Monday, July 19, 2010

A short civics lesson

    The Washington Post babbled again today about Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush.  Amazingly enough, a lot of people swallow this nonsense.  So once more, a short civics lesson.

    Budgets do not come from the White House.  They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party.  They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011.  In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.

    For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office.  At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets.

    And where was Barack Obama during this time?  He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.  Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period:    (below)

    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets.  That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending.  After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.  If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

    In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is, “I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th. 


  1. Curious, what is your source for the bar graph in your post? Generally that should be cited so we know it's not just a nice art project on someone's computer. Please don't infer that I'm doubting your graph, but without proper citation, one can't know.

    Second, budgets are not created in a vacuum. The balance of power in our system of government certainly gives the power of the purse to Congress. But presidents have the power to veto such legislation. But Bush and his administration knew that wouldn't be prudent because the economy was in desperate need of a cash infusion. Even the stimulus which came down after Obama came to office was insufficient to jump start this economy. Now, of course, the clamor to throw the brakes on the economic recovery are coming and, if followed, will very likely grind the economy to a halt again.

    For the flipside of this question, I'd recommend Paul Krugman's (reviled here, I'm sure) blog piece

    Again, a citation for your chart would be welcome.

  2. I agree with Joe M.
    Do you really think we have amnesia?
    Here are some nice charts too that you might want to post:

    I forget, who was it that rubber stamped two wars that were put on credit card and gave 4 trillion dollars in tax cuts to the wealthy that did nothing for the economy?
    It must be the democrats because they've been in control, I just can't remember anymore.

    oh, yeah, here is a good pie chart too (pretty colors):

  3. The Bush deficits were irresponsible. The Obama deficits are criminal and make the irresponsible Bush look adult by comparison.

    The last "Bush" budget took in $2.5 trillion and spent just under $3 trillion. The first "Obama" budget took in $2.1 trillion and spent $3.5 trillion. Their own projections continue this level of massive deficit spending. Now obviously the recession cut into the revenue stream by $400 billion which contributed to the deficit, but increasing spending by 20% in one year was catastrophically incompetent.

    You cannot be running deficits of over $1 trillion/year without serious financial consequences. It would be as if you had an income of $60,000 and spent $100,000, that's reckless the Obama Administration has been with our money.

  4. Ok, so let's take your own words and apply it to the criminality of budget under Republican ideals:

    Our annual budget for military is:
    $663 billion. More than all the rest of the world combined.

    The final estimated cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars is:
    $3 trillion.

    Bush's tax cuts equal $4 trillion.

    Someone at COAST please explain to me how you expect to keep the American Empire when you aren't feeding the coffers?
    You want to whine and complain about money being used to extend benefits for the unemployed, but somehow think that the monster military budget will take care of itself while lowering taxes for Paris Hilton.

    The people know better and blame the Republicans, as they should.

  5. "Ok, so let's take your own words and apply it to the criminality of budget under Republican ideals"

    The Democrats control the Presidency. The Democrats control the US House. The Democrats control the US Senate. These are Democratic budgets through-and-through.

    You sound like the kind of guy who'd throw down a tray of ice cubes on your slick kitchen floor, then walk all over them, then blame the Republicans for causing you to fall to the ground.

  6. A timely column from Paul Krugman regarding the attempts by Republicans to rehabilitate GW Bush's record. More of the same mess we're in would what we're looking at if they succeed:

    BTW, any source for that graph yet?

  7. Schmoe, George Bush isn't the President anymore. Come join us in the year 2010.

  8. George Bush isn't president anymore, but his mistakes and follies still stand and were inherited by Obama who continued to make them worse. Take a quick history lesson next time before you BS some "civics lesson."

  9. Another good analysis, a bit of an economic, history & civics lesson

  10. Your "Bush" half of the graph leaves off the fact that a considerable amount of spending under his presidency happened through emergency spending, not through budgeted spending. In other words, your graphs for bush represent his administration's estimates rather than the actual spending that the GOP led congress did so that actual spending was mostly kept off the books and reports.


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