The graphic below is making many rounds on the internet, and its publication is specifically widespread on Facebook.
Problem: The primary claim is grossly incorrect — so incorrect that the claim qualifies as a BIG Lie.
Grossly inaccurate/BIG Lie category: Clinton left a $5.6 trillion surplus? Really? Per the Clinton administration’s own numbers, the surplus never exceeded $400 billion, and was just $237 billion in its best year (2000).
Good things were done to manage debt during President Clinton’s last few years: there was significant progress in paying down national debt in 1999 and 2000. The National Debt Clock had stopped and was even reversing.
Also good was that new debt under President Clinton’s eight years was minorly incremental as compared to almost all other presidents since World War II. Yet national debt within President Clinton’s last year in office began to rise again — all the gains of debt paydown in 2000 were wiped out by 2001′s gains.
As for debt hitting $10 trillion on Bush’s watch: $10,628,881,485,510.23 was the debt on President Bush’s last day in office. It was $5.727 trillion on the day he took office.
Note: It is easy to check such numbers. The Department of the Treasury has a website that let’s you check the national debt (technically ‘Public Debt’) at any time. You can check the numbers yourself at Debt to the Penny.