National Budget Deficit Trends

Randell Hoven (h/t) uses CBO figures and a simple chart to put the lie to the now familiar claims that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and Bush tax cuts caused a $3 Trillion budget deficit.

The CBO breaks that cost down over the eight calendar years of 2003-2010. Below is a picture of federal deficits over those years with and without Iraq War spending.

As Hoven points out, the deficits actually were shrinking until 2007, then started back up in 2008. What happened in between? Democrats took over Congress. Hoven adds some context (we all love context!):

The sum of all the deficits from 2003 through 2010 is $4.73 trillion. Subtract the entire Iraq War cost and you still have a sum of $4.02 trillion.
No one will say that $709 billion is not a lot of money. But first, that was spread over eight years. Secondly, let’s put that in some perspective. Below are some figures for those eight years, 2003 through 2010.
* Total federal outlays: $22,296 billion.
* Cumulative deficit: $4,731 billion.
* Medicare spending: $2,932 billion.
* Iraq War spending: $709 billion.
* The Obama stimulus: $572 billion.
There is an important note to go along with that Obama stimulus number: the stimulus did not even start until 2009. By 2019, the CBO estimates the stimulus will have cost $814 billion.
If we look only at the Iraq War years in which Bush was President (2003-2008), spending on the war was $554B. Federal spending on education over that same time period was $574B….
So spending $572B in two years stimulates an economy, but spending $554B over six years ruins one?

Depends on who did what, right?

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Sammy
Sammy
11 years ago

Sadly, the Bush administration played right into the terrorists’ hands. It overreacted, plunging the country into an unrelated, unnecessary, draining war in Iraq. And look at how the rest of the decade unfolded. Bush’s missteps left our military stretched and more vulnerable than it had been in more than 50 years, and our surpluses had turned to deficits, all while our reputation and ability to influence the rest of the world slipped.

Justin Katz
11 years ago

Yeah. Look at all the terrorist attacks on American soil post-9/11. al Qaeda got us, boy.
As for “our reputation and ability to influence,” I guess the hate-Bush American Left had absolutely nothing to do with that.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
11 years ago

Look at what Eternal Optimist Tony Robbins has to say about Jimmy Carter’s second term-scary stuff:
http://reason.com/blog/2010/08/21/tony-robbins-forget-what-i-sai

Sammy
Sammy
11 years ago

“”Yeah. Look at all the terrorist attacks on American soil post-9/11. al Qaeda got us, boy.””
Justin
Bush/Cheney made it easy for, al Qaeda and all the other nutjob Conservative terrorist groups in the M.E.
They can attack us on THEIR SOIL, daily with roadside bombs
They don’t have to come to OUR SOIL

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
11 years ago

Bush/Cheney made it easy for, al Qaeda
Posted by Sammy at August 23, 2010 10:48 PM
You mean Bush/Cheney/Obama/Clinton/Reid/Pelosi
All globalist, open borders fiscal socialists ready to defend Israeli apartheid to the last drop of American blood.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
11 years ago

A glance at that chart suggests a few things. One, the deficit spending is very serious. Two, the war is a reelatively small part of the deficit.
These findings suggest that the war is being used the incite the public, everyone knows wars are expensive. Unfortunately an end to the war would not resolve the deficit problem.
Further, al of the talk about the cost of the war defelects examination of all of the other factors which have led to the deficit. That seems to have been effective, judging by many of the posts here.
There are many factors at work here. the loss of the manufacturing sector, an aging population, social programs, ad nauseum. Although some talk is required, I think much of the talk of the cost of the war is deflectionary in nature.

Chris
Chris
11 years ago

Marc, how dare you! Using facts and common sense to prove a point! Lefties know not of these things; only “feelings” are valid, not actual facts and figures that disprove their irrational, warped beliefs.

bob
bob
9 years ago

look at the second chart in the C.B.O. report. The truth is the debt held by the public as apercentage of G.N.P. never went down, and rose substancially under Bush and Reagan.

bob
bob
9 years ago

look at the second chart in the C.B.O. report. The truth is the debt held by the public as a percentage of G.N.P. never went down, and rose substancially under Bush and Reagan.

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