B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Deficits and Bush

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Reducing the federal1 deficit is not a bad idea, in general, but the question is about the details. What exactly is the cause of it? I’d say Pentagon spending is an insanely large percentage, and should be drastically reduced. Bush tax cuts, which targeted wealthy, should also be immediately eliminated.

President Obama’s administration has been blamed for reckless spending that has put America into its debt hole. But in reality, much of that spending emanates from policies of President Bush, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. They argue that Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Bush tax cuts (along with the economic downturn) are what is driving the U.S. deficit, not stimulus spending. The CBPP focuses on lower to middle income issues and may be directly involved with the Democratic Party. The chart presents the ugly truth.

(click to continue reading CHART OF THE DAY: Reminder, The Deficit You’re Freaking Out About Is Bush’s Fault.)

chart-of-the-day-bush-policies-deficits-june-2010.gif

I’d add that sometimes the government can and should spend more than it collects in taxes and revenue: infrastructure, and human services shouldn’t be slashed without looking at the overall picture. Do we, as a society, really want to have more homeless, mentally ill people wandering the street looking for food just so we can buy another aircraft carrier?

 The CBPP2 adds:

Bush Tax Cuts, War Costs Do Lasting Harm to Budget Outlook

Some commentators blame recent legislation — the stimulus bill and the financial rescues — for today’s record deficits. Yet those costs pale next to other policies enacted since 2001 that have swollen the deficit. Those other policies may be less conspicuous now, because many were enacted years ago and they have long since been absorbed into CBO’s and other organizations’ budget projections.

Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. [6] (The prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 accounts for further substantial increases in deficits and debt, which we are unable to quantify due to data limitations.) These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers

Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the previous Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance over the next decade. That would have put the nation on a much sounder footing to address the demographic challenges and the cost pressures in health care that darken the long-run fiscal outlook.[7]

Footnotes:
  1. and state government too []
  2. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities []

Written by Seth Anderson

July 6th, 2010 at 10:07 am

Posted in government

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  1. […] is funding this? The State of Illinois isn’t, as there isn’t any money to be had. The Federal Government has more important priorities – war, tax cuts and subsidies for Fortune 100 corporations – so talk is good, but […]

  2. […] three2 concurrent wars – Iraq, Afghanistan, and the so-called War on Terror – while simultaneously reducing the taxes for the wealthy individuals and corporations, perhaps places like North Dakota and Michigan would be able to keep their highways and roads […]

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