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Bush vs Obama on creating debt - July 11th, 2010, 01:09 PM

Some say Obama is "spending us into oblivion" and "creating debts that we can never repay," so I decided to look objectively at Obama's initiatives and Bush's initiatives with respect to our deficits.

Obama has had two major spending initiatives: the Stimulus Bill and the Health Care bill. He also has to tackle the wars (winding down one and accelerating the other) because one cannot simply teleport 200,000 men and women out of a war zone.

Bush had three major initiatives: The Prescription Drug Bill, his Tax Cuts, and the Wars.

Starting with Obama's initiatives, the Stimulus Bill "cost" $863 Billion".

I place the word "cost" in quotations because the Stimulus Bill consisted of two parts: Spending ($550 Billion) and Tax Cuts ($288 Billion), which means that there was both money going out of the Treasury and money prevented from coming in, both of which make our deficits worse.

The Health Care Bill cost $940 Billion.

So, all together, the Obama initiatives (setting aside the residuals of War) equal: $1.413 Trillion in payments out of the Treasury and $288 Billion in reductions in revenues. That brings the total "cost" of Obama's initiatives to: $1.701 Trillion.

Turning to Bush's initiatives, the Prescription Drug Bill cost $1.2 Trillion.

The Bush tax cuts cost $2.485 Trillion, including $344 Billion in interest paid to holders of our debt, including China.

Again, setting aside the cost of war and supporting our veterans into the future (estimated at $3 Trillion, the total cost of Bush's initiatives was: $1.544 Trillion in payments out and $2.485 Trillion in reductions in revenue. That brings the total "cost" of Bush's initiatives to: $4.029 Trillion.

To recap, that gives us:

Obama:
Payments Out: $1.413 Trillion
Revenue Cuts: $288 Billion
Total Cost of Initiatives: $1.701 Trillion

Bush:
Payments Out: $1.544 Trillion -- Greater than Obama
Revenue Cuts: $2.485 Trillion -- Greater than Obama
Total Cost of Initiatives: $4.029 Trillion -- Greater than Obama

Note: I have set aside the "cost" of the TARP bailout because those funds did not come straight from the Treasury and were essentially loans that are being paid back to various degrees. TARP was initiated and authorized under the Bush Administration. Originally expected to cost $356 billion, the most recent estimates of the cost is down to $89 billion, which is 42% less than the taxpayers' cost of the Savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s.

I also set aside the auto bailout (also loans), which was about $50 billion total, parts of which were authorized across both administrations. Bush authorized bridging loans of $9.4 billion for GM and $4 billion for Chrysler; Obama authorized additional loans of $16.6 billion for General Motors and $5 billion for Chrysler.

Neither amount really changes the fact that the various initiatives of the Obama Administration are less than half those of the Bush Administration.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/26/news..._cbo/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...nt_Act_of_2009

http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...her-delay.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2005Feb8.html

http://www.ctj.org/pdf/bushtaxcutsvshealthcare.pdf

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle3419840.ece

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63B05N20100412

Please refute - if you can



   
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July 11th, 2010, 01:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbang123 View Post
Some say Obama is "spending us into oblivion" and "creating debts that we can never repay," so I decided to look objectively at Obama's initiatives and Bush's initiatives with respect to our deficits...Please refute - if you can
This is an interesting analysis but it's not really the one of interest to most people.

Firstly, even at the time, Bush (and the Republic congress) was regarded as a spendthrift and was constantly criticized for this. In hindsight, the criticism was even greater.

Relatedly, you seem to be glossing too quickly over the fact that both Bush and Obama were spendthrifts.

So arguing which was worse is not very interesting.

Finally, you are overlooking the possibility that there has been a change in the electorate's view of government spending.

The real questions of interest are:

1) Is government spending a problem? Are the projections showing a trend toward catastrophe to be taken seriously?

2) Is there a political will to cut spending? Will politicians be rewraded or punished if they attempt it?

3) Will electing Republicans increase or decrease the chance of controlling government spending?

