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Bush, GOP Most Responsible for the Deficit

Toro

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There are several sources who make this argument. First,

When President Bush took office in January 2001, the federal budget was on a more promising course than any President had inherited in decades. The budget had run surpluses for three straight fiscal years (after running deficits for nearly 30 years in a row) and was on course for a surplus in fiscal year 2001. More importantly, both President Bush’s Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that if the policies in place when President Bush took office remained unchanged, the budget would generate surpluses that would total $5.6 trillion over the next ten years[2] — more than enough to pay off the entire outstanding federal debt held by the public.

But President Bush and Congresses changed those policies sharply (and the economy did not perform as well as anticipated), and, as a result, large projected surpluses turned to large deficits. For fiscal years 2001 through 2008, the last full fiscal year before President Bush left office, the $3.5 trillion of surpluses that CBO had projected for these years turned into deficits of $2 trillion. ...

To be sure, the fiscal deterioration was partly due to a weaker-than-expected economy, along with other “technical factors” that are largely beyond policymakers’ direct control. But the economy was not the biggest factor. Far from it. Even with the somewhat disappointing economic performance from 2001 through 2008, the federal government would have run large budget surpluses in every year through 2008 — with a total surplus of $2 trillion over that period — if policymakers had not enacted tax cuts and program increases after January 2001 without paying for them.

Nor was this fiscal deterioration due largely to increases in domestic programs, although the new prescription drug benefit in Medicare contributed to deficits starting in 2006, when that benefit took effect.

The biggest factors were very large tax cuts and increases in security-related programs (primarily for two wars that were not paid for). The tax cuts and security spending increases cost nearly $3.4 trillion over those eight years and accounted for more than four-fifths of the fiscal deterioration that policy changes caused during that period. ...

In short, President Bush came into office with the budget projected to produce surpluses of $5.6 trillion over ten years (2002-2011) if he simply maintained its course. But he changed course dramatically, and when President Obama took office, that course had the budget headed toward deficits of $10.6 trillion over ten years (2010-2019). ...

[T]he deficits now projected through 2016 are largely the result of policies and economic conditions that President Obama inherited when he took office. The economic downturn, financial rescues, and the Bush-era policies drive the large deficits.a Of particular note, the major Bush-era policies will have a much larger effect on deficits in 2009 through 2016 than they did in 2001 through 2008. ...

In addition, many of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 were phased in, with some taking full effect for the first time only in 2010;b these tax cuts will cost more, and have a more pronounced effect on deficits and debt, in 2009 through 2016 than they did in 2001 through 2008. Based on CBO data, we estimate that the Bush-era tax cuts (including relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax) increased the deficit by $1.7 trillion in 2001 through 2008, not counting the costs of the interest payments on the additional debt incurred (see below). Assuming these tax cuts are continued, they will add an estimated $2.3 trillion to deficits and debt in 2009 through 2016 (not including interest costs).

Getting the Facts Straight — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

In fairness to Bush and the Republicans, the tax cuts were supposed to expire over the next few years, so one could argue extrapolating tax cuts that were supposed to expire should not be attributed to Bush.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a left-leaning institution. However, there are others who are not left-leaning who have made this same argument. First is David Walker, who was Comptroller under Bush, and who has been warning Americans of the dire fiscal straights the country will be in if it does not deal with the entitlements from social security and Medicare.

In a recent interview, he said that Bush cut taxes three times. The first tax cut may have been okay, but the second and third tax cuts were reckless. He also called Bush the "biggest spending President in the history of the republic." You can hear this interview here.

After Financial Ruin, Plotting America's 'Comeback' : NPR

Paul Kasriel is a noted economist with Northern Trust, one of the few who warned about the dangers of the housing bubble when most economists had their heads buried in the sand. Kasriel confirms what Walker states regarding spending. Kasriel notes that when comparing Bush with Obama before any new initiatives

Now, to determine who the big spender is, or more accurately, was. Table 1 says it was President Bush #43. In only one category, net interest payments on the federal debt, was the compound annual rate of growth less than it was in the Clinton administration or projected to be over the next eight years by the CBO and the Obama administration. Over the next eight years compared with the previous eight years, the CBO and the Obama administration project a significant slowdown in the rate of growth in all major categories of federal spending except for net interest. The reason net interest outlays are projected to increase so rapidly over the next eight years is because of the significant acceleration in federal spending in the previous eight years that was funded by increased debt. Compound interest is catching up with us.

pk-growrh-fed-gov-outlays.gif

Welcome to Welling@Weeden

Now this is before any new Obama programs. Including the new Obama programs, the deficit will be higher than it otherwise would be.

projected_deficit.png


Greg Mankiw's Blog: CBO on the President's Budget

For certain, Obama's program will exacerbate the deficit, and all new programs should be paid for. But as for the responsibility of where we are now, that lies with the prior administration.
 

