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  • President Obama Set to Exceed President Bush’s Deficits

    Former US president George W. Bush (R) applauds as US President Barack Obama waves after being sworn in as the 44th US president at the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2009

    First of all, when I hear that from folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt, then, you know, I just want them to not engage in some revisionist history.” – President Barack Obama, February 9, 2009

    President Barack Obama has recently begun denigrating Republican attempts to pare back the bloated “stimulus” bill by asserting that a party which oversaw a large increase in the national debt has no business lecturing anyone on fiscal responsibility.

    It is true that, between 2002 and 2009, the budgets largely shaped by President George Bush will have run cumulative budget deficits of $3.35 trillion. This calculation credits the entire 2009 budget deficit and TARP costs to Bush , even though Obama will have signed most of the discretionary spending bills and overseen much of the TARP spending.

    But Obama does not have much high ground. The “stimulus” bill alone will create more debt (approximately $1 trillion including interest costs), than Bush’s first three years of budget deficits combined ($948 billion). And adding the “stimulus” bill to a realistic budget baseline yields a projected 2010-2017 cumulative budget deficit of $8.4 trillion. – 2.5 times the size of President Bush’s deficits over the same 8-year time period.

    Of course, Bush inherited a better economy than Obama (although the 9/11 attacks and the 2001 recession did present budgetary challenges). However, governing is about making choices, and Obama has not yet shown any more stomach for deficit reduction than Bush did.

    The logic seems to be that if a Republican President can run up $3.35 trillion in debt, then Obama should be given free rein to run up even greater debt. This is absurd. First, Obama pledged to fix what he considers Republican governing errors – not double down on them. Second, the permanent $1 trillion budget deficits America is currently facing call for a tougher approach than the $150 billion to $450 billion deficits that typified the last eight years. Finally, many Republicans blame themselves for supporting too much deficit spending under Bush, and now believe that spending should be restrained to fix those deficits. Should they be criticized for coming around to this position? Would the President prefer that Republicans continue to argue that deficits never matter?

    Presidents need to craft policies that address current challenges. Over two years, Washington is set to borrow a staggering $3.5 trillion from a shrinking global savings pool. This could raise interest rates, worsen the recession, and dump $30,000 per household of new debt into the laps of our children and grandchildren. Any justifications for such borrowing should be on the merits of the current economic situation and not on the mistakes made by the previous administration.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    35 Responses to President Obama Set to Exceed President Bush’s Deficits

    1. Sharon Holland Tulsa says:

      I just heard Chuck Schumer sarcastically say that the public (tax payer) doesn't care about little porky details in this stimulus. How can you respond straight to the white house, or his web sight. Or the (Rats) that Nancy palosi ( not sure how to spell her name) wants to save.??? This is just an outrage. I will stop here, the disapointment of everything going on would take a novel. Thank you Sharon

    2. RB Stratford says:

      Remember that the consensus among Democrats is that FDR did not spend enough money fast enough to stimulate the economy. In his press conference, Obama said that Japan did not spent enough money fast enough to stimulate their economy.

      Tells you everything you need to know.


    3. Daniel Virag, Raleig says:

      The Stimulus package has become a bloated spending package that sickens me. Wetlands preservation, Health care spending? These aren't stimulus. Someone explain how making insurance available to unemployed people or preserving land stimulate the economy. While these things are important they have no place in this bill along with countless others.


    4. Palooza says:

      Amazing. Conservatives trying to claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility after doubling the U.S deficit in 8 short years. That is really disgusting. How stupid do you think people are? You have zero credibility. The only reason Obama is going to increase deficits at this level (assuming your numbers are realistic — something that must always be questioned when dealing with the Heritage Foundation) is because of the utterly failed economy that Bush and the GOP left him. Not to mention, that if the $800B stimulus package was made up of tax cuts, you wouldn't hear a peep about deficits from you dishonest zealots.

      Face it, you had 8 years (6 of which you were in complete control of the government) to steer the economy. The result is the Great Depression v2.0. You are irrelevant.

    5. zombyboy, Denver, CO says:

      When my fiance and I were watching the press conference, I went utterly nuts when Obama said that. I turned to her and pointed out that it had taken Bush and congress eight years to run up that tab; Obama seemed intent on a full 20% increase in the deficit within his first few weeks. Pulled the number from the top of my head and, apparently, I was being too kind.

      Along with his swipe at Biden, it seemed a little undignified and churlish for a man touted as being a moderate who is willing to listen to his opponents.

