Show a Republican This to Expose Their Hypocrisy About Deficit Spending

gwbushThere’s a lot of rhetoric that comes from conservatives when it comes to President Obama.

I’ve never seen a man be accused of being so many different things, often accusations which completely contradict facts, logic and reality.

One of the accusations I always find most amusing is this “disgust” conservatives have with the spending under President Obama.  My favorite right-wing catchphrase is “Obama has spent more than every other President in United States history—combined.”

Which is by far one of the dumbest things I’ve heard considering that basic knowledge of math easily disproves it.  The national debt when he took office was $10.6 trillion, and it currently sits at $16.4 trillion.  That’s an increase of $5.8 trillion, or as I like to call it—not greater than the $10.7 trillion he would have needed to spend to more than double our debt and “spend more than the combined totals of all other Presidents in United States history.”

Now don’t get me wrong, $5.8 trillion is a lot of money.  But it’s also a number that has more than just what you see on face value, especially when  you consider these people voted for George W. Bush—twice.

See, much of the money that Obama gets blamed for in 2009 was actually passed in 2008—under Bush.  So if you take out the $1.4 trillion deficit we ran in 2009, which carried the budget passed in 2008 under President Bush, that puts Obama’s additions to our national debt at $4.4 trillion.

And contrary to what Republicans want you to believe, deficits are shrinking.  In fact, our deficit for 2013 is projected to be almost $500 billion lower than it was in 2009.  That’s nearly a 33% reduction in deficit spending in 4 years—under President Obama.  But I’m sure you won’t hear that on Fox News.

Also, what’s never mentioned is the fact that much of the cost for both wars was hidden by using supplemental appropriations that bypassed Congress.  When President Obama took office his administration finally put those costs on our books, which of course added to the deficits which get charged to him.

But what I like to look at is the hypocrisy of the “fiscal conservative” when it comes to spending.  They love to slam President Obama for his “out of control spending,” but they fail to mention that he took over a sinking economy and a national debt that had doubled the previous 8 years.  We had to spend a lot of money to avoid sinking into another Great Depression with an economy that was on the brink of collapse—again, thanks to 8 years of Bush.

Let’s take a look at the list of yearly deficits under Bush:

  • 2002: -157,758 Billion (First year with a budget passed by Bush)
  • 2003: -377,585 Billion
  • 2004: -412,727 Billion
  • 2005: -318,346 Billion
  • 2006: -247,181 Billion
  • 2007: -160,701 Billion
  • 2008: -458,552 Billion
  • 2009: -1,412,688 Trillion (Last year with a budget passed by Bush)

And for fun, let’s also look at the 4 years prior to Bush, under President Clinton:

  • 1998: 69,270 Billion
  • 1999: 125,610 Billion
  • 2000: 236,241 Billion
  • 2001: 128,236 Billion

Notice what those numbers are lacking?  It’s the negative sign before the number.  That’s because our nation had a budget surplus, not a deficit.  It took one budget passed under President Bush before he destroyed our surplus and sent us back into deficit spending.

And don’t give me the line, “Well Clinton had a Republican Congress.”  Bush had a mostly Republican-controlled Congress for his entire 8 years as President.  If the Republicans in Congress were responsible for our budget surpluses, they would have grown under Bush, not turned into giant deficits.

So it’s just laughable that these people act as if they suddenly care about spending, when the guy they voted for twice turned a budget surplus into giant deficits, doubled our national debt and destroyed our economy.

And this doesn’t even cover the Reagan years where we quadrupled our national debt and George H. Bush where we also added almost another $2 trillion to our national debt in just 4 years.

So the next time a conservative wants to harp about “out of control government spending,” simply ask them two questions:

  1. Did you vote for George W. Bush?
  2. Can you name a Republican President you voted for who actually balanced our budget?

Their answer to #1 will most likely be yes.  Their answer to #2 can only be answered by those old enough to have voted for Dwight D. Eisenhower, considering he’s the last Republican President to actually balance our budget.

