Intellectual honesty on the national debt

posted at 9:21 pm on July 30, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently decided — for the fourth* year in a row — not to pass a budget, meaning uncontrolled spending can continue apace.

Federal spending will have gone up by nearly 60 percent in 2010 dollars from 2000 to estimated 2013 spending. Yet to exclusively blame one political party smacks of intellectual dishonesty because both have failed in the past decade to balance the budget.

Additionally, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had to deal with budgetary fallout from their predecessors and other factors for which they were not responsible. Let’s review some history.

During Bush’s tenure from 2001 through 2009, liberals cite the doubling of the national debt as proof of his profligacy. The debt did indeed double, but not all of it can be attributed to Bush policies. For example, Bush’s first year in office was plagued by an inherited recession and 9/11, which, coupled with other technical and economic revisions, Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl calculated cost $3.8 trillion through 2011. Surely he can’t be held responsible for those unforeseen events.

Yet Bush can and should be held accountable for his policies. According to Riedl, the prescription drug bill passed in 2006 is projected to add nearly $400 billion in its first decade. The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years. Add on the cost of the war on terror, which sums to about $1.3 trillion since its inception, the 2008 stimulus and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and there is plenty of fiscal responsibility for the former president.

2009 is where things get sticky because Bush passed a budget that lasted through Obama’s assumption of the presidency. Disentangling who takes responsibility for what is difficult. Factcheck.org’s attempt to do so concluded that Bush deserves most of the culpability for the staggering deficit: “The truth is that the nearly 18 percent spike in spending in fiscal 2009 — for which the president [Obama] is sometimes blamed entirely — was mostly due to appropriations and policies that were already in place when Obama took office.”

Yet Factcheck.org maintains that about 14.5 percent of the 2009 deficit is attributable to Obama, which is no small contribution. Factcheck.org also notes that “spending under Obama remains at a level that is quite high by historical standards. Measured as a percentage of the nation’s economic production, it reached the highest level since World War II in fiscal 2009 and has declined only slightly since.”

This means that while Obama escapes much of the blame for 2009, he doubled down and swelled spending, maintaining trillion-dollar deficits ever since. Indeed, he won enactment of an $860 billion stimulus bill and increased some of the spending in a $410 billion omnibus bill that year, and of course in 2010 signed the health care law, which is projected to massively skyrocket spending in years to come. In fact, “costs will total nearly $1.3 trillion through the year 2022,” Factcheck.org writes.

Of course, part of the current deficits can be blamed on depressed revenue resulting from the recession, which according to liberal blogger Ezra Klein accounted for 19 percent of the 2009 deficit. But it’s undeniable that spending, and not lack of revenue, is the main source of our current deficits. Revenue is projected to return to its historical average of 18 percent of the gross domestic product by 2016; meanwhile, spending is projected to stay well above the 20 percent of GDP historical average, swallowing nearly 25 percent as far as projections show.

Worse are entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They grow automatically every year and did so relentlessly under Bush and Obama. Entitlement spending grew from 10 percent of GDP in 2001 to 11.2 percent in 2008. If left unaddressed, they’re projected to eat up 14.1 percent by 2020. Next year, they will cost $1.6 trillion.

So where does all this leave us?

If we average spending as a percentage of GDP under Bush from 2001 to 2009, it sums to just over 20 percent, about the historical average.

If we do the same for Obama from 2010 to 2012, we get about 24 percent, quite a bit higher than the historical average.

Was Bush too big a spender? Virtually every conservative — even those who failed to admit it during his time in office — will say so. What’s worse is that Obama not only continued Bush’s final and worst year of spending, but he added on even more.

And still more troubling is the fact that while the financial health of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid has been worsened by both these presidents, demographic and other changes instituted by presidents before each man’s time in office have created the core long-term budgetary problems we face.

So we, members of the Debt-Paying Generation, implore politicians, pundits and voters alike to focus not just on lessening spending in the short term, but to remember that the long-term effects of entitlement spending will outweigh even the worst of the policies of Obama and Bush.

*The original version of this op-ed inaccurately stated Reid failed to pass a budget for the third year in a row. It is in fact the fourth.

[Originally published in Roll Call with David Weinberger, a Minnesota-based blogger who worked in communications at The Heritage Foundation.]

