Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Blame Republicans for bulk of the deficit

Jackie Calmes of the New York Times had a great piece in the New York Times on Sunday about what makes up the national deficit.
What is most striking about it (as shown in the graph) is how little of it is made up of the extra spending that Obama pushed for in the budget. You can see way at the bottom of the graph are too itty bitty boxes, one for the non-defense discretionary spending and the other for the energy investments that Obama requested.
Republicans screamed to high heaven about this extra spending and acted like it makes up the entire deficit alone.
Not hardly. In fact, when looked at in context, it is almost inconsequential. Furthermore, as the article notes, it is completely paid for and then some by additional revenues and cuts that Obama made in the budget.

So the real fault for the deficit can be summed up in two ways (or maybe three) The fiscally irresponsible tax cuts that Bush & Co. pushed through in 2000 combined with the increased spending on Medicare and Social Security as health costs continued to spiral out of control during eight years of Republican mismanagement; Throw in all the money that Bush & Co. flushed away in Iraq and all the spending that had to be done to bailout the financial industry and the auto industry after Bush and the Republicans ran the nation's economy into the ground and Voila! We have a massive deficit when - under Clinton - we were supposed to have big surpluses.

Here is another good graph that illustrates the same thing:

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