“Fiscally conservative Republicans”—a phrase that’s more like a punchline to a bad joke than anything close to a political reality.

About Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column. He is also the founder of the Right Off A Cliff facebook page, on which he routinely voices his opinions and stirs the pot for the Progressive movement. Follow Allen on Twitter as well, @Allen_Clifton.

  • Charles Vincent

    The national debt when he took office was $10.6 trillion, and it currently sits at $16.4 trillion. That’s an increase of $5.8 trillion, or as I like to call it—not greater than the $10.7 trillion.
    This is deficit not debt.
    George bush inherited ~3.3 trillion in debt from bill Clinton’s presidency. George bush added another ~3.3 trillion bringing the debt to ~6.6 trillion
    The total debt at the end of 2012 is ~11.3 trillion which means Obama increased out debt by ~4.7 trillion dollars in 4 years. Compared to ~1.6 trillion per four year term during bush.
    This ~4.7 trillion is definitely more than every president up to Clinton. And it’s more than bush spent in eight years by ~1.4 trillion and ~3.1 trillion mor than bush spent during either of his 2 four year terms.

    • cobra614

      Did you factor in the surplus that was in place when Bush took office? You forgot that Bush spent his way through his 8 years like a drunken sailor and remember Cheney said deficits do not matter…remember that?

      • Charles Vincent

        You’re confusing debt with deficit they are two separate things. I am talking about debt. I included national debt when bush took office as a reference point so I could better illustrate how much obamas debt dwarfed not just bush’s debt but all other president up to Clinton. Remember when the democrats created America’s worst depression because of their poor fiscal policy, it lasted ~12 years. And I am not referencing the depression of the 1930′s.

      • Joe Downey

        The debt left by Carter to Reagan was 980 Billion 8 yrs later Reagan gave a 3.7 Trillion Debt to Bush the Elected, Bush the Elected gave Clinton aDebt of 5.4 Trillion Clinton then transferred a Debt to Bush the appointed a total of 5.8 Trillion. In 2009 the transferred amount was 10.7 Trillion FACTS

      • Charles Vincent

        The new CBO numbers and their analysis of the Obama budget through 2023 show a better long term set of numbers and they also include two different models one shows our total debt at 109 trillion in 2016, this number includes unfunded liabilities like social security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but does not include the new unfunded liabilities that the ACA adds to the mandatory spending in the form of block grants to the states to fund those un able to pay for the now mandatory health care coverage. Also my posts on this topic are two months old and I have since started using the CBO’s newest numbers.

  • rwy

    Nothing new here. Nixon was able to open relations with China because he was an avid antiCommunist. Can you imagine if it had been a Democrat who dared try how the Republicans would raise the cry of Dupe! Dupe!? “The party of fiscal responsibility” can get away with huge deficits because they are “fiscally responsible”, so it must be OK.

  • K_Ann

    It’s unfortunate that people don’t understand the difference between debt, deficit and spending. In simple terms the deficit is the difference between revenue and spending and debt is the money borrowed to cover the deficit. You could double or triple the spending and as long as you doubled or tripled taxes the deficit would not change; you could also maintain spending and raise taxes and have a lower deficit.

    And the ever disingenuous Mr. Clifton carries on with two more fallacious claims; first he uses debt as a measure of spending – which is – well, just wrong – the budget or financial statement for each of those years would be the measure of spending. See above, the deficit is not a measure of spending. And then he interprets the claim of all presidents before him and meaning all presidents combined rather than each individually. What he should have done was gasp at the fact that in one term Obama increased the debt, that took several prior presidents to accumulate, by approximately 50%.

    Don’t swallow everything this guy says without thinking on your own.

    • DougH2

      No other President assumed a budget deficit over $1 trillion dollars. And, since the great depression, no other President assumed an economy that was losing 800,000 jobs per month. That’s on top of 2 of the big 3 automakers being close to liquidation, a DOW that had lost 3,500 points in the previous 6 months and two wars (first started with tax cuts rather than tax increases in the history of America).

      To attribute the additional debt to President Obama and the Democrats is blatant dishonesty.

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