      I find myself wondering how many Republicans who crossed that line are having a serious case of buyer's remorse right about now.

    6. Paul Rinderle says:

      The Obama mantra of spending to stimulate, is what we need, then why did his criticism of Bush's overspending fail to stimulate? You can have it both ways if no one understands the connection.

      Obama exudes the Saul Alinsky tactic to ridicule a person to worthlessness and that mere mention of his name justifies any lie you wish to put forth.

    7. Mary, Big Lake Minne says:

      So – they call this a stimulus – I call it a Stimu Less – There is nothing in this bill that will make small business, med. business or large go out and purchase more equipment and hire more employess. It is just the Dem's Spending Dream Bill. And they continue to lie about it to the American people – Shame on you Mr. President!

    8. Palooza says:

      Oh, and your $3.5 Trillion figure appears to be a lie as well (no surprise there). Here is a chart indicating that in 2001 when Bush took over U.S. debt was just under $6 Trillion and went up to just over $10 Trillion by the end of 2008. These are the numbers, not your fudged numbers (and I am sure your "projections" of Obama's debt are also B.S.).

      Of course, Bush did this when there was NO ECONOMIC crisis akin to a potential Great Depression.

      Of course, if this stimulus were all tax cuts (like the GOP amendments to the bills) the debt would still be increased by huge numbers. The right does not seem to care about debt under those circumstances.

      Seriously, stop simply making stuff up. You did it for 8 years and screwed this country royally. For once, put the health of this country and the well being of its people BEFORE your narrow-minded ideological biases. Its dishonest.

    9. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      Let me correct a previous poster. There has been no, true Conservative leadership since President Regan! There were no Conservatives in office or positions of power during the Bush Administration. There were Republicans, many of who had no backbone even though they controlled the Hill. They sided with Democrat Leftists who all went on a spending spree! It has been the Conservative movement that has warned for decades that the Country was heading in the direction of utter elimination of the America that has risen out of Colonial Terrorists and survived to the present. It is the COnservative Movement that keeps telling the Left and the Republicans that they are slowly killing our Country. And it is the Conservative Movement that is told to "shut up and listen" to those who are raping the living hell out of all of us!

      Please keep in mind that Conservatives usually are Republican not not all Republicans are Conservative!

    10. Pingback: The American Spectator : AmSpecBlog : The Republicans Started It!

    11. Julie South Carolina says:

      To the one whose name goes with "Lala"—What are you doing on this site? You must have had to look really hard to find it, considering that a great majority of media is purely LIBERAL! Kinda like a needle in a haystack? I know, I know– I believe you are troubled by the fact that deep, deeeep, deeeeeeeeeeep down in that little liberal heart of yours you know WE (the Conservatives, not necessarily the Republicans–get that straight–we are NOT one and the same!) are right and you just can't stand it. You might better watch out—the Conservatives will rise again! The blinders are coming off (I know, I know AGAIN–better late than never!) and Lord willing this country will not see the darkness of complete Socialism. So, my dear little liberal friend, it is YOU who is irrelevant!

    12. Bob, Dallas TX says:

      What a comical exchange you people are having with one another. Amazing to watch "conservatives" so desperately attempting to distance themselves from the Republican party.

      What's that line? Success has many mothers but failure is an orphan.

      Impeached by history my friends — your leaders, your party, your misguided ideology — all of them have been impeached by history.

    13. Sam says:


      Please sit down and do not say anything else. You, sir, are a socialist fool.

      GWB never ran as a fiscal conservative so, if there is blame to be passed, we must pass it to ourselves as conservatives. That said, the man did keep this country safe against an implacable and savage foe/ideology and oversaw the creation of a constitutional and relatively stable ally in the most troubled region of the world.

      Had GWB governed as a true conservative you, sir, would have been whining about how heartless he was.

      Like most hysterical liberals, you want it both, and all, ways.

      Can you imagine defending a nation composed, in large part, of people like…..you?

    14. Julie South Carolina says:

      Bob, Dallas TX

      I do not "distance" myself from the Republicans—-I have ALWAYS identified myself as a Conservative when asked "what I am". I voted Conservative in this (and every other election I have ever voted in since I turned 18) presidential election for sure but, unfortunately not enough joined me—and I am NOT referring to McCain (Who is a Liberal-leaning "Republican/Democrat"—whatever you want to call him). I guess this nation has been dumbed-down by people much like yourself. Maybe you are one of those who seek for the government to "take care" of your every little need? You really need to read what is going on over in Britain–a country that has slid straight into the hateful arms of Socialism. Failure may be an orphan THIS go around but it has just been taken in by a loving family who WILL see it succeed! For your sake as well as every other American you'd better hope and pray it does!

