Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some Things Bear Repeating

It's been said before, and plenty of times, that Bush's policies are contributing far more to our so-called "debt crisis" than Obama's policies do. The New York Times lays it out for us one more time.

A couple of things stand out for me in this presentation. The first is, no matter how much rightwingers harp on "Obama's failed stimulus," you'll notice that Bush put a stimulus package together, too, in response to the global financial meltdown. That was all tax cuts, and added on top of the original tax cut bill. And that failed pretty spectacularly, too, since the economy continued to melt down, oh, until Obama's stimulus bill passed.

One could argue, I suppose, that Bush's stimulus, and Obama's, added together, were finally enough to keep the entire global economy from going over the cliff into Great Depression II. But to make such an argument, you'd have to embrace the now- quaint notion that Keynesian counter-cyclical measures are a good idea. How I miss living on that planet.

The second thing that occurs to me is that, unlike Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, Obama didn't even vote for most of the Bush policies that dug us into deeper debt. It's true that he did help whip the TARP deal, but that still leaves the GOP holding most of the shovels at the bottom of a pretty deep pit.

Also, note that this chart shows projections for two full terms in office for President Obama, based on policies implemented to date. You'll note that Obama has already cut spending, something Bush didn't do during his entire eight years. Obviously at this point we can expect further spending cuts, even if Obama never gets a second term.

Finally, this chart concerns only the policies each president put in place. It doesn't even address the main reason we have record deficits right now: the ongoing jobs recession, which deprives government of revenue – at all levels – and impels higher payments to individuals and institutions – again, at all levels.

So, just to review: on whose watch did the global economy implode?

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