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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I really freaking hate that smug mug of Harry Reid.

tom daschle concerned on July 30, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Will anyone be held accountable for what they have done…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 30, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Seconded Tom…

Scrumpy on July 30, 2012 at 9:29 PM

and no where is Obamatax mentioned as to its future impact…*facepalm*

hillsoftx on July 30, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Nobody pays attention to these numbers until you convert them to ‘per taxpayer’.

Obama has added $40,000 per taxpayer. $40,000 per taxpayer.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 9:31 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

I agree with most everything you said except for this. Is this not speculation? If we raise taxes to previous levels do you think we will take in an additional $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years or do you think we may actually increase the deficit?

ReaganWasRight on July 30, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Obama stole $40,000 from you and gave it to unions, left-wing non-profits, and unemployed people.

If you don’t pay the bill, the IRS will take away everything you have.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 9:34 PM

While I agree that all politicians, Republican or Democrat, need to be held accountable for their crimes against the fiscal health of this country, this article is a swing and a miss on the involvement of Congress. The deficits from Bush’s first term (partly his fault and partly not as Dustin notes) were pretty much under control until the Republicans lost Congress in 2006.

Between Congressional Democrats governing like Democrats and the recession, our current fiscal situation is pretty much explained. While Bush certainly shouldn’t get a free pass, I’d happily take those $200-$300 billion deficits of his early second term over what we’re stuck with now.

LukeinNE on July 30, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently decided — for the fourth* year in a row — not to pass a budget, meaning uncontrolled spending can continue apace.
=========================================

And Team Blue,will have the UmMittigated Gall,
and OutRageous Audacity to blame the GOP,with
the ever helpful,MSM Proxy Presstitutes!!

canopfor on July 30, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Will anyone be held accountable for what they have done…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 30, 2012 at 9:28 PM

This is probably the most important aspect of our society currently.

There is no justice. No repercussions for bad behaviour.

tom daschle concerned on July 30, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Headline: “Intellectual honesty on the national debt”

And then you put up a picture of Dingy Harry?

You guys at Hotair kill me. LMAO

antipc on July 30, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Intellectual honesty and Harry Reid’s picture? You were going for a laugh right?

Rio Linda Refugee on July 30, 2012 at 9:39 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

Objection your Honor, speculation

Rio Linda Refugee on July 30, 2012 at 9:41 PM

Fact check needs to do some more fact checking.

The Democrat Congress did not approve any Bush budget for 2009,
The stimulus bill was 100 percent Obama = $787 billion 2009 budget,
The Democrat Congress passed a $1.1 trillion Omnibus bill in March of 2010 which was part of the 2009 spending. So right there you have $1,878 billion. Obama asked Bush to approve the second half of TARP $350 billion. I count that under the Obama side. Now we are at $2.228 trillion of the 2009 budget credited to Obama. So that means 58.6% of the $3.8 trillion budget was Obama’s.

Dasher on July 30, 2012 at 9:42 PM

There is only one traitor bigger than reid, and that would be obama.

Wolfmoon on July 30, 2012 at 9:43 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

I’ve seen your blather here before. I suspected you were an idiot then. Now I am sure. You buy in, no matter how much you try to ape conservative opinion, into the basic mantra of the left – that a tax cut costs the govt. Great!! By your logic (and theirs) we need to pay 60% and then we won’t have a problem.

No. The problem is overspending by both the demonrats and the repulirats. The answer is at least the Canadian answer of 7 bucks of spending cuts for every dollar of “tax hikes”. And because the demonrats can’t be trusted, the tax hikes will be at least three years from now, and the law will say that they will be reduced for every dollar the demonrats go back on their agreement. Then and only then will I pay “my fair share…”

Get with the program.

P.S. I hope your tin foil hat is on. You never know what a router signal can do to your brain….

deadite on July 30, 2012 at 9:44 PM

The democrat senate is derelict in its duty to pass a budget. The gov’t should have been shut down three years ago.

Where are the patriots with testicular fortitude to fight these treasonous asshats?

tom daschle concerned on July 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Will anyone be held accountable for what they have done…?

Seven Percent Solution on July 30, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Sho nuff. When them evil republicans take over the Senate and hopefully WH, it will be all their fault. Will be a media, dem, meme and sheeple will buy it.

