We’ve talked a lot over the years about how much of our current national debt is directly attributable to the administration of our most recent President Bush (I wanted to refer to him “George Bush the Lesser,” but I thought that someone might accuse me of being being less than fair and balanced), but I think it warrants repeating, especially when there’s a new, sexy infographic to share… The following comes from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post.
And, here’s the setup from Klein’s column:
…How much has Obama added to the debt, anyway?
There are two answers: more than $4 trillion, or about $983 billion.
The first answer is simple and wrong. The second answer is more complicated but a lot closer to being right.
When Obama took office, the national debt was about $10.5 trillion. Today, it’s about $15.2 trillion. Simple subtraction gets you the answer preferred by most of Obama’s opponents: $4.7 trillion.
But ask yourself: Which of Obama’s policies added $4.7 trillion to the debt? The stimulus? That was just a bit more than $800 billion. TARP? That passed under George W. Bush, and most of it has been repaid…
To hear the Republicans tell it, our current debt situation is the fault of that evil, black socialist, Barack Obama. As those of us who can read know, though, it has a great deal more to do with tax cuts for the wealthy and military adventures in service of U.S. oil companies abroad. Unfortunately that message doesn’t seem to be getting though to the American people, though, as evidenced by the fact that people are still turning out in frenzied, mouth-breathing droves to vote in the Republican primary.
Speaking of those Bush tax cuts, did anyone happen to hear what Grover Norquist, the president of the relatively innocuous-sounding group, Americans for Tax Reform, had to say the other day? He threatened to use his considerable power over Republican lawmakers to have Obama impeached, should he attempt to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy. If you’ll recall, those were the tax cuts that, according to Bush himself, were supposed to have sunset two years ago now, after having saved the American economy. They, of course, didn’t help the economy, but apparently that doesn’t matter — to even suggest that they be terminated is an impeachable offense. The important thing, during this perilous time in American history, as our national debt threatens to send us hurtling into the abyss, is that we keep these tax cuts, so that the wealthy among us continue to pay less in taxes under Obama than they did under the deified Ronald Reagan. Of course, no one on the right seems to be aware of that fact either.