Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Tale of Two Debt Projections

So who do we blame for our debt problem?  Bachmann, the fact-challenged Presidential candidate will tell you that President Obama has racked up more debt than all previous Presidents combined.  Well that is as about accurate as her statement that the Shot Heard Round the World took place in Concord New Hampshire (it was actually Concord, MA).  There are other great myths about our debt crisis:
Tax cuts create more revenue.
The stimulus was the single biggest source of debt
Republicans are financially conservative
Non-defense discretionary spending under Democratic controlled Congress caused the debt crisis
Social Security and Medicare are biggest sources of our debt
We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem

Well here is some analysis and facts from the nonpartisan Pew Research.

1)      Did you know the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted on January, 2001 that by 2006 the U.S. would have eliminated all redeemable federal debt.
2)      Did you know the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted on January, 2001 that by September, 2011 the U.S. would have a surplus of $2.3Trillion.
3)      Instead we have a $12.7Trillion difference between the January, 2011and March, 2011 CBO estimates.
4)      68% of the $12.7Trillion is due to legislation
a.       2001/2003 tax cuts
b.      Iraq and Afghanistan wars
c.       Prescription Drug Act
d.      TARP
e.      2009 Stimulus
f.        December 2010 tax legislation compromise
5)      27% of the $12.7Trillion is due to losses in revenue due to economic slowdown
6)      5% of the $12.7Trillion is due to debt associated with what the CBO calls other means of financing
7)      The five biggest factors in share of debt growth are:
a.       2001/2003 tax cuts (13%)
b.      Growth in net interest on the debt (11%)
c.       Growth in non-defense spending (10%)
d.      Iraq and Afghanistan wars (10%)
e.      2009 stimulus (6%)

Conclusions: Bush and the Republican Congress took a projected surplus and eradication of our national debt and pissed it all away on tax cuts, war, and spending.  Obama’s spending was in response to the dire economic catastrophe known as the Great Recession brought on by the reckless policies of the Bush administration, Wall Street greed, and an unfettered housing industry.  Yes, facts and figures can be really stubborn, but that won’t stop those on the right from spinning; spinning so hard that they get dizzy, which brings us back to Bachmann and Tommy Roe.

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