Kind of like Saddam effing up the Kuwaiti oil fields just for fun.

arnold ziffel on July 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I find it hard to agree with your analysis of responsibility. Sure the 2009 budget is attributed to Bush, but actually Reid and Pelosi were in charge since 2006 with a dhimocraptic congress. The 2009 budget that was advanced by Bush was NOT adopted, but the dhimpcrapts came up with their own, much larger budget. Dustin, distortions and avoidance of historical truth endears you to the dhimpcrapts and trolls, but all it really does is give aid and comfort to those who refuse to recognize the real problems facing us. Shame on you.

Old Country Boy on July 30, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Let me make all this crystal clear.

Obama became President on Jan 20, 2009.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 9:48 PM

“Fuzzy Math” – GWB

maineconservative on July 30, 2012 at 9:48 PM

No. The problem is overspending by both the demonrats and the repulirats.

Overspending is terrible policy.
Overspending at the exact same time as cutting taxes & revenue is even worse.

I think that’s what Siggins was trying to say.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM

The dirty little secret is that most of the new spending is included in the base line budgeting…

… Which means until it is turned off, the spending continues and increases until the end of the Country or time itself.

We have to stop this…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on July 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Is this the gay thread? I’m looking for the gay thread. /

Bmore on July 30, 2012 at 9:51 PM

It is hereby decreed that all threads be gay threads.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 9:53 PM

OBAMA SIGNED ONE BUDGET – 2009, AND MANY ON THE LEFT CALL THAT ONE BUSH’S.

SO OBAMA NEVER PASSED ONE.

HE DID PASS A STIMULUS AND OBAMACARE AND DODD FRANK

ALL DISASTERS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO INCREASING THE DEBT MORE IN HIS TERM THAN BUSH DID IN TO,

WORST POTUS EVER.

AND HE HAD HELP:

READI AND PELOSI.

reliapundit on July 30, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Is this the gay thread? I’m looking for the gay thread. /

Bmore on July 30, 2012 at 9:51 PM

I feel way gay today. :)

arnold ziffel on July 30, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Nobody pays attention to these numbers until you convert them to ‘per taxpayer’.

Obama has added $40,000 per taxpayer. $40,000 per taxpayer.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Most recent figure I’ve seen is $56,000 per taxpayer. That would be $112,000 per working (taxpaying) couple. That is just the deficit-the amount Obama has borrowed over and above our baseline taxes-in 4 years. So if Obama is re-elected, if he continues the same over the next 4 years, the bill per taxpaying couple will be $224,000 (over their other taxes) whether they are gay or straight.

I will try to find the link for the $56,000.

talkingpoints on July 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

If the Senate can’t pass a budget as they are required to do, then their pay, benefits, expenses, etc should all be frozen until they do the job they were elected to do.

If they can get away with this (and as far as I am aware they are legally obliged to produce a budget each year) then the USA is no longer a country ruled by laws, it is a banana republic where those in power can flout the law knowing full well that it does not apply to them- only to the subjects over whom they rule.

Surely, the Senate cannot exist above the law, free from any kind of punishment or penalty?

Jay Mac on July 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Somewhere out there in the vast expanse of the Nevada desert, amongst the dirt, the rocks, the cacti and the creepy-crawly things that slither across the earth in the night, a sad Cowboy poet rhymes a woeful song — while he pokes a Harry Reid with a stick.

FlatFoot on July 30, 2012 at 10:03 PM

2009 is where things get sticky because Bush passed a budget that lasted through Obama’s assumption of the presidency. Disentangling who takes responsibility for what is difficult. Factcheck.org’s attempt to do so concluded that Bush deserves most of the culpability for the staggering deficit: “The truth is that the nearly 18 percent spike in spending in fiscal 2009 — for which the president [Obama] is sometimes blamed entirely — was mostly due to appropriations and policies that were already in place when Obama took office.”

It’s not sticky at all, if you think about it. Spending must be passed by the House and Senate, then signed by the President (or a Presidential veto overridden by a 2/3 vote of each house). So, give the majority of the credit/blame to the party which controlled a majority (2+ out of 3) of the House, Senate and Presidency. The Democrats held majority control for BOTH FY 2008 and FY 2009.

Stop focusing on January 2009 as the transition point in the balance of power… the true transition point was January 2007 when the Democrats took control of the House and Senate. Spending skyrocketed under the Democrat majority, and they falsely blame Bush (shocker!) for that increase in spending, and then claim that Obama has not increased spending much from from the record levels of FY 2009 (for which the Democrats, not Bush, were mostly responsible).

