Obama Adds To Budget Deficit Four Times Faster Than Bush

January 31, 2012
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The CBO estimated that the 2012 budget deficit will top $1 trillion for the fourth consecutive year under the Obama administration.  The CBO estimated that the 2012 budget deficit will be approximately $1.1 trillion in a year that President Obama will be making the case to the American people that he deserves four more years in office.

President Obama is adding to the budget deficit nearly four times faster than President Bush.  During the first four years of the Bush administration, just over $1.4 trillion was added to the national debt.  With the 2012 budget deficit estimate from the CBO, President Obama is on track to have added over $5 trillion to the national debt.  At that level of deficit spending, President Obama is adding to the national debt just over 3.6 times the debt added during Bush’s first term in office.

The Obama administration likes to consider the 2009 $1.4 trillion deficit as part of the Bush years.  However, that argument forgets the inconvenient fact that Obama signed the $800 billion stimulus bill in 2009 adding to the deficit.  Democrats also like to say that President Clinton handed Bush a surplus, but that argument would have Bush responsible for the budget during his first year in office and have Bush responsible for the budget in the first year of Obama’s presidency.

The CBO estimate also contained more bad news for President Obama as the CBO predicted lower GDP growth in 2012 due in part to higher taxes and reduced spending.  The CBO also predicted unemployment to head back toward 8.9% in 2012, over 9% in 2013, and stay above 7% until 2015.

Look for President Obama to indicate how much worse it would have been had he not been in office and how much worse it will be if the American people send him to the unemployment line this year.  I think we should take the chance.

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2 Responses to Obama Adds To Budget Deficit Four Times Faster Than Bush

  1. Chuck on February 11, 2012 at 12:32 am

    From factcheck.org

    http://www.factcheck.org/2011/06/romney-wrong-on-deficits-auto-bailout/

    “As we have written twice before, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected the fiscal year 2009 deficit at $1.2 trillion two weeks before Obama took office. That fiscal year started Oct. 1, 2008. The fiscal year was already nearly one-third over when Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009. After Obama took office, the deficit increased to $1.4 trillion for fiscal year 2009. At the end of the fiscal year, the CBO largely blamed the 2009 deficit on the recession, specifically a sharp decline in tax revenues and an increase in spending in response to the economic crisis — first by Bush and later by Obama.

    Under Obama’s watch, federal spending has remained at or near that level. In an April 2011 report, the CBO said (table 1-1) the actual deficit for fiscal year 2010 was nearly $1.3 trillion and the estimated deficit for the current budget is $1.4 trillion.

    Republicans frequently make the argument that deficit spending should have returned to pre-recession levels by now, and that’s an opinion that we leave for you to judge. But even if you go back to fiscal year 2008 — the last full year of the Bush administration — Romney’s claim that Obama increased deficits “by a factor of four or five” would be way off base.

    The federal government ended fiscal year 2008 with a deficit of $458 billion, as the CBO reported in table F-1 of a January 2010 report. Four times that would be about $1.8 trillion and five times would be roughly $2.3 trillion — both far higher than the deficit spending under Obama. Of course, as we already explained, it would be wrong to go back to 2008 and ignore the projected deficit as it stood when Obama took office.”

    Here is a look at new spending under Obama, as opposed to adding all of the spending that Bush brought over, like the 2 wars that were not paid for, Bush tax cuts, and Medicare part D that was not paid for:

    “Based on the figures from the chart, Bush spent $5.07 trillion on new expenditures from fiscal years 2002-2009. Obama will have spent only $1.44 trillion through 2017, including saving $126 billion through spending cuts.

    According to the chart of costs based on new policies:

    Bush’s tax cuts amounted to $1.812 trillion, compared to Obama’s stimulus tax cuts amounting to a projected $425 billion.
    Bush spent $1.469 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other defense costs. Based on estimates published on the chart, Obama will have saved $126 in defense spending.
    The Medicare drug benefits supported by Bush cost $180 billion. Obama’s health reform plan will have cost $152 billion, and will benefit more Americans.
    Bush’s stimulus plan and other changes resulted in a $773 billion price tag. Obama’s stimulus spending was about $62 billion less at $711 billion”.

    Take a look at the chart:

    http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/07/24/opinion/sunday/24editorial_graph2.html

  2. Steve Mustanski on February 11, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Under the logic in you comment, Clinton handed Bush a deficit and Bush did not take a Clinton surplus and turn it into a deficit. Which was one of points of the post.

    The post compares the first 4 years of Bush to the first four years of Obama. If you want to take the first 3 years, the results are pretty much the same that Obama is adding to the deficit in multiples of Bush.

    Obama extended the Bush tax cuts while President. Note that Bush’s tax cuts were for everyone and that the deficits were decreasing after the tax cuts.

    Bush’s problem is that he didn’t cut spending while cuting taxes.

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