Republican red ink

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Although conservatives claim to champion fiscal responsibility, the reality is somewhat different. David Leonhardt's NYT article "America's Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making" shows how their ire at our current economic situation is somewhat misplaced:

Obama's agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. [...] About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February. And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama's agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas.

Despite GOP complaints about the deficit, Leonhardt notes that "Republicans favor extending all the Bush tax cuts, which will send the deficit higher." This graph is particularly telling:


H/t: Jack Balkin at Balkinization, who observes the Bush administration's "noxious combination of incompetence, arrogance, hubris, and ideological zeal:"

The Bush tax cuts were primarily targeted to benefit the wealthiest Americans, and exacerbated a growing inequality of wealth in the United States. The Iraq War was a war of choice, justified by false claims of weapons of mass destruction and insinuations of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It proved to be a foreign policy disaster and an enormous waste of money which we must still shoulder. Deregulatory financial policies were unwise and unsound and helped push us toward the current Great Recession.

All in all, it is one of the most remarkable displays of ineptitude, greed, and corruption in American history. And now that they have run the country into the ground, President Bush's party, now thankfully out of power, is blaming the party that succeeded them, the Democrats, for the baleful effects of deficit spending. Colossal ineptitude is being followed by equally colossal chutzpah.

Sully concurs:

It is not Obama's debt - or, rather, he owns about 10 percent of it. It's Bush's. And like everything Bush did, he left the wreckage for others to handle after he left the stage. And the bribing, war-making, spending and borrowing didn't even win him any durable popularity. They sold this country, its reputation and its treasure for a one-off re-election.

He follows up here as well, noting the inevitable tax increases:

The magnitude of the damage Bush did is still amazing. But when those tax increases come, they need to have his name attached to them. He made them inevitable; and deserves to go down in history for them.

Dick Cheney should also go down in history for his participation in Bush's budget-busting agenda. I wonder why, not that he's emerged from his undisclosed location to attack Obama, no one in the mainstream corporate media has asked him about his earlier statement that "deficits don't matter." (Ron Suskind, The Price of Loyalty, p. 291)

I guess deficits only matter when they're being blamed on Democrats.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on June 11, 2009 10:51 PM.

WTF is wrong with these people? was the previous entry in this blog.

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