Source The Heritage Foundation
- Posted March 24th, 2009 at 10.20am in Ongoing Priorities.
President Barack Obama has repeatedly claimed that his budget would cut the deficit by half by the end of his term. But as Heritage analyst Brian Riedl has pointed out, giventhat Obama has already helped quadruple the deficit with his stimuluspackage, pledging to halve it by 2013 is hardly ambitious. The Washington Post has a great graphic which helps put President Obama’s budget deficits in context of President Bush’s.
What’s driving Obama’s unprecedented massive deficits? Spending. Riedl details:
- President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.
- President Bush began a string of expensive financial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.
- President Bush created a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new government health care fund.
- President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. President Obama would double it.
- President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already increased this spending by 20 percent.
- President Bush tilted the income tax burden more toward upper-income taxpayers. President Obama would continue that trend.
- President Bush presided over a $2.5 trillion increase in the publicdebt through 2008. Setting aside 2009 (for which Presidents Bush andObama share responsibility for an additional $2.6 trillion in publicdebt), President Obama’s budget would add $4.9 trillion in public debt from the beginning of 2010 through 2016.
UPDATE: Many Obama defenders in the comments areclaiming that the numbers above do not include spending on Iraq andAfghanistan during the Bush years. They most certainly do. While Bushdid fund the wars through emergency supplementals (not the regularbudget process), that spending did not simply vanish. It is included inthe numbers above. Also, some Obama defenders are claiming the graphicabove represents biased Heritage Foundation numbers. While we standbehind the numbers we put out 100%, the numbers, and the graphicitself, above are from the Washington Post. We originally left out thelink to WaPo. It has been now been added.
CLARIFICATION: Of course, this Washington Post graphic does notperfectly delineate budget surpluses and deficits by administration.President Bush took office in January 2001, and therefore played a leadrole in crafting the FY 2002-2008 budgets. Presidents Bush and Obamashare responsibility for the FY 2009 budget deficit that overlaps theiradministrations, before President Obama assumes full budgetaryresponsibility beginning in FY 2010. Overall, President Obama’s budgetwould add twice as much debt as President Bush over the same number ofyears."