Monday, October 25, 2010
By Terence P. Jeffrey
(CNSNews.com) – When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave her inaugural address as speaker of the House in 2007, she vowed there would be “no new deficit spending.” Since that day, the national debt has increased by $5 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: Pay as you go, no new deficit spending,” Pelosi said in her speech from the speaker’s podium. “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.”
Pelosi has served as speaker in the 110th and 111th Congresses.
At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department. At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion).
Pelosi, the 60th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has added more to the national debt than the first 57 House speakers combined.
The $4.997-trillion increase in the national debt since she took the gavel is more debt than the federal government amassed from the speakership of Rep. Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, who became the first speaker of the House on April 1, 1789, to the start of the speakership of Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the 58th speaker, who took up the gavel on Jan. 4, 1995.
The national debt first topped $5 trillion on Feb. 23, 1996, more than a year into Gingrich’s speakership.
Gingrich served as speaker in the 104th and 105th Congresses, officially taking the office on Jan. 4, 1995 and leaving office on Jan. 3, 1999. During that period, according to the Treasury Department, the national debt increased $812.4 billion dollars ($812,423,595,162.98), rising from $4.8 trillion ($4,801,793,426,032.89) to $5.6 trillion ($5,614,217,021,195.87).