Which Party Has Been Responsible For the Highest Inflation Adjusted Deficits Since 1946?





Illustration of the U.S. deficitA few months ago, I wrote an article titled "Which Political Party Has Posted The Highest Average Budget Deficits in the post WWII Era". The article looked at the average inflation adjusted deficits that have been posted when either Republicans or Democrats have held the White House, from 1946 to 2009.

Over the past few months, we received a number of comments and emails asking us to write a follow-up article that would include data on average inflation adjusted deficits based on which party was controlling the Senate or House of Representatives (or both). Fair enough, and I can definitely see why you would want that data.

So here goes:

First, let's start with average inflation adjusted deficits from 1946-2010, based on which party held the White House (I have assumed that the 2010 deficit will come in at around $1.35 trillion):

Democratic President
Total Years: 29
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $150.73 billion

Republican President
Total Years: 36
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $202.28 billion

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Ok, now let's look at deficits based on which party controlled the Senate:

Republican Senate Control
Total Years: 20
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $170.78 billion

Democrat Senate Control
Total Years: 45
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $183.06 billion

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Now, deficits based on which party controlled the House of Representatives:

Republican House Control
Total Years: 14
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $89.57 billion

Democrat House Control
Total Years: 51
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $203.91 billion

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Lastly, let's look at the stats when either party controlled both the Senate and the House:

Republican House and Senate Control
Total Years: 12
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $101.72 billion

Democrat House and Senate Control
Total Years: 43
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $190.80 billion

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It's interesting to note that the majority of the surpluses posted between 1946 and 2010 (there are not that many, but still) have come when one party holds both the Senate and House, while the other party holds the White House.

Edit: Here's some more information for you:

Republican President, Democratic Control of Senate
Total Years: 24
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $149.44 Billion Deficit

Republican President, Democratic Control of House
Total Years: 30
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $191.60 Billion Deficit

Republican President, Democratic Control of House AND Senate
Total Years: 22
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $161.50 Billion Deficit

Democratic President, Republican Control of Senate
Total Years: 8
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $35.02 Billion SURPLUS

Democratic President, Republican Control of House
Total Years: 8
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $35.02 Billion SURPLUS

Democratic President, Republican Control of House AND Senate
Total Years: 8
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $35.02 Billion SURPLUS

Democratic President, Democratic Control of House AND Senate
Total Years: 21
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $221.49 Billion Deficit

Republican President, Republican Control of House AND Senate
Total Years: 4
Average Inflation Adjusted Deficit: $375.20 Billion Deficit


Source: History of Deficits and Surpluses in the United States




Filed under: General Knowledge

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