Setting aside the fact that it is Congress that does the spending, not the president, ask yourself… From what initial debt amount is that percentage increase?
Suppose Jane’s debt is one dollar (I’m using simple numbers, because they are easier for me) and she increases that debt by $1.86*. That would represent an increase of 186%.
Now suppose Jack’s debt is $1000 and he adds $230 to it. That would be a debt increase of 23%.
So, who is the bigger spender: Jack or Jane?
Of course, I could be accused of using numbers to make the Republicans look better than the Democrats, but that’s my point. Statistics can be used to make any point someone wants in order to make one party look bad and the other good (or less bad, because the debt increased with each president). We need to put these percentages in perspective. What was the debt amount when each president took office? By how much did Congress, during each president’s term, add to that debt? Also, are these percentages adjusted for inflation?
It’s quite possible that the Republicans are terribly evil people and that Democrats are altruistic saints (how’s that for hyperbole?), but when you see graphics like this one bear in mind that numbers can lie even while telling the truth.
*Correction: Anonymous,thank you for pointing out that I had my math wrong (see the comments). I have made the correction and it makes my point even better.