Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Runaway Train

Have you noticed how liberals try to deflate any criticism of Obama & Co.'s Armageddon-style spending by saying that George W. Bush also spent wildly? This is a tactic for avoiding debate, and they can not be allowed to get away with it.

Since many people think the federal deficit and national debt are the same thing, let me begin by explaining that the deficit is a one-year figure and the debt is a cumulative one. The deficit shows how much more the government spent than it took in during a given year, whereas the debt is the combined amount of all the deficits since our country was founded. Naturally, the debt gets bigger (and harder to pay off) every year the government runs a deficit.

Regarding Bush spending versus Obama spending, it must be said that the largest deficit during Bush's entire tenure was less than one-third of the deficit in Obama's first year -- and Obama's own administration is forecasting that the deficit will be even higher in his second and third years.

As a percentage of the country's GDP (gross domestic product) the deficits during the Bush years averaged 1.97% and peaked during his first term at 3.48%, which was only the 11th highest of all the deficits since World War II. By comparison, Obama's first deficit was 9.91% of GDP and this year's is expected to be 10.64%, making them the two highest since World War II -- a title they "win" by a wide margin, since the 3rd highest was 5.88% and happened 27 years ago.

Think about this: The federal government gets its money by confiscating it from its citizens' paychecks, and the amount it will spend this year comes out to $36,000 per household. Even kindergarteners can figure out that this course is unsustainable, and that Obama & Co. have decided to floor the accelerator of a car that was already heading toward a cliff.

Did Bush spend too much? Absolutely. One hundred percent yes. And conservatives were consistently critical of him for doing so, just as they were critical of the GOP congress that controlled the purse strings for six of his eight years in office. But as the numbers show, Obama's spending is so out-of-control that it makes Bush's look trivial. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or ignorant.

Figures in this post were obtained from the government's Mid-Session Budget Review,, The Heritage Foundation, and National Review Online.

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