Even if you stick to Presidential terms…
The average annual deficits over Bush’s 8 years in office were $0.5T/year ($4.0T new debt over 8 years), while the average annual deficits under Obama are TRIPLE that… $1.5T/year ($5.25T new debt in just 3.5 years).

Let that sink in… Obama TRIPLED the average annual deficit of his predecessor.

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/64000-question-how-much-has-debt-increased-taxpayer-under-obama

The national debt has increased $64,000 per taxpayer under Obama according to this source

talkingpoints on July 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Okay. No budget. Maybe Granny Reid is right. Maybe we are so beyond budgets that, really, what’s the point? Budgets. Projections. Plans. What next? Government accountability? Meanwhile, back in D.C.

minnesoter on July 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

Tax cuts don’t cost the government anything unless you start from the assumption that 100% of earnings belong to washington, and whatever we take home is an expense to the government.
Not to mention that human behavior is not static — taxes go up, people find ways to avoid paying them.
Please stop repeating this liberal nonsense.
Its like saying, “The Obama tax rates cost Washington $10 Trillion a year” or whatever the earnings of everyone in the US are a year.

Also, and this is important, the senate dem’s held the budget for Bush’s final year until Obama was in office.

OBAMA SIGNED THE 2008 BUDGET, which was written by democrats who knew even big spending bush wouldn’t spend it

Oh, and Bush only spent around half of the stimulus (most of which was eventually paid back) while Obama asked for and received his half to spend on things like bailing out the UAW.

Can we please fact check our articles before publishing them?

Timin203 on July 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM

So $256,000 increase in national debt over 8 Obama years per working (taxpaying) couple over and above other federal taxes, whether the couple is gay or straight.

talkingpoints on July 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Let me make all this crystal clear.

Obama became President on Jan 20, 2009.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Let me make all this crystal clear.

Obama became part of the minority party in our Federal Government on January 3, 2005.

And Obama became part of the majority party in our Federal Government on January 3, 2007.

Senators Obama, Biden, Clinton, Reid, etc., along with new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, were responsible for the explosion of spending in the FY 2008 and FY 2009 budgets, as well as for passing TARP. Senator Obama, despite his short tenure in the Senate, came in the top 3 of Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008 (exceeded only by Chris Dodd and John Kerry, and if you consider that Obama was only campaigning for Federal office 2004-2008, Obama’s per year receipts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions easily tops the list).

In early January 2009, Obama specifically asked President Bush to request the second half of the TARP money. Bush got all of the blame, but Obama got half of the TARP money.

Let’s be clear about all of that.

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

we’ll have another debt ceiling crisis before the end of the year…the growth of gdp is less than the growth of our debt..barry is gunning the engine hoping to make the Rs blink

the plan has always been to make the Rs blink, raise taxes, destroy the morale of conservatives…and thereby destroy the R party as an opposition party

barry, harry, nancy will not be stopping anytime soon. either the Rs blink, or they are booted out.

r keller on July 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

Wrong.
The Bush Tax Cuts brought in MORE revenue to the Federal Government, not less. A LOT more. Revenues in FY 2007 were 44% larger than FY 2003 revenues!

President George W. Bush “inherited” the Dot Com bust and the 9/11/2001 attacks, both of which hurt our economy and decreased employment (increased unemployment) and decreased tax revenues.

The second part of the “Bush Tax Cuts” were signed May 28, 2003, and turned the economy around… both employment and revenues went UP as a result of the Bush Tax Cuts.

For employment numbers, use the Employment-population ratio: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS12300000
For Revenue numbers, use: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls

Let’s look at the Employment-population ratio in the last month of each Fiscal Year (September) from 2000 onward:

Year Employment-population ratio in September
2000 64.2
2001 63.5
2002 63.0
2003 62.0
2004 62.3
2005 62.8
2006 63.1
2007 62.9
2008 61.9
2009 58.7
2010 58.5
2011 58.4

And let’s look at Receipts (Revenues) from 2000 onward:

Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS (–): 1789–2017

Year Total Receipts (in millions of dollars)
2000 2,025,191
2001 1,991,082
2002 1,853,136
2003 1,782,314
2004 1,880,114
2005 2,153,611
2006 2,406,869
2007 2,567,985
2008 2,523,991
2009 2,104,989
2010 2,162,724
2011 2,303,466

Starting with Fiscal Year 2000, note how both employment and revenues went DOWN in FY 2001, DOWN again in FY 2002, and DOWN again in FY 2003. That’s the effect of the Dot Com bust and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

But the Bush Tax Cuts turned the economy around. Note how both employment and revenues went UP in FY 2004, UP again in FY 2005, UP again in FY 2006, and while employment dropped slightly in 2007, revenues were UP again that year.

