Sunday, March 08, 2009

Defending the deficit

After David Brooks expressed uneasiness over the Obama Administration's recent actions he received calls from several top White House officials defending their agenda and fiscal conservatism:
...The White House claims the budget will not produce a sea of red ink. Deficits are now at a gargantuan 12 percent of G.D.P., but the White House aims to bring this down to 3.5 percent in 2012. Besides, the long-range debt is what matters, and on this subject President Obama is hawkish.
Let's put that 3.5 percent figure in context:

You will notice that under Bush 43 -- no miser with federal dollars -- that the budget deficit never exceeded 4 percent of GDP during his entire tenure and was only in the 3.5 percent range two of his eight years. So we have a situation where the Obama Administration is defending their record by claiming that, at their best, the deficit will be where it was under Bush at its worst.

Bush, you will recall, was widely derided by many Democrats as the "worst president ever."

My how times have changed.

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