The national debt decreased by $12 billion in Trump’s first month month…as long as you define “month” as “34 days” and make sure it ends on Feb. 23.

Between Jan. 20 and Feb. 23, total national debt decreased by $12 billion, even though Trump made no spending or borrowing decisions.

There’s a reason Trump stopped the calculation on Feb. 23.

Between Jan. 20 and Feb. 22, total national debt increased by $1 billion, even though Trump made no spending or borrowing decisions.

Adding Feb. 23 to the “month” to make it 34 days allows for the accounting of new economic data.

Obama used to pull the same stunt.

In his self-congratulatory tweet, Trump also compared his first month’s debt total to Obama’s, in which the debt increased by $222 billion.

What he didn’t mention was the reason his debt total was lower than Obama’s was because he inherited from Obama a stronger economy than Obama inherited from George W. Bush, former Bush U.S. National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessy notes.

The current debt in $19.9 trillion. Along with direct borrowing by Congress, debt is influenced by things like tax receipts, Treasury bills and interest payments.

That’s how debt can decrease by $12 billion, or six percent, between Jan. 20 and Feb. 23, as well as increase by $1 billion between Jan. 20 and Feb. 22, without Trump doing anything,

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