How the budget deficit got so big?...
I'm new to Ricochet and just love reading all of the informative, intelligent conversations! I recently received a link to this lovely little editorial from the NY Times boasting that in fact, the Obama administration did not create nearly as much budget deficit as Bush did. A fact of which I'm very skeptical (especially considering the source), but regardless, I'd love to hear other opinions on the matter (whether they confirm or deny the info in the article...). Thanks!!
Answer by Not JMR
The deficit increased significantly under Bush only in his last 18 months (during the beginning of the recession), when congress (which creates the budget) was run by democrats with huge majorities. From the article:
This statement is misleading. While fiscal responsibility was obviously not a deeply held tenet of the Bush Administration, figures from the U.S. Statistical Abstract reveal that the budget deficit actually declined each year during the first 5 years of Bush’s presidency, from $352.8 billion in 2003, down to $133 billion by 2007.
However, deficit spending did rapidly increase during the last two years of the Bush Administration. According to the Statistical Abstract, in 2008, the deficit climbed to $364 billion; in 2009, the deficit exploded to $1.4 trillion. In his article,“Iraq: the War That Broke Us—Not,” Randall Hoven argues that the democrats were responsible for the budgets in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, because they had gained control of Congress by that time. While true, this political reality misses the point—Bush could have vetoed the budgets written by the democrats those last two years, had he truly believed that they represented excessive spending. But while the democrats’ control of Congress for the last two years of the Bush Administration does not relieve Bush of responsibility for the 2007 and 2008 budget deficits, their control of Congress for those years serves as an indictment of the democrats’ own reckless spending, as well.
Thus, the democrats who wrote and voted for the budgets for FY 2007 and 2008 are as much to blame for those deficits as is President Bush.