Truthmatters

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and any good he does the republicans will claim.

they are a very dishonest bunch
 
R

rdean

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So, that's a 5 trillion dollar swing from surplus to deficit.

Add 2 trillion from that tax cuts.

Add possibly 3 trillion from the two unpaid wars

Add another trillion from the Republican drug bill

Add a guestimate of 300 billion from the Katrina clean-up

Add a nearly trillion from the Bush stimulus package.

Add the fact Republicans did nothing on infrastructure or health care for 8 years.

Add the tens of thousands of Americans maimed in Iraq.

Add the rebuilding of Iraq .

Add it all together

and in Republican mathematics

the answer is
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
It's Obama's fault.
 
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Truthmatters

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There are not enough stupid Americans for the republicans to win.
 

Oddball

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Bush, GOP Most Responsible for the Deficit

Bunk.

Most of the increasing deficits were called by Ross Perot, way back in 1992.

According to CBO numbers, the budget was projected to balance ALL BY ITSELF (using present spending outlays and revenue streams and based upon 3% growth for a baseline) by 2002, after which it would go back into deficit as reliance upon entitlement programs increased as baby boomers aged.

Did Shrubbie and his neocon glee club make an already bad situation worse?...Undoubtedly.

Were they THE cause?...Not on your life.
 

Care4all

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we had unprecedented social security surplus monies under pres bush.....so more boomers retiring had nothing to do with his deficits
 

Care4all

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he was fiscally HORRIBLE dude....truly!
 

Care4all

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Everyone has been spending that money to float social spending....That didn't start with him either.

the excess SS monies were a gradual increase....it began in the mid 80's with reagan after he instituted a 100% tax increase on us....

these surplus funds increased to where they were substantial, in the 90's and they PEAKED under president bush....he used more SS Surplus funds than all presidents before him, to balance his budgets....about 1.5-2 trillion I believe...

in 2009, there was NO SS SURPLUS....obama will not be able to take from SS to pay for his budgets, as Bush did....there is no excess ss taxes to mask the deficit with.
 

Oddball

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The cynically dubbed OASI "trust fund" has been emptied out as a twisted sort of piggy bank, with the cash replaced by T-bills, for decades now....The last administration didn't start that either.
 
OP
Toro

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Bush, GOP Most Responsible for the Deficit

Bunk.

Most of the increasing deficits were called by Ross Perot, way back in 1992.

According to CBO numbers, the budget was projected to balance ALL BY ITSELF (using present spending outlays and revenue streams and based upon 3% growth for a baseline) by 2002, after which it would go back into deficit as reliance upon entitlement programs increased as baby boomers aged.

Did Shrubbie and his neocon glee club make an already bad situation worse?...Undoubtedly.

Were they THE cause?...Not on your life.

This is the best table.

pk-growrh-fed-gov-outlays.gif


Defense is war. Mandatory are social payments such as social security, medicare, etc. Both the CBO and the White House project all levels of spending, including nondefense discretionary, to slow before new budget initiatives, with the exception of interest.
 

Oddball

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Wanna go back to Woodrow Wilson, when all the shell game accounting started?

The fact remains that social entitlement spending was never ever going to outrun the problem with demographics....That wasn't the last administration's fault either.

Did he accelerate the wreck?...Without a doubt.
Was he the one who sowed the seeds and set in motion?...Not on your life.
 

Neubarth

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Hey, Dude, Alcohol is the answer for many medical problems. I just found a new one. I am 62, and walking at my age after several injuries causes my ankles and knees to ache in the evening. I have tried taking aspirin, but it seems to do no good. I still get sharp stabbing pains in my ankles that feel like somebody just stuck a sharp knife in my foot.

I have a beautiful 24 year old daughter who tells me to smoke some weed for the pain, but being an old naval officer, I can just not bring myself to do something illegal. Does anybody know if pot works in that regard?

I have not been a drinker since my wild younger days, but one evening I poured myself a tall glass of burgundy, and most of the pain seemed to disappear. I had a second glass (roughly the equivalent of two cans of beer) and the stabbing pains were gone. For some reason White wines or Pink wines do not work, but the dark Red stuff (Burgundy or Merlot) seems to work for me. I assume that it is the alcohol dulling my senses, but I do not know why red wine works the best, unless the alcohol in it is more readily adsorbed by the body.

Maybe it is just me, but I recommend that people with similar joint pain in the evening try a couple glasses of wine to see if it helps them, too. I know that wine is a national tonic in many European countries.
 

uscitizen

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The cynically dubbed OASI "trust fund" has been emptied out as a twisted sort of piggy bank, with the cash replaced by T-bills, for decades now....The last administration didn't start that either.

Nope as Care said Reagan gave it a big boost.
 

Oddball

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Irrelevant to the fact that the OASI "trust fund" has been raided to prop up favored spending programs spending for decades now, if not from the get-go.

Reagan didn't even start that practice.
 

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