The Bush Tax Cuts improved employment and improved revenues…

Revenues in FY 2007 were 44% larger than FY 2003 revenues!

It wasn’t until the Democrats took majority control of the House and Senate, in January 2007, that the economy really started to tank.

The Democrats have been in majority control (holding 2+ out of 3 of the House, Senate and Presidency) for 5.5 years, and they spent the first half of that driving the economy in the ditch and the second half of that leaving the economy in the ditch.

If the Bush Tax Cuts are allowed to expire, and tax rates go up, both jobs and revenue will be lost. We will have lower employment (higher unemployment) and lower revenues.

Obama is LYING when he claims that the Bush Tax Cuts didn’t work.

And to allow any part of the Bush Tax Cuts to expire would be irresponsible at best, intentionally destructive at worst.

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

No no no no no

Tax cuts don’t COST anything. Gawd, please rephrase that to state that too much spending COSTS x amount of dollars

exsanguine on July 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Intellectual honesty on the national debt

Continuous deficit spending is bad, regardless of majority party.

But let’s compare the worst deficit of the R-R-R years to the worst deficit of the D-D-D years.

According to http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls,

The worst deficit of the R-R-R House-Senate-Presidency was FY 2004, when
Total Receipts were 1.88 Trillion,
Total Outlays were 2.29 Trillion,
and Total Deficit was 0.41 Trillion

The second part of the Bush Tax Cuts were signed in 2003, and Revenues went UP, not down, but spending under the D-D-D House-Senate-Presidency skyrocketed and by FY 2009,
Total Receipts were 2.10 Trillion,
Total Outlays were 3.51 Trillion,
and Total Deficit was 1.41 Trillion

So, in FY 2009, the Democrats benefitted from revenues that were 12% larger than FY 2004 revenues, but their spending was 53% larger than it had been under Republicans just 5 years earlier, leading to a deficit that was 244% larger, almost 3.5 times the size of the worst Republican deficit just 5 years earlier.

The Democrats have been “featuring” deficits each and every year that are at least 2.5 times bigger than the biggest Republican-majority deficit.

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Awesome, man. You’re absolutely right, I was too lazy to pull actual numbers. Sometimes I feel like I’m crazy when I read the “conservatives” here and elsewhere arguing that tax cuts cost money. It’s just such a foreign thought to me.
It’s also disheartening to me that people either don’t understand or don’t remember the brilliant simplicity of the laffer curve, and how it has played out time and again to be true around the world. And I was born on the tail end of the era of reagan

Timin203 on July 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Intellectual honesty on the national debt

Here is what Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats promised in 2006 in order to win the 2006 elections and control of Congress:

Over the past decade, the Republican controlled Congress took our nation in the wrong direction. Too many Americans are paying a heavy price for those wrong choices: record costs for energy, health care and education; jobs shipped overseas; and budgets that heap record debt on our children. For millions, the middle-class dream has been replaced by a middle-class squeeze…

Democrats are proposing a New Direction for America…

With integrity, civility and fiscal discipline, our New Direction for America will use commonsense principles to address the aspirations and fulfill the hopes and dreams of all Americans. That is our promise to the American people….

Our federal budget should be a statement of our national values. One of those values is responsibility. Democrats are committed to ending years of irresponsible budget policies that have produced historic deficits. Instead of piling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, we will restore “Pay As You Go” budget discipline.

Budget discipline has been abandoned by the Bush Administration and its Republican congressional majorities. Congress under Republican control has turned a projected $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus at the end of the Clinton years into a nearly $3 trillion deficit– including the four worst deficits in the history of America. The nation’s debt ceiling has been raised four times in just five years to more than $8.9 trillion. Nearly half of our nation’s record debt is owned by foreign countries including China and Japan. Without a return to fiscal discipline, the foreign countries that make our computers, our clothing and our toys will soon be making our foreign policy. Deficit spending is not just a fiscal problem – it’s a national security issue as well.

Our New Direction is committed to “Pay As You Go” budgeting – no more deficit spending.

And here is what Nancy Pelosi promised on January 4, 2007 when she became Speaker of the House:

After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.

