Unfortunately, it seems that the reports of a cure for Bush Derangement Syndrome have been premature. Either that, or Paul Begala hasnâ€™t gotten his shots yet. On last nightâ€™s episode of Anderson Cooper 360, during a news story on the government’s new estimates adding another $2 trillion to the national deficit, Begala agreed that Obama is up a creek with no paddle in regards to the deficit. However, he claimed that the President â€œinheritedâ€ that creek from The One the Left Loves to Hate, George W. Bush.
â€œâ€¦I think the president will be able to make the case that he inherited these deficits. He inarguably did.â€
He went on to blame President Bushâ€™s tax cuts for costing more than twice what a health care bill would.
I went and looked at the bill that passed through Senator Kennedy‘s committee, the health committee in the Senate. It’s supposed to be one of the more liberal versions of this. It was scored by the Congressional Budget Office at about $600 billion. Now, that is a lot of money, but that is half of what some of the earlier versions cost. And it’s less than half of what just the Bush tax cuts alone cost.
Thereâ€™s only one problem â€“ his math and logic are demonstrably false. Contrary to leftists groupthink, George W. Bushâ€™s tax cuts led to an increase in tax revenues and a decreasing of the deficit from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Begala indeed seems scarcely acquainted with reality. He claims the stimulus is a one-year program (itâ€™s at least three), that Bushâ€™s tax cuts cost the country 1.3 trillion (again, it brought in more money, and Obama is going to let them expire next year anyway), and that Obamaâ€™s deficit is due to the war in Iraq (which Obama is withdrawing from, and which is not included in long-range spending forecasts by the Obama team).
Thatâ€™s not to say Bush didnâ€™t do his fair share of deficit spending. Yet what billsÂ he did pass were largely due to Democrats. Indeed, the largest additions to Bushâ€™s deficit came from bills that he got passed as a sop to the left and, after 2006, a Democratic Congressâ€”Medicare part D, massive increases in education funding and poverty relief, huge expenditures on African foreign aid. And for these bills, he got not one whit of thanks or credit from the left (see: Bush Derangement Syndrome). But even with all of that, Bushâ€™s deficit canâ€™t hold a candle to Obamaâ€™s.
As you can see in this chart (you can find the full information on this page), Obamaâ€™s deficits look a bit like an aircraft carrier next to a destroyer. Sure, they’re both naval vessels, but for sheer size and scope there is absolutely no comparison between the two. Obama’s first year spending more than quadruples the highest deficit of the Bush years (and that yearâ€”2008â€”the deficit was unusually high due to bailouts passed with a majority of Democratic vote)s). Here’s the kicker, though. That chart was compiled in March. It doesnâ€™t even take into account any health care reform spending, or this extra $2 trillion estimate from last night.
The left is going to have to wake up and realize that Americans are no longer buying what theyâ€™re selling. Obama has been in office eight months now, and these deficits, and the lack of results from his stimulus package, are entirely in his and the Democrats’ laps.
Not that hypocrisy has ever been a stranger to the left, but it is becoming clearer and clearer to the American people just how near and dear to the hearts of leftists hypocrisy can be. When Bush was in office, that was somehow long enough for him to cause a recession, but after that same amount of time, Obama still gets a pass and gets to blame everything on his predecessor.
Sorry, but Obama owns the deficits, and he must answer for them. And that means calling him to account when his expansion of government threatens to take prosperity and freedom from all of us, in favor of more government shackles. As for Bush Derangement Syndrome, Mr. Begala and others might be best served to take their own favorite words of advice â€“ Move On.