While there has always been a core of conservatives who have argued for smaller government and restraining spending, for the most part the political process has rewarded Republicans who cut taxes but did nothing to restrain spending either by favoring Republicans who adopted that compromise or by electing free spending Democrats.

What's changed, possibly, is reflected in the growth of the tea party. This is a populist movement with the potential for influencing politics. Fairly, or unairly, Obama's spending spree has kicked up a hornet's nest of opposition.

It remains to be seen how this will impact elections and the behavior of politicians (never the same thing). We'll find out in a few months if politicians who promise to cut spending and eliminate government programs (such as Obamacare) can gain an advantage over those who don't.



   
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July 11th, 2010, 01:33 PM

Both are leftists BB, so your point is moot.





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July 11th, 2010, 02:12 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
Both are leftists BB, so your point is moot.
Was there even a point?





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July 11th, 2010, 09:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbang123 View Post
To recap, that gives us:

Obama:
Payments Out: $1.413 Trillion
Revenue Cuts: $288 Billion
Total Cost of Initiatives: $1.701 Trillion

Bush:
Payments Out: $1.544 Trillion -- Greater than Obama
Revenue Cuts: $2.485 Trillion -- Greater than Obama
Total Cost of Initiatives: $4.029 Trillion -- Greater than Obama
Even accepting those numbers, which of those took eight years and which of those has taken only two and half? Bush was indeed horrible when it came to spending, but Obama is on pace to vastly surpass him.





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July 11th, 2010, 09:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Switzler View Post
1) Is government spending a problem?
Absolutely.

Quote:
Are the projections showing a trend toward catastrophe to be taken seriously?
Yup

Quote:
2) Is there a political will to cut spending?
Not when it comes to the portions of the federal budget that actually comprise the vast majority of the spending. (Defense, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Welfare, and Education.)

Quote:
Will politicians be rewraded or punished if they attempt it?
They will be rewarded for talking about fiscal restraint and making meaningless cutbacks to "pork barrell" spending, they find themselves quickly out of a job if they were to touch any of the areas that actually have to be cut in order to get federal spending under control.

Quote:
3) Will electing Republicans increase or decrease the chance of controlling government spending?
A Republican Congress with a Democratic president increases the chance of at least not further expanding spending as they'll simply oppose whatever he proposes, paired with a Republican President though it'd pretty much be a wash.





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July 11th, 2010, 10:01 PM

Bu$h, Obama and Congre$$ have all $urpa$$ed $en$ible $pending.



   
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July 11th, 2010, 11:28 PM

Tax revenues are at an all time high. There is no deficit from tax cuts. The OP is a filthy demonic liar, and is promoting stealing. He said the tax cuts cost X$'s. They don't cost anything. It isn't the governments money. As bad as Bush is, he is nothing compared to Obama.

Just for fun...

Big spender like never before


Take note of discretionary spending versus entitlement. The entitlement spending goes up every year, and has sky rocketed as the baby boomers and their parents before them retired. It wasn't until Newt Gingrich shut down government and brought in discrentionary spending that deficits were largely reduced. I guess I should repost the real numbers given by their own administrations.

http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartb...nment-revenues

If you notice, revenues had dipped until 2003, when the Bush tax cuts became effective. And when they were enacted, revenues shot up, because the economy roared back after Clinton nearly derailed it.

Spending meanwhile is on a steady rise with "The Raw Deal", I mean "The New Deal" and "The Great Society".

http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartb...nment-spending

http://www.heritage.org/budgetchartb...onary-spending





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July 11th, 2010, 11:56 PM

So Bush wasted a lot more of our money than Obama (so far). Why am I not comforted by that fact?

I was hoping for maybe Bill Clinton, not Dubya lite.



   
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July 12th, 2010, 06:15 AM

Your source is the The Heritage Foundation - do I need to tell you why I don't trust them as a source?

The Heritage Foundation, one of the leading conservative think tanks — which has historically provided many of the policy ideas for the Republican Party, Republican administrations, and Republicans in Congress — has aggressively attacked President Obama’s efforts to reform health care in America. In addition to providing academic voices in the media to knock reform.

