The Profligate President

More than a year into his presidency, Barack Obama may be a little short on the Hopenchange, but he still has some Audacity in the tank. In announcing his $3.83 trillion budget, he placed much of the blame for America’s economic woes — and its debt — on the “decade of profligacy” that preceded his presidency.

Keith Hennessey, after disputing a few of the particulars, has whipped up a useful chart compating the deficits resulting from the “profligate” policies of the Pres. Bush with the deficits proposed by Pres. Obama:

Keith Hennessey Deficit Chart

As bad as that looks for Pres. Obama, it is worse when you consider that Hennessey assigns the overwhelming majority of the TARP spending and their deficit “blame” to Pres. Bush. Even granting Obama that, his smallest proposed deficit is roughly a third larger than the Bush average.

Incidentally, if I was a Democrat outside the Obama administration, I might start getting concerned over the thrust of Obama’s finger-pointing. Voters hearing it may end up concluding (rightly or wrongly) that the government did a better job restraining the growth of spending when we last had a Democrat for President… and a Republican Congress. Obama’s argument may stoke a desire for checks-and-balances, even gridlock. And if I was a Democrat, I would notice that Obama is not shy about throwing anyone under his bus, if he thinks he can get better traction for himself.

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Jazz Shaw 1:01 PM on April 01, 2023