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Is There a Silent Scream About the Deficits

April 1, 2009

I enjoy a good debate as much as anyone does.  Three other guys who know nothing on this blog and, ah, yes dear – you too, might say that I’m in the fourth quartile when it comes to being argumentative.  Nevertheless, during the last eight years, a number of liberal friends and co-workers were quick to point out how President Bush “created” a huge deficit after inheriting a balanced budged from President Clinton.  Being a good conservative, I for the most part took the verbal barrages and listened to how western civilization would collapse if Mr. Bush and the Republicans didn’t eliminate the deficit. 

Well it didn’t take long but things have certainly changed.  Does anyone hear the silent scream from the left – the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Democrats and liberals given the deficits that President Obama and the democratically controlled House and Senate are racking up?  A quick look at the chart in the previous post and you’ll see that the deficit:

·         Peaked at ~$410B in 2004 following the 9/11 attack and the subsequent war in Iraq. 

·         Was reduced to around $200B in 2007 (and had been going down for three straight years).

·         Grew to ~485B in 2008 as the economy went south. 

Where is the outrage amongst my liberal protagonists (that would include you, Roland) that President Obama’s first year deficit will be ~$1.85T, which is about 3.8x higher than when Mr. Bush left office? 

By President Obama’s own calculations, around $10T of additional debt will be saddled onto America’s back by 2019.  Again, where is the outrage from the left?

In one of the presidential debates, candidate Obama excoriated John McCain and the Republican Party about the deficits.  Shortly thereafter I heard the question asked – what opposition did Mr. Obama provide to the uber-spending policies of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in 2007 and 2008?  As far as I know – absolutely nothing. 

What changed?  Why is President Obama so willingly tripling and potentially quadrupling the federal deficit?  Why are liberals who portended themselves as deficit hawks now utterly silent on current and projected deficits?  Well, that’s not entirely correct as Sen. Kent Conrad (D, ND) proposed reducing President Obama’s budget from $3.6T to $3.5T.  Big deal – but what’s $100B amongst friends?  Geez, I never thought I’d think that $100B was “small potatoes”. 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 2, 2009 1:33 pm

    Actually, I’d been conspicuously silent on that one – your post had got me thinking.

    It would be easy to assume that the declining deficit was down to sensible spending, but the truth is the final bulge of the bubble helped swamp tax revenue to pay it down – but even ignoring that, it WAS headed in the right direction.

    Something had to be done when the economy tanked – but I’m coming to share your reservations about how MUCH has been spent. To quote British MEP Daniel Hannan: “You can’t spend your way out of a recession or borrow your way out of debt.”

    Business as usual by Reps and Dems have padded the bailout with pork and as I wrote in my post about Toxic Assets, billions of this bailout is going to repay money that never existed in the first place.

    But national debt seems to be like a black hole. It’s so big now that people can’t see the edges. That’s why it doesn’t frighten them when it’s in ‘silly’ figures like 1.85T.

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