– Heritage On Romney’s Individual Mandate: “Not an unreasonable position, and one that is clearly consistent with conservative values.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Individual Mandate: “Both unprecedented and unconstitutional.” [Heritage, 12/9/09]

– Heritage On Romney’s Insurance Exchange: An “innovative mechanism to promote real consumer choice.” [Heritage, 4/20/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Insurance Exchange: Creates a “de facto public option” by “grow[ing]” government control over healthcare.” [Heritage, 3/30/10]

– Heritage On Romney’s Medicaid Expansion: Reduced “the total cost to taxpayers” by taking people out of the “uncompensated care pool.” [Heritage, 1/28/06]

– Heritage On President Obama’s Medicaid Expansion: Expands a “broken entitlement program,” providing a “low-quality, poorly functioning program.” [Heritage, 3/30/10]

http://www.heritage.org

The Heritage Foundation hypocritely praises elements
in Romneycare while it condemns those same elements in Obamacare.



   
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July 12th, 2010, 06:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by WandererInFog View Post
Even accepting those numbers, which of those took eight years and which of those has taken only two and half? Bush was indeed horrible when it came to spending, but Obama is on pace to vastly surpass him.
Fog has put the OP in proper perspective. Comparing 8 yrs of spending with two is assinine. Obama will make Bush look like a spinster when he is through with 8 yrs, if in fact he gets re-elected, God forbid!



   
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July 12th, 2010, 06:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by radicalprolife View Post
Bu$h, Obama and Congre$$ have all $urpa$$ed $en$ible $pending.
you guys have convinced me - let's do some cost cutting and belt tightening

Robert Gates Says Urgent Need For Big Cuts At Defense Department
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_568980.html

Commission outlines ways to cut defense spending by $1T over the next decade
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefi...spending-by-1t

Task force sees Pentagon cuts key to US budget fix
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1117080020100611

Deficit-Minded Lawmakers Eye Defense Cuts
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_623080.html

Americans Love Big Government
http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/t...big_government

get on board with the experts or be quiet about spending.



   
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July 13th, 2010, 03:31 PM

Tax revenues spent invading Iraq produced nothing. It was a total waste.

Tax revenues spent on improving health care, preventing bank failures (caused by Bush's deregulation), and ploughed into infrastructure produces higher productivity in the end, and hence a higher standard of living for all Americans.

That's the big difference between conservatives and progressive. Conservatives just spend money on their rich friends and ideological black holes; progressives use tax revenues to solve problems and create a more productive society.



   
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July 13th, 2010, 03:37 PM

There is nothing wrong with spending money to improve things, imo, but when you don't have that money you shouldn't spend it. Sure everyone goes into a little debt to own a car or house in most cases but the amount of debt that Obama is putting on the already existing debt is crazy. He should have fixed the problem with these wars and got the economy back on track before doing all this other stuff. He could have easily got 8 years in office if he had fixed problems first and then be able to introduce all this stuff in his second term. They both fail on this matter.





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July 13th, 2010, 03:41 PM

Quote:
President Obama and congressional Democrats are blaming their trillion-dollar budget deficits on the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. Letting these tax cuts expire is their answer. Yet the data flatly contradict this "tax cuts caused the deficits" narrative. Consider the three most persistent myths:

• The Bush tax cuts wiped out last decade's budget surpluses. Sen. John Kerry (D., Mass.), for example, has long blamed the tax cuts for having "taken a $5.6 trillion surplus and turned it into deficits as far as the eye can see." That $5.6 trillion surplus never existed. It was a projection by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in January 2001 to cover the next decade. It assumed that late-1990s economic growth and the stock-market bubble (which had already peaked) would continue forever and generate record-high tax revenues. It assumed no recessions, no terrorist attacks, no wars, no natural disasters, and that all discretionary spending would fall to 1930s levels.