    15. John Hyland, Appleto says:

      Did not the Democrats take over Congress in 2006? Does not the Congress have control of the purse strings? Since 2006, the deficit doubled, unemployment skyrocketed, the DOW went crazy! Where does Bush come in for being responsible? The dems were in charge! Now it is going to double again under Obama. Blame Bush again!

    16. SoundOfMind says:

      First, understand that I have made the swing from centrist to conservative/libertarian in the course of the Bush 43 term.

      I never, from the first rumors about Iraq until today, thought there was sufficient evidence to consider the Iraq war. Even if we "won", I don't believe that we as a third party, as different from the Iraqis as we are, would unite tribes that have hated each other for centuries to form a government shaped as we would hope. Even if the Iraqis come close, I don't expect it to last very long.

      Please tell me about all the Republican congressional fiscal responsibility demonstrated in Bush 43's term. Couldn't they have done something to really change CRA, Freddie and Fannie? Didn't anyone realize the recklessness of the banking system? Why did Greenspan have the interest rates so low? How many times did Bush veto ridiculous spending? How many times were his decisions compromised by the need to fund "his" war?

      Of course Dems voted for the war, but the memory of the average citizen is short, shallow and flawed – aided by the media's shaping of their views. Any thing good that happened was ignored. Any bad was blamed only on Bush and he owned it.

      Bush got involved in absurdities like Terri Schiavo. And we had "compassionate conservatism", AKA liberal light. From my perspective, it was a miserable eight years. It was a field day for the media (with a daily sound bite of Bush sounding like a baboon for Letterman). And then, Republicans ran McCain…

      How easy does it have to be for the left? They got their socialist elected. All Bama has to say is that it was Bush's fault and it sticks like super glue. The libs can do anything they want and it will be justified because there is so little high moral ground to point to during Bush's term. All the sudden, the Republicans are responsible? Well actually, except for the contemptible three, they now are, but since they have such a poor history, it's easy for Bama to say they are just being partisan.

      The bottom line is, if the Republicans weren't so bad, the libs wouldn't have it so good.

    17. Mike K, Marietta, GA says:

      Even liberal Paul Krugman wrote in response to John McCains attack on Bush spending:

      "But where did that increase come from? Three words: defense, Medicare, Medicaid. That’s the whole story. Defense up from 3 to 4% of GDP; Medicare and Medicaid up from 3.4% to 4.6%, partially offset by increased payments for Part B and stuff. Aside from that, there’s been no major movement." (Note: to be fair, this was pre-first stimulus which was a Democratic congress).

      Now they can argue the war expenses ideologically, but the Dems never saw a Meidcaid or Medicare increase that they didn't like. And actually Part B is a great example… a huge expense for a kinder America but a true debacle as a govt. program.

      Point is.. Bush spending as a percent of GDP was for the most part at 'normal' historical levels. (Not necessarily a happy datapoint) But, Obama and the Dems will double it. Obama says it wasn't his desire to come in and have to spend $$$ etc… yeah sure, go back and read his platform. Not sure if all that is still online.

    18. Hozro1, Oregon says:

      First, we are a Republic, not a Democracy where the majority rules. We are a Nation who's Declaration and Constitution limit the powers of Government and in neither will you find the word,"Democracy."

      Second, it wasn't that FDR didn't spent America's money quickly enough, it was that there was no trust between qualified buyers and the Banks, and no trust between qualified manufacturers and the Banks. Therefore, nobody worked, nobody bought, nobody sold!

      All we had was a form of Socialism, like all socialism's, was failing! FDR even passed a President Mandate that any income over $25,000 was 100% taxed. and even that didn't work. Wouldn't even work now.

      The only thing that saved America under FDR was WW11. Risky gamble, lose all or win all, but we were about to lose it all anyway! Winning the War brought this Nation great prosperity for decades to come, but as Eisenhour said, "Beware of the Military Industrial Complex."

      Third, The Greeks failed because they were a Democracy, where the majority ruled. The Romans did great under a Republic for many centuries, because a Republic is a form where Government is limited by Law. People flourished because the land they worked was theirs, the products they made was theirs, Their representatives to the Senate was by a form of,"Electoral College." Taxes, rules and such by the Senate had to be 100%, same as a conviction by your piers, the jury.

