Charting Political Blame for Deficit & Debt
Byron York has a piece about how Obama supporters, Democrats, etc. take it as an article of faith that all of our economic woes are due to “the past 8 years” (ie; under President Bush). He provides some numbers from the OMB to refute that charge. In an attempt to provide a picture of what he’s talking about, I also went to the OMB for data and came up with the following:
York’s analysis (bulleted by me):
* Revenues fell in Bush’s first two years because of a combination of the tech bust and the start of the tax cuts. But then things took off…[for]…a 44 percent increase from 2003 to 2007. (Revenues slid downward a bit in 2008, and a lot in 2009, when the financial crisis sent the economy into a tailspin.)
* [T]he Bush administration ran up deficits of $158 billion in 2002; $378 billion in 2003; and $413 billion in 2004. Then, with revenues pouring in, the deficits began to fall…[to] $161 billion in 2007…[which], with the tax cuts in effect, was one-tenth of today’s $1.6 trillion deficit….Deficits went up in 2008 with the beginning of the economic downturn — and, not coincidentally, with the first full year of a Democratic House and Senate.
* When Bush took office in January 2001, the debt was about $5.7 trillion, according to Treasury Department figures….When Bush left office in January 2009, the debt was $10.6 trillion. He had increased the national debt almost….$5 trillion over both terms (…$2 trillion came under a Democratic Congress)….The debt stood at $10.6 trillion when Barack Obama took office in January 2009. Now, it’s about $14.4 trillion. The president has increased the national debt nearly $4 trillion in his first two and a half years in office.
As York continues, obviously, Bush did not have a stellar spending record (No Child Left Behind, Prescription Drugs, TSA, etc.). But it’s clear that, while both parties had their hands in the cookie jar, when Democrats gained control of everything they basically just turned the cookie jar over.