The projected $5.6 trillion surplus between 2002 and 2011 will more likely be a $6.1 trillion deficit through September 2011. So what was the cause of this dizzying, $11.7 trillion swing? I've analyzed CBO's 28 subsequent budget baseline updates since January 2001. These updates reveal that the much-maligned Bush tax cuts, at $1.7 trillion, caused just 14% of the swing from projected surpluses to actual deficits (and that is according to a "static" analysis, excluding any revenues recovered from faster economic growth induced by the cuts).

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.The bulk of the swing resulted from economic and technical revisions (33%), other new spending (32%), net interest on the debt (12%), the 2009 stimulus (6%) and other tax cuts (3%). Specifically, the tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 are responsible for just 4% of the swing. If there were no Bush tax cuts, runaway spending and economic factors would have guaranteed more than $4 trillion in deficits over the decade and kept the budget in deficit every year except 2007.

• The next decade's deficits are the result of the previous administration's profligacy. Mr. Obama asserted in his January State of the Union Address that by the time he took office, "we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program."

In short, it's all President Bush's fault. But Mr. Obama's assertion fails on three grounds.

First, the wars, tax cuts and the prescription drug program were implemented in the early 2000s, yet by 2007 the deficit stood at only $161 billion. How could these stable policies have suddenly caused trillion-dollar deficits beginning in 2009? (Obviously what happened was collapsing revenues from the recession along with stimulus spending.)

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.Second, the president's $8 trillion figure minimizes the problem. Recent CBO data indicate a 10-year baseline deficit closer to $13 trillion if Washington maintains today's tax-and-spend policies—whereby discretionary spending grows with the economy, war spending winds down, ObamaCare is implemented, and Congress extends all the Bush tax cuts, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch, and the Medicare "doc fix" (i.e., no reimbursement cuts).

Under this realistic baseline, the 10-year cost of extending the Bush tax cuts ($3.2 trillion), the Medicare drug entitlement ($1 trillion), and Iraq and Afghanistan spending ($515 billion) add up to $4.7 trillion. That's approximately one-third of the $13 trillion in baseline deficits—far from the majority the president claims.

Third and most importantly, the White House methodology is arbitrary. With Washington set to tax $33 trillion and spend $46 trillion over the next decade, how does one determine which policies "caused" the $13 trillion deficit? Mr. Obama could have just as easily singled out Social Security ($9.2 trillion over 10 years), antipoverty programs ($7 trillion), other Medicare spending ($5.4 trillion), net interest on the debt ($6.1 trillion), or nondefense discretionary spending ($7.5 trillion).

There's no legitimate reason to single out the $4.7 trillion in tax cuts, war funding and the Medicare drug entitlement. A better methodology would focus on which programs are expanding and pushing the next decade's deficit up.

• Declining revenues are driving future deficits. The fact is that rapidly increasing spending will cause 100% of rising long-term deficits. Over the past 50 years, tax revenues have deviated little from their 18% of gross domestic product (GDP) average. Despite a temporary recession-induced dip, CBO projects that even if all Bush tax cuts are extended and the AMT is patched, tax revenues will rebound to 18.2% of GDP by 2020—slightly above the historical average. They will continue growing afterwards.

Spending—which has averaged 20.3% of GDP over the past 50 years—won't remain as stable. Using the budget baseline deficit of $13 trillion for the next decade as described above, CBO figures show spending surging to a peacetime record 26.5% of GDP by 2020 and also rising steeply thereafter.

Putting this together, the budget deficit, historically 2.3% of GDP, is projected to leap to 8.3% of GDP by 2020 under current policies. This will result from Washington taxing at 0.2% of GDP above the historical average but spending 6.2% above its historical average.

Entitlements and other obligations are driving the deficits. Specifically, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and net interest costs are projected to rise by 5.4% of GDP between 2008 and 2020. The Bush tax cuts are a convenient scapegoat for past and future budget woes. But it is the dramatic upward arc of federal spending that is the root of the problem.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...pinion_LEADTop

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...065902530.html



   
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