- New Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 01/04/2007

Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House from January 4, 2007 to January 3, 2011.
How much new debt was created during Pelosi’s 4 years as Speaker?

Over $5.3 TRILLION!

And how much new debt that has been created since the Democrats took majority control on January 4, 2007?

Over $7 TRILLION!

How did multiple promises of “pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending” turn into Trillions and Trillions and Trillions and Trillions and Trillions and Trillions and Trillions of NEW debt?

Democrats repeatedly promised that that they would provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.

You want Intellectual honesty on the national debt?

Here you go:

Democrats LIE.

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM

You want Intellectual honesty on the national debt?

Here you go:

Democrats LIE.

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Yeah, it’s not funny. It’s pathological. But lets not forget that republicans lie too. They all play us for chumps. Bush was supposed to be fiscally responsible, too, and let’s be honest — he wasnt. At all. Yeah, nowhere near as bad as Obama, but instead of paying down national debt, he added to it. That is not how a fiscal conservative acts.
Plus, let’s all be glad the era of “compassionate conservatives” is over. It’s just us uncaring, un-compassionate conservatives left to pick up the pieces now.

Timin203 on July 30, 2012 at 10:51 PM

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM

You can copy/paste a table just fine, but your claims on causation of various things is wrong. Every conservative economist will tell you that at current levels, tax cuts reduce revenues over what they would otherwise be without the tax cuts. This isn’t even questioned.

Your numbers show 3 things:
1. An unprecedented decline in revenues from 2001-2003 due to the tax cuts (not even the horrible downturn in 1982 saw a similar drop, and by November 2001 the economy was out of recession)
2. It took 5 years of average GDP growth, population increase, and inflation for revenues to recover to the pre-tax cut levels.
3. In inflation-adjusted terms, revenues today are still lower than they were in 2000.

Tax cuts are good because they allow Americans to keep more of their own money, but arguing that tax cuts increase revenues over what they would be without tax cuts is incorrect.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Tax cuts are good because they allow Americans to keep more of their own money, but arguing that tax cuts increase revenues over what they would be without tax cuts is incorrect.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 11:18 PM

The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqyCpCPrvU

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM

The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqyCpCPrvU

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Yes, you indeed do need some education on the Laffer Curve. If you reduce tax rates on the left side of the slope on the Laffer curve (which is where we are), those reduced tax rates also reduce income.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Two words that should never be associated with any photo of Hairy “nuts” Reid:

Intellectual and honesty.

BruthaMan on July 30, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Ya can hide a lot of RED INK without a budget.

GarandFan on July 31, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Harry Reid makes Dashcle seem normal. Notice the same repressed, rather disturbing anger? Mixed with a pinch of personal corruption that only democrats can get a pass on?

pat on July 31, 2012 at 12:28 AM

So, a whole article comparing the Bush and Obama administrations, and you fail to make any distinction between 2001-2006, when Bush had a Republican House and a split-down-the-middle Senate, and the last two years with a radical Democrat House and fully-Democrat Senate.

That makes all the comparisons moot. You mention the lack of a budget for four years, but fail to mention that the House was so obstructionist to Bush in the second year that it refused to pass a budget for 2008 until the election was held, in hopes of having a Democrat president to sign off on whatever budget he was presented.

Bush spent too much, but the spending spiked in Bush’s last two years much more than the first six. Who has control of Congress probably has more effect on the economy, and on deficits and spending, than who is president.

Ah well. I suppose some simplification is required to keep the article short enough to read. But this seems to me over-simplified.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 31, 2012 at 1:11 AM

The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqyCpCPrvU

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM

Yes, you indeed do need some education on the Laffer Curve. If you reduce tax rates on the left side of the slope on the Laffer curve (which is where we are), those reduced tax rates also reduce income.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Right. Arguing that cutting tax rates might actually raise revenue is about as brain-dead stupid as arguing that lowering prices might lead to greater profits.

That’s why you’ll never, ever see a store cutting prices in a misguided attempt to make more money.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 31, 2012 at 1:13 AM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

I agree with most everything you said except for this. Is this not speculation? If we raise taxes to previous levels do you think we will take in an additional $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years or do you think we may actually increase the deficit?

