Who Made the Debt, Again?

At last – a clear answer to “Who made this mess.”

It was Bush, and the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans trashed America’s economy, and conservative policies have been a disaster since Raygun.

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How the Deficit Got This Big

With President Obama and Republican leaders calling for cutting the budget by trillions over the next 10 years, it is worth asking how we got here — from healthy surpluses at the end of the Clinton era, and the promise of future surpluses, to nine straight years of deficits, including the $1.3 trillion shortfall in 2010. The answer is largely the Bush-era tax cuts, war spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recessions.

Despite what antigovernment conservatives say, non-defense discretionary spending on areas like foreign aid, education and food safety was not a driving factor in creating the deficits. In fact, such spending, accounting for only 15 percent of the budget, has been basically flat as a share of the economy for decades. Cutting it simply will not fill the deficit hole….

First, the Bush tax cuts have had a huge damaging effect. If all of them expired as scheduled at the end of 2012, future deficits would be cut by about half, to sustainable levels. Second, a healthy budget requires a healthy economy; recessions wreak havoc by reducing tax revenue. Government has to spur demand and create jobs in a deep downturn, even though doing so worsens the deficit in the short run. Third, spending cuts alone will not close the gap. The chronic revenue shortfalls from serial tax cuts are simply too deep to fill with spending cuts alone. Taxes have to go up.

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6 Responses

  1. Ho hum.

    Mr BT:

    Let me get this straight.
    Even though the Obama White House’s own projections indicate that there will not be a budget with LESS THAN (approx) a $650 deficit for the next 6 years……………………you are telling us that you believe that chart that you have posted?

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/usgs_line.php?title=Annual%20Deficit%20Federal%20Government&year=2006_2016&sname=US&units=b&stack=&size=s&bar=1&col=&spending0=248_161_459_1413_1556_1267_828_727_706_752_0&legend=

    Gotcha buddy.

    • That is really nice Porch, excpt for 2 things…

      The chart you show was a budget projection developed in 2006…

      Which was during the Bushshit administration and,

      2 – Obama proposed cutting $4.7 trillion out of the budget in spending cuts.

      Checkers versus 3 D Chess… Indeed.

      • Mr BT:

        The Obama Administration and separately the CBO have US Budget projections – released THIS YEAR that project all the way up to 2020.

        Again – I stand on my statement about the $650B to $1.2T deficit for EVERY YEAR through 2020.

        As much as you try to attack Republicans or Conservatives – it is stunning how you are unwilling to note that these NUMBERS ARE REAL and they are going to result in great gnashing of teeth for those who saw the numbers and chose to play IDEOLOGICAL POLITICS rather than working with “The Least Of These” and making them more organically competent – just as they promised as they received the investment of their votes.

      • Uhhhhhh… Porch – Of course the budgets show a deficit.

        Changing that is what they are arguing about up on the hill the past 4 weeks.

        And the President of the US does not make the budget, or commit to spend money – The Congress does.

        So the issue is to get Congress to spend within the nation’s means.

  2. a 650 k or a 650 m or 650 b ??? let’s us start with 2006, present, and present future 20131

  3. Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.
    Mark Twain
    America has been strong because, despite its flawed system, people built toward the future in the 1840s, and the 1930s, and the 1950s. During just the time when Frederick Law Olmsted designed Central Park, when Theodore Roosevelt set aside land for the National Parks, when Dwight Eisenhower created the Pentagon research agency that ultimately gave rise to the Internet, the American system seemed broken too. They worked within its flaws and limits, which made all the difference. That is the bravest and best choice for us now.
    James Fallow

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/01/how-america-can-rise-again/7839/2/

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