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:
- Did you vote for George W. Bush?
- 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.