Posted by: The moderator | November 23, 2009

Obama Inherits Bush Deficit, Says Fiscal Conservative

Interesting reading over at the libertarian CATO Institute, where conservative senior fellow and former Heritage Foundation loyalist Daniel J. Mitchell argues that Obama inherited most of this year’s budget deficit from his predecessor.

Past and future deficits

Clinton in red, Bush in green, and estimates for Obama and future presidents in purple

The reason is that the 2009 budget was put together in mid-2008 and passed in October 2008, a month before the election. While it is true that Democrats had control of congress, it was President Bush who ultimately let the budget pass and his administration spearheaded the bailouts and stimulus extravaganza. The green bars in the graph to the left show the fiscal years Bush presided over, while purple represents Congressional Budget Office estimates for future years under Obama and any successors he may have. For comparison, those two red bars on the far left are Clinton’s budget surpluses. It’s been a decade since we had a balanced budget.

For an interesting debate, see Mustango’s reply to Mitchell’s article and Mitchell’s rebuttal, both on Red State.


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