More things change the more things remain the same

Discussion in 'Politics' started by jficquette, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    What’s also important, but not evident, on this chart is that Obama’s major expenses were temporary — the stimulus is over now — while Bush’s were, effectively, recurring. The Bush tax cuts didn’t just lower revenue for 10 years. It’s clear now that they lowered it indefinitely, which means this chart is understating their true cost. Similarly, the Medicare drug benefit is costing money on perpetuity, not just for two or three years. And Boehner, Ryan and others voted for these laws and, in some cases, helped to craft and pass them.

    To relate this specifically to the debt-ceiling debate, we’re not raising the debt ceiling because of the new policies passed in the past two years. We’re raising the debt ceiling because of the accumulated effect of policies passed in recent decades, many of them under Republicans. It’s convenient for whichever side isn’t in power, or wasn’t recently in power, to blame the debt ceiling on the other party. But it isn’t true.


    The Bush Deficit

    Critics of President Obama never tire of blaming him for today's high deficits. But if blame belongs with one president, it belongs with Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush. The chart above, which the New York Times created based upon figures from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, illustrates this point very clearly. But it's worth reviewing the history here, because while it's familiar to most of us who follow politics it doesn't seem to get a lot of attention in the political debate.

    By the end of the 1990s, the federal budget was in surplus for the first time in decades. Partly that was a product of unusually strong economic growth, during the internet boom, which had swelled tax revenues. But partly that was a product of responsible budgeting, presided over by the most recent two presidents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In order to reduce deficits, lawmakers and those two presidents had agreed both to raise taxes and to reduce spending.

    In the 2000 campaign, Clinton's would-be successor, Al Gore, campaigned on a promise to, in effect, put those surpluses aside for a rainy day. Bush would have none of it. The government had too much money, he said; the responsible thing was to give it all back to the taxpayers. In office, he did just that, presiding over massive tax cuts that gave, by far, the largest benefits to the very wealthy. Bush promised that the tax cuts would act like a "fiscal straightjacket," preventing government from growing. But then he, and his allies, launched two major wars and enacted a drug benefit for Medicare, all without paying for them.

    Today's fiscal gap is largely a product of those decisions, as the graph above shows. It has very little to do with anything Obama did while in office. In fact, the contrast between the two administrations could not be more striking. Obama's primary undertaking has been comprehensive health care reform. But he insisted that it pay for itself, through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases.

    Of course, tomorrow's deficit problem is a bit different from today's. Looking decades into the future, it's the rising cost of health care that seem likely to wreck federal finances. But health care reform addresses that too, by putting in places the policies and institutions necessary to curb spending on medical care.
  2. "Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous."

  3. I know the truth hurts for righties who want to blame Obama for the deficit problem
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  5. Ricter


    Even as we speak revenues are rising and expenditures are falling. The counter-cyclical beast is losing weight.
  6. Lucrum


    Have you seen Obama's latest budget proposal?
  7. Lucrum


    Without massive tax increases? Don't tell the liberals, they'd shit their panties.
  8. Yes,unfortunately he has expenses like the Bush tax cuts,Bushs wars,Bushs medicare expansion,Bushs growth of government etc to pay for

    Its not like Obama came into office with a balanced budget and turned it into trillion dollar deficits and doubled the national Bush did
  9. Ricter


    Even so, the projected deficit fits right on the graph you presented.
    #10     Feb 14, 2012