I thought I had heard everything, but this is beyond the pale of what anyone should be expected to believe. There is a concerted effort to broadcast the lie that President Barack Obama is fiscally conservative. In fact, it is being purported that he is the most fiscally conservative President in modern times. No, you didn’t misread either of those sentences, but don’t feel lonely if you have trouble believing either of those two statements. To help us get started with this discussion, you probably need to read the original article from The Atlantic. I’ll be the first to tell you I really don’t understand why they have to have fancy charts to tell their story. Or why they have to focus on “Annualized Growth in Real per Capita Government Spending”. Me thinks they are trying to deflect and distract attention from Obama’s record.
Speaking of his record, let us examine some numbers. Please note that I am not trying to defend the spending policies of George W. Bush. I am fully aware that he was no fiscal conservative, but neither is Barack Obama a fiscally conservative President. When Bush left office, the last deficit he gave us was $438 billion. Obama’s first deficit, at the end of 2009, was $1.4 trillion. You can clearly see the increase. When you look at the rest of the Obama years, you see the deficit going down slightly to $1.293 trillion in 2010 and $1.299 trillion in 2011. The deficit for 2012 is projected to be somewhere around $1.2 trillion. Any way you crunch these numbers, it adds up to more deficit spending. A great deal more, in fact. And the left really expects us to believe Barack Obama is fiscally conservative?
One of the first things they bring up is the Bush years and how the Obama deficit is all because of the policies of his predecessor. Give them just a moment in any discussion pertaining to spending or the federal deficit or debt and they will be quick to mention the Bush tax cuts. The left would like us to believe that were the tax cuts never passed, we wouldn’t be in the fiscal shape we are in today. By proxