,063,380,067.72 in new debt the government has accumulated during Boehner's speakership equals about $26,722 for each of those households.

That $26,722 would be more than enough to buy every household in America a minivan—considering that the manufacturers’ suggested retail price for a Toyota Sienna, according to autos.aol.com, is $26,585. (Some other models of minivans are significantly less expensive than that.)

It also would be enough to buy every household in America a pickup truck—considering that, according to autos.aol.com, a Ford F-150 carries a manufacturers’ suggested retail price of $24,070.

The $26,722 the federal government has borrowed per household since Boehner became House speaker is also enough to pay for three years of in-state tuition at the typical state college, which the College Board says costs $8,655 per year (or $25,965 for three years).

Instead of getting a minivan or a pickup truck or three years of tuition at a state college, what Americans did get in return for the $3,064,063,380,067.72 in new debt the federal government has accumulate since Boehner became speaker is a bigger federal total debt their children and grandchildren will need to pay interest on--whether those children and grandchildren ever own a minivan, or a pickup truck, or get the opportunity to attend college.

The $3,064,063,380,067.72 in new federal debt accumulated in less than three years under Speaker Boehner is more than the total federal debt accumulated during the service of the first 48 House speakers combined—from Rep. Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, elected speaker on April 1, 1789, to Rep. Jim Wright of Texas, who resigned as speaker on June 6, 1989.

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