Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Bush Still To Blame For Massive Deficit
And the legacy of the Bush administration is still the major factor that is ballooning the current deficit. Note the chart above. If the two wars had not happened and the Bush tax cuts not enacted, by next year the deficit would less than half of what it is projected to be (around $400 billion instead of more than $1 trillion) -- and the cause of that remaining deficit would be the recession, not Obama's efforts to stimulate the economy. And personally, I believe if a more substantial stimulus and jobs plan could have been passed even that part of the deficit could have been much lower.
Here's how Paul N. Van de Water, Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, puts it:
President Bush’s tax cuts, and the legacy of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan explain virtually the entire federal budget deficit projected for the rest of this decade (that is, through 2019). That is, there would be practically no deficits over that period if the tax cuts, the wars, and the downturn had not occurred and other policies remained the same. . .
For the years ahead, CBPP found that the tax cuts (if policymakers extend them in full) and the wars, plus the lingering effects of the recent downturn, essentially account for the entire deficit between now and 2019. Indeed, the tax cuts and the wars alone account for nearly half of the public debt by 2019.