Recap on History of Budget

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The Democrats are engaging, once again, in economic revisionism. They want us to believe that the budget surplus was increasing when Bush took office, and that the increasing deficits are his fault.

In fact, the surplus was decreasing when Bush took office in 2001. The Fiscal Year 2000 budget had a surplus of $236 billion. That was the high water mark. The FY 2001 budget, passed in 2000 -- before Bush took office -- had a surplus of only $128 billion. The first budget passed when Bush was President, FY 2002, was pushed into deficit primarily by the recession (which he inherited, as Obama is inheriting a recession) and the cost of 9/11.

Now, the deficit did balloon significantly under Bush. It went up to over $400 billion. He and the Republicans spent way too much. But in Bush's second term, it was reigned in significantly, down to $162 billion for FY 2007, the last budget from a Republican Congress. The very first budget from the Democrats, FY 2008, more than doubled the deficit, to over $400 billion.

And now the projected deficit is triple that, to $1.2 trillion. Some think it will be as much as $1.6 trillion or more. This is ten times the last Republican budget deficit, and four times the current deficit.

I am not blaming the Democrats specifically. I am, rather, saying simply two things: first, that the surplus was decreasing when Bush took office; and second, that the President is not primarily responsible for the budget anyway: the Congress is. The Republican Congress was to blame for massive deficits in Bush's first term, and the Democrats are to blame for the massive deficit of FY 2008, and for much of the massive deficits to follow.

Oh, and no, Bush and the Republicans are not primarily responsible for the current recession, either, but that's another story.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on January 10, 2009 9:49 AM.

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