ReaganWasRight on July 30, 2012 at 9:32 PM

This kind of static analysis does not help the author’s credibility. It’s like raising the tax on packs of cigarettes by an amount, multiplying that amount by the number of packs of cigarettes, and expecting you will raise that amount in extra taxes. It foolishly assumes no impact to behavior when you raise taxes, and ignores the decision by some to quit or change to a different type of tobacco or buy cigarettes on the black market. It’s been a mistake repeated often enough that there is no excuse for it.

When you cut the tax rate on income, you incentivize working harder or being more aggressive in business to capitalize on the lower tax rate. Just calculating the “price” of tax cuts as if there will be no change in behavior gives you a useless number.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 31, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Every conservative economist will tell you that at current levels, tax cuts reduce revenues over what they would otherwise be without the tax cuts. This isn’t even questioned.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Really?

EVERY conservative economist says this?

Including economists like Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams?

Hm.

http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/Thomas-Sowell-Eliminating-Bush/2010/08/25/id/368359

http://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2011/04/13/eat_the_rich

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=310

Either you have no idea what you are talking about, or you are lying. Either way, you are dead wrong.

kiltedscotsman5 on July 31, 2012 at 7:27 AM

(Forgot to also mention Daniel Mitchell of the CATO Institute… another one of those conservative economists who seems to have slipped through the cracks of AngusMc’s airtight argument)

kiltedscotsman5 on July 31, 2012 at 7:30 AM

I have to ask – given that federal revenue went UP after all of the recent tax cuts in memory, what evidence do you have that we are on the left hand side of the curve?

Hint: the correct answer is “no evidence’

Arssanguinus on July 31, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Yes, you indeed do need some education on the Laffer Curve. If you reduce tax rates on the left side of the slope on the Laffer curve (which is where we are), those reduced tax rates also reduce income.

AngusMc on July 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

You really believe that we are on the left side of the Laffer curve?

For those who pay no Federal Income Tax at all, yes.

For those the job creators in this country, no.

To think that the current tax rates for job creators are on the left side of the Laffer curve is laughable.

If tax rates go up for job creators, it will result in more jobs lost and lower tax revenues.

But for Obama, tax policy is not about maximizing tax revenues… for him, it’s about using punitive taxation to impose his idea of “fairness” upon those who have succeeded financially. His comments in 2008 to Joe the Plumber and during a debate with Hillary Clinton showed that he cares more about playing Robin Hood (a.k.a. Robbing Hoodlum) to greedily take from the rich and “spread the wealth around”, because that, in his mind is “fairness”, and he doesn’t care if tax revenues actually go down when tax rates are increased.

Obama’s Capital Gains Tax “Fairness”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4iy2OfScQE

Spread the wealth around
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7wlDtfs1AM

ITguy on July 31, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Right. Arguing that cutting tax rates might actually raise revenue is about as brain-dead stupid as arguing that lowering prices might lead to greater profits.

That’s why you’ll never, ever see a store cutting prices in a misguided attempt to make more money.

There Goes The Neighborhood on July 31, 2012 at 1:13 AM

Signed,

Walmart
Costco
Sam’s Club

fossten on July 31, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Proposal :If a person pays off the deficit ($40,000 per family member and never ever get taxed again) – including Estate taxes. Still pay state and local (property taxes). What cha think?

Fuquay Steve on July 31, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Proposal :If a person pays off the deficit ($40,000 per family member and never ever get taxed again) – including Estate taxes. Still pay state and local (property taxes). What cha think?

Fuquay Steve on July 31, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Sure, on one condition: Show me one time where a federal income tax increase was actually used to pay down the debt, rather than just being spent on something else.

fossten on July 31, 2012 at 8:32 AM

For the umpteenth time tax cuts are not costs. This money is the taxpayers not the governments’. By levying taxes revenues do not necessarily accrue. This is demonstrated in many economies.To refer to tax cuts as costs is at best disingenuous ,

scboy on July 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

If we had 2011 Revenues (Total Receipts: $2,303,466,000,000)
and 2004 Spending (Total Outlays: $2,292,841,000,000),
we would have a Surplus of $10,625,000,000 ($10.6 Billion)

If we had 2011 Revenues (Total Receipts: $2,303,466,000,000)
and 2003 Spending (Total Outlays: $2,159,899,000,000),
we would have a Surplus of $143,567,000,000 ($143.6 Billion)

If we had 2011 Revenues (Total Receipts: $2,303,466,000,000)
and 2002 Spending (Total Outlays: $2,010,894,000,000),
we would have a Surplus of $292,572,000,000 ($292.6 Billion)

If we had 2011 Revenues (Total Receipts: $2,303,466,000,000)
and 2001 Spending (Total Outlays: $1,862,846,000,000),
we would have a Surplus of $440,620,000,000 ($440.6 Billion)

The problem isn’t revenues. The problem is spending.