      All went well until they ended up with Politicians more interested in self gain then the people they represented. Land could be taken away and given to others. Laws could be created to limit the products you made. Trade was no longer free, but ruled. Now there were welfare programs to feed and house and clothe the jobless. (Sound familiar?)

      Later Rome finished with a series of Caesars and ended with an Oligarcy (sp). Then it fell.

      We, America have choices ahead of us. Do we as a people stand as those who shed blood to keep this land a Republic? Or do we just lay back, point fingers, blame everyone and everything but ourselves and fade into history?


    19. duelles, Santa Fe, N says:

      The trouble with being conservative is that given the choices we have to vote for we do so holding our noses, It was ano brainer to vote agast Gore, Kerry, Obama!

      I am not sure what this country wants. The numbers of people who prefer slick talk and promises over competent leadership astounds me. Tom Friedman in "the world is flat" even rails against the educational system which allows in every succeding year to have our students fall further behind the world in math/science.

      Currently, a majority of My fellow Americans are very stupid.

      They have no idea of what productivty measures, or where money comes from or what it actually represents. They don't know why they can't have more! IT is because they don't deserve it.

      Please Mr. Obama, buy me a house and acar and kitchen and give me higher umemployment benefits – I can't live on so little money!


    20. Blake, Whittier, CA says:

      Even FDR's Treasury Secretary Henry Morganthau admitted that The New Deal spending did not stimulate the economy. It did not work. What part of "learn from your mistake" does obama not understand?

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    22. Pingback: Newsflash: They don’t want a “stimulus” | Lux Libertas - Light and Liberty

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    26. ryan, j-ville says:

      The problem we have is that to much time is spent blaming the other party. The fact of the matter is, their is a prooven, tried method to stimulate the economy. The bill that was passed is not it.

    27. Matt S says:

      Palooza, your chart is false the debt was just under $7 Trillion. Please shut up if you want to lie and blame bush for everything.

    28. Pingback: Liberally Conservative » Blog Archive » It’s The Obama Economy Stupid!

    29. Pingback: Got a Problem? Blame Bush! | The Great Illuminator

    30. MarkusR says:


      Stop the war in Iraq: Savings $2 trillion over 10 years.

      End the war in Afghanistan: Savings $500 billion over 10 years.

      Reverse Bush tax cuts: Savings $1 trillion over 10 years.

      Increase top marginal tax rate: Savings $1 trillion over 10 years.

      Lower nations' health care costs: Savings $3 trillion over 10 years.

      That's $7 trillion right there.

    31. Sam Chambers says:

      It has been proven time and time again that lowering taxes in a time of economic downturn will bolster the economy. And what are the democrats doing?? spending taxpayer dollars and raising taxes

    32. Ted Ainsworth says:

      I don't know where you get your numbers from, but you are so wrong it is hard to believe that you are not lying. Check this site at the US Treasury.


      From Bush' first budget (10/1/2001) to the end of his last (9/30/2009)Bush created SIX TRILLION DOLLARS in NEW debt. This is what paid for the TAX cuts and the Iraq war.

    33. Ted Ainsworth says:

      Liberally Conservative » Blog Archive » It’s The Obama Economy Stupid!

      Sorry man, but your numbers are wrong. The correct Bush deficit was 1.6 Trillion. Where do you find these numbers? Here is a tip, never believe a politician or a media personality, liberal or conservative. Remember, they make a living telling you what THEY THINK you want to hear. Do you remember ANY of them complaining about the deficits that Bush was creating?


    34. Pingback: Federal Defict Caused By George W. Bush - Page 3

    35. Robert Pucciarelli says:

      First of all PaLoser, Obama ran up more deficit in less than 2 years than Bush in 8, second of all remember that little promise about spending 800 billion and the unemployment rate won't go over 8%? And if we do nothing it won't go over 10%? Also, cutting taxes DOES NOT RAISE THE DEFICIT IMBECILE. Look at when Bush did it, Reagan did it and JFK did it. Lower taxes spur investment, which expands business, which lowers unemploymnet which increases payroll taxes etc. As for that bad economy remember when evil George Bush had unemployment at a terrible 4.5%? Probably not because the rags you read never repoted it. This recession started when your idiot liberals like lollipop Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and such ilk decided that everyone should own a home and shouldn't have to worry about a little thing like having to pay for it. Just another example of the government getting ionvolved in private enterprise. Oh and one more thing, maybe you google as I did The New York Times (not exactly a conservative newspaper) and read the article about Bush warning of the trouble brewing with Fannie and Freddy. As for irreleance take your head out of your rectum and breathe some fresh air.

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