I want to make one final point about Barack Obama and his “I inherited the deficit” meme, one made earlier today by Bruce McQuain at QandO. First, let’s hear Obama blame George Bush one more time for the “inheritance” of the ballooning deficit:
I’m not about to let Bush and the Republicans off the hook for the spending from 2001-6. They abandoned the principles of smaller government and fiscal responsibility in an orgy of spending. However, the deficit actually peaked in 2004 and began declining until 2008, when another orgy of private-industry bailouts shot it to the highest levels of the Bush administration.
However, Bush doesn’t allocate funds to the federal government: Congress spends the money. Democrats controlled Congress in 2007 and 2008, and had plenty of opportunity to cut the budget and reduce spending to trim the deficit. Did they do so? No; in fact, they increased the budgetary spending at a rate higher than that of the Republicans when the GOP controlled Congress.
And even more, the 2009 budget wasn’t Bush’s at all. The Democrats held up most of it, outside of defense spending, in order to wait for the next President. Instead, they passed continuing resolutions until pushing through the omnibus spending bill for the 2009 budget — which was signed by President Obama this month.
More to the point, Barack Obama was a member of Congress during the last four years. What did Obama do to reduce the deficits as the Senator from Illinois? What legislation did he author? What opposition did he provide to the high-spending policies of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in 2007 and 2008?
If the answer is nothing — and it is — then Obama inherited the fruits of his own inaction and the burden of his own party’s policies. Perhaps the national media, which seemed to have awoken a little from their slumber last night, might fully achieve consciousness at the next one and give him this little civics lesson.