A couple of days ago, one of my university students sent me a powerful email entitled "So Now You Get Mad???" It began with the capitalized, bolded words SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT!!! and then continued:
Now, since Obama's Presidency, all of a sudden, folks have gotten mad, and want to take America Back...BACK TO ………
- You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
- You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.
- You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.
- You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.
- You didn't get mad when they didn't catch Bin Laden.
- You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused U.S. citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement and home values.
- Is it that he is far more liberal than the rest? Decidedly not.
- Is it that he is demonstrably less patriotic than his predecessors? Hardly.
- Is it that he alone lacks the faith of our Founding Fathers? Give me a break.
- Is it that he is our only "foreign-born" president? Ask Donald Trump.
- Is it that he is far more pro-tax, pro-spending and anti-gun than the rest? No.
- In the 2009 fiscal year — the last of George W. Bush’s presidency — federal spending rose by 17.9% from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion.
- In fiscal 2010 — the first budget under Obama — spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion.
- In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion.
- In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August.
- Finally in fiscal 2013 — the final budget of Obama’s term — spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion.
Despite these figures -- and the fact that the last huge surge in federal spending took place in fiscal 2009, before Barack Obama took office -- hardly a minute goes by without Mitt Romney, the entertainers at Fox or the conservative blogosphere making comments like "The debt has gone up dramatically under Barack Obama"; "Obama and the Democrats spend money like a drunken sailor;" and "Obama has run up more debt in 3 years than George W. Bush did in 8."
Don't buy this; it is BS.
A couple of facts:
- When Obama took office, the national debt was about $10.5 trillion. Today, it's about $15.2 trillion. Simple subtraction gets you the answer preferred by most of Obama's opponents: $4.7 trillion.
- But ask yourself: Which of Obama's policies added $4.7 trillion to the debt? The stimulus? That was just a bit more than $800 billion. TARP? That passed under George W. Bush, and most of it has been repaid.
- According to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), "Virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years will be due to Bush policies and the economic downturn."
©2012 Kurt F. Stone