... what would things look like if we hadn’t had 8 years of gross fiscal irresponsibility from the Bush adminstration?The plain fact is that Bush ran up the bill while cutting taxes taking a Clinton surplus into a big Bush deficit and a growing national debt. Suddenly the Republicans are up in arms about the "reckless spending policies" of Obama. But this is pure hypocrisy. It was Bush that created the problem and there were no complaints then. And the "run up" right now is the cost of salvaging a system that is in desperate shape. The only other option for Obama was to let the economy slip into a Great Depression which was exactly the policy of the Republicans under Hoover.
There were two big-ticket Bush policies. One was the tax cuts, which cost around $1.8 trillion in revenue; add in interest costs, and we’re presumably talking about more than $2 trillion in debt. The other was the Iraq War, which has cost at least $700 billion, and will cost more before we finally extract ourselves.
Without these gratuitous drains on the budget, it seems fair to assert that we’d be coming into this economic crisis with a federal debt around 20 percent of GDP ($2.8 trillion) smaller than we are. And that, in turn, means that we’d be looking at projected net debt in 2019 of around 50 percent of GDP, not 70.
And that would definitely not be a scary number. Net federal debt was 49 percent of GDP in 1993, at the end of the Reagan-Bush years; Bill Clinton did move to reduce that number, and succeeded, but the nation wasn’t facing imminent crisis.
The bottom line, then, is this: the irresponsibility of the Bush years has left us poorly positioned to deal with the current crisis, turning what should have been an easily financed economic rescue into a more difficult, anxiety-producing process.
When will people open their eyes and see facts and stop gobbling up the crackpot ideology of the Republicans?
Why do I, as a Canadian get so exercised about this? The ideology of the US slips over the border. What sells down there, ends up selling up here. We get Bush-lite in Harper. So long as the propaganda machine keeps putting out the insane right wing talking points, that will keep the electorate up here in the hands of the Bush Mini-Me, the Conservative Harper.