Sunday, February 7, 2010

State of the Union?

I watched President Obama's SOTU address again today and also his lecture at Republican Caucus meeting. There was a theme that Obama repeated several times about the deficits he ”inherited” from Bush and the Republicans. This of course while lecturing the Republicans for playing partisan politics and the blame game. I’ve heard him make similar comments in nearly every speech he’s given. Something didn’t sound right to me so I thought I’d do a bit of research myself.  Below is a NewsBusters piece that pretty well summarizes what I have found.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: “By the time I 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. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door. “

Not exactly.

After all, on March 14, 2008, then Sen. Obama voted in favor of the 2009 budget which authorized $3.1 trillion in federal outlays along with a projected $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote that morning was strongly along party lines with only two Republicans saying "Yes."

When the final conference report was presented to the House on June 5, not one Republican voted for it.

This means the 2009 budget was almost exclusively approved by Democrats, with "Yeas" coming from current President then Sen. Obama, his current Vice President then Sen. Joe Biden, his current Chief of Staff then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and his current Secretary of State then Sen. Hillary Clinton.

How is this possibly something that happened before Obama "walked in the door" when his Party ramrodded the original budget through Congress with virtually no Republican approval -- save Bush's signature, of course -- and the highest members of the current Administration -- including the president himself!!! -- supported it when they were either in the Senate or the House?

Sadly, Obama-loving media care not to address this inconvenient truth.

But that's just the beginning, for on October 1, 2008, Obama, Biden, and Clinton voted in favor of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program designed to prevent teetering financial institutions from completely destroying the economy. Couldn't Obama only disavow responsibility for this if he had voted no along with the other 25 Senators disapproving the measure?

And what about the $787 billion stimulus bill that passed in February 2009 with just three Republican votes? Wouldn't Obama only be blameless if he vetoed it and was later overridden?

Of course, he didn't, and, instead signed it into law on February 17. Nor did he veto the $410 billion of additional spending Congress sent to his desk three weeks later.

Add it all up, and Obama approved every penny spent in fiscal 2009 either via his votes in the Senate or his signature as President.

If the Administration wants to blame lower tax receipts on a recession it inherited, and media want to echo that, fine.

But as the fiscal 2009 budget deficit was LARGELY a function of out of control spending Obama and Company either voted for or approved, it is unconscionable the press allow it to be completely blamed on either the economy or Bush.

Yet this is exactly what they've been doing.

Read more:

I didn’t want to take’s word for it so I checked out their story above and found that they were absolutely correct on EVERY point. Please feel free to check the facts yourself. Furthermore, Obama claimed in the SOTU that we HAD a one year deficit of $1 trillion when he took office in January of 2009, and then increased that figure to $1.3 billion in his lecture to the Republican Caucus. From his statements, you have to assume that he was talking about 2008, because at that point the 2009 deficit was unknown. Please see the information below from the CBO and the OMB.

CBO Report - Revenues and Outlays as a percentage of GDP.

The actual annual deficit Obama inherited from Bush and the Democratic Congress was about $455 billion to $458 billion depending on your source CBO or OMB. Note that revenues under the Bush administration began to rise, and deficits to fall, in 2004-2006 as we pulled out of the recession in 2001/2002 and were recovering from 911. This recovery took place even as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were ramping up. Some economists have argued that this recovery was a result of the Bush Tax cuts, which were across the board and not just for the rich as media folklore would lead you to believe (I’ll leave this topic to another post). This recovery took a turn for the worse as democrats took control of congress in January of 2007 and the big recession hit at the beginning of 2008. Obama and the democratic congress were the ones who promptly created a $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009. This is FACT.

Even if the Presidents statements were factual, which they clearly were not, what is his excuse for creating a budget for next year that far exceeds the 2009 deficit?  Bush did it, so why can't I?  We need leadership...not childish gamesmanship!  In my estimation Bush's siding with the democrats in Congress regarding spending at the end of his presidency was his biggest mistake.  Fortunately, many Republicans and Independents in Congress did not follow his lead, and hopefully they will be prepared to take the lead in 2010.