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Comparing Recent U.S. Presidents: New Debt Added vs. Precious Metals Production

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Recent U.S. Presidents: Debt vs. Coins Added

While precious metals can’t be produced out of thin air, U.S. debt can be financed through central bank money creation. In fact, U.S. debt has skyrocketed in recent years under both Democrat and Republican administrations.

This infographic from Texas Precious Metals compares the increase in public debt to the value of gold and silver coin production during U.S. presidencies.

Total Production by Presidential Term

We used U.S. public debt in our calculations, a measure of debt owed to third parties such as foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, while excluding intragovernmental holdings. To derive the value of U.S. minted gold and silver coins, we multiplied new ounces produced by the average closing price of gold or silver in each respective year.

Here’s how debt growth stacks up against gold and silver coin production during recent U.S. presidencies:

Obama's 1st term (2009-2012)Obama's Second Term (2013-2016)Trump's term (2017-Oct 26 2020)
U.S. Silver Coins Minted$3.7B$3.3B$1.4B
U.S. Gold Coins Minted$6.7B$5.1B$2.9B
U.S. Public Debt Added$5.2T$2.9T$6.6T

Over each consecutive term, gold and silver coin production decreased. In Trump’s term so far, the value of public debt added to the system is almost 1,600 times higher than minted gold and silver coins combined.

During Obama’s first term and Trump’s term, debt saw a marked increase as the administrations provided fiscal stimulus in response to the global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. As we begin to recover from COVID-19, what might debt growth look like going forward?

U.S. Public Debt Projections

As of September 30, 2020, the end of the federal government’s fiscal year, debt had reached $21 trillion. According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, it’s projected to rise steadily in the future.

2021P2022P2023P2024P2025P2026P2027P2028P2029P2030P
U.S. Public Debt21.9T23.3T24.5T25.7T26.8T27.9T29.0T30.4T31.8T33.5T
Debt-to-GDP ratio104.4%105.6%106.7%107.1%107.2%106.7%106.3%106.8%107.4%108.9%

By 2030, debt will have risen by over $12 trillion from 2020 levels and the debt-to-GDP ratio will be almost 109%.

It’s worth noting that debt will likely grow substantially regardless of who is elected in the 2020 U.S. election. Central estimates by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget show debt rising by $5 trillion under Trump and $5.6 trillion under Biden through 2030. These estimates exclude any COVID-19 relief policies.

What Could This Mean for Investors?

As the U.S. Federal Reserve creates more money to finance rising government debt, inflation could eventually be pushed higher. This could affect the value of the U.S. dollar.

On the flip side, gold and silver have a limited supply and coin production has decreased over the last three presidential terms. Both can act as an inflation hedge, while playing a role in wealth preservation.

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Gold

Gold vs. S&P 500: Which Has Grown More Over Five Years?

The price of gold has set record highs in 2024, but how has this precious metal performed relative to the S&P 500?

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Gold vs. S&P 500: Which Has Grown More Over Five Years?

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on Apple or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Gold is considered a unique asset due to its enduring value, historical significance, and application in various technologies like computers, spacecraft, and communications equipment.

Commonly regarded as a “safe haven asset”, gold is something investors typically buy to protect themselves during periods of global uncertainty and economic decline.

It is for this reason that gold has performed rather strongly in recent years, and especially in 2024. Persistent inflation combined with multiple wars has driven up demand for gold, helping it set a new all-time high of over $2,400 per ounce.

To put this into perspective, we visualized the performance of gold alongside the S&P 500. See the table below for performance figures as of April 12, 2024.

Asset/Index1 Yr (%)5 Yr (%)
🏆 Gold+16.35+81.65
💼 S&P 500+25.21+76.22

Over the five-year period, gold has climbed an impressive 81.65%, outpacing even the S&P 500.

Get Your Gold at Costco

Perhaps a sign of how high the demand for gold is becoming, wholesale giant Costco is reportedly selling up to $200 million worth of gold bars every month in the United States. The year prior, sales only amounted to $100 million per quarter.

Consumers aren’t the only ones buying gold, either. Central banks around the world have been accumulating gold in very large quantities, likely as a hedge against inflation.

According to the World Gold Council, these institutions bought 1,136 metric tons in 2022, marking the highest level since 1950. Figures for 2023 came in at 1,037 metric tons.

See More Graphics on Gold

If you’re fascinated by gold, be sure to check out more Visual Capitalist content including 200 Years of Global Gold Production, by Country or Ranked: The Largest Gold Reserves by Country.

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