I was curious to see how many times the debt ceiling was raised under the previous administration, and I found this, dated Sept 29, 2008:
On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That's a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush's watch.Consistency is not a virtue for political parties, is it?
The bailout plan now pending in Congress could add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt – though President Bush said this morning he expects that over time, "much if not all" of the bailout money "will be paid back."
But the government is taking no chances. Buried deep in the hundred pages of bailout legislation is a provision that would raise the statutory ceiling on the national debt to $11.315 trillion. It'll be the 7th time the debt limit has been raised during this administration. In fact it was just two months ago, on July 30, that President Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which contained a provision raising the debt ceiling to $10.615 trillion."
Even more interesting are charts dealing with federal spending, federal debt, and GDP, available here. Isn't it curious how Ronald Reagan was able to get by with the following % increases in federal debt, while Obama's 12.5% hike in 2010 is being heralded as the end of the republic?
Percentage increase in Federal Debt under Ronald Reagan