Total Outlays in 2001 were: $1,862,846,000,000
Total Outlays in 2011 were: $3,603,061,000,000
A spending increase of 93% in one decade.

Republican majorities were responsible for the budgets the first 6 years of that decade, FY 2002-2007.
Total Outlays in 2007 were: $2,728,686,000,000
An increase of 46% in six years.

Democrat majorities have been responsible for the budgets (and spending when there has been no budget) for the last five fiscal years, FY 2008-2012. FY 2012 will complete on September 2012. Looking back at the last completed Fiscal Year, 2011,

Total Outlays in 2011 were: $3,603,061,000,000
An increase of 32% over FY 2007 spending in just four years, and if we put that increase (from FY 2007 $2.73T to FY 2011 $3.60T) in terms of a percentage of FY 2001 spending, that FY 2007-2011 increase represents 47% of FY 2001 spending.

So, using FY 2001 spending as our baseline, Republicans increased FY 2001 spending by 46% over six years, while Democrats increased FY 2001 spending by 47% over four years.

Again, the problem isn’t revenues, it’s spending. We must cut spending and not only reach a balanced budget but also produce a surplus and start paying down the mountains of debt that have been acumulated.

ITguy on July 31, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Stop calling the current tax rate, the “Bush Tax Cuts”. It is the tax rate, it is not a cut. What the democrats want to do is raise the tax rate. Get it right.

woodNfish on July 31, 2012 at 9:25 AM

ITguy on July 31, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Excellent work. I’m going to repost that if you don’t mind.

fossten on July 31, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Dustin,

You continue to be intellectually dishonest. Tax cuts DO NOT cost revenue to the treasury. That is the worst kind of government presumption. First of all, it speaks of money which belongs to the individual, not the government, so the baseline view of not receiving that money isn’t a cost. But the net does not exist only on the baseline. Increased productivity and profit in the private sector thanks to those tax reductions INCREASED tax revenues, just as it does every time the government unclenches their hands for a moment from the necks of business.

Do not propogate the lies. Do not attempt to be Bill O’Reilly and straddle “the middle”, claiming anyone to your right or left is an extremist. Find the truth, and report it.

Freelancer on July 31, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Why would they pass a budget when the Republicans continue to give them a blank check? No more debt ceiling increases until a budget is passed!

munseym on July 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Most recent figure I’ve seen is $56,000 per taxpayer. That would be $112,000 per working (taxpaying) couple. That is just the deficit-the amount Obama has borrowed over and above our baseline taxes-in 4 years. So if Obama is re-elected, if he continues the same over the next 4 years, the bill per taxpaying couple will be $224,000 (over their other taxes) whether they are gay or straight.

talkingpoints on July 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM

That is about twice my family’s annual takehome. And we make rather more than the median for our area.

And thanks to the other folks who have pointed out that cutting taxes doesn’t “cost” the gov’t anything!

But raising my taxes will cost me dearly!

LibraryGryffon on July 31, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts cost $1.7 trillion during the past 10 years.

Again, this is nonsense. Tax cuts do not “cost” anything, they reduce revenues.

As Milton Friedmad put it: “Higher taxes never reduce the deficit. Governments spend whatever they take in and then whatever they can get away with.” — Milton Friedman

This is actually quite provable: look at the 2009 IRS tax tables. Now imagine we imposed a 100% tax rate on income over $100K. Ignore the fact the economy would collapse under such a rate, and calculate the total revenue raised — it’s about a trillion dollars (keeping in mind about 30% of it was already being seized), versus the $1.6T deficit.

That’s right, seizing every single dollar of taxable income over $100K from every single taxpayer does not close the deficit.

We have a spending problem.

TallDave on July 31, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Again, this is nonsense. Tax cuts do not “cost” anything, they reduce revenues

Nicely said. I so tire of those who think that way. It is the same kind of mindset that says budget shortfall

If we want to go there I am going to have just short of a 3 millllllion dollar shortfall this year because I planned for 3 mill and I am only going to get 50K.

landowner on July 31, 2012 at 2:58 PM