RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Federal debt is a serious problem, most public officials agree upon that, but is it worse now than it has been in the past?
According to Governor Bob McDonnell it is. Here is what he said about the history of federal debt: "After World War II, we (had) just about 100 percent of GDP tied up in debt, but over 30 years there was a reduction in the debt until the 1980s."
Is McDonnell, right? Did the federal government continue to cut debt for three decades before making a 180 degree turn? According to the reporters of Politifact Virginia, that claim is true.
Debt is often measured by the amount of the Gross Domestic Product tied up in debt. In 1946 right after World War Two 121.7 % was tied up in debt.
But for the next 30 or so years it steadily went down, ending up at only 33% of GPD tied up in debt by 1979.
However, over the last two years things have gone the other direction with now more than 100% of GPD accounted for in debt.
According to Sean Gorman of Politifact Virginia -- the data is pretty clear cut.
"We actually looked at numbers from the Office of Management and Budget and those showed, for the most part, the trend line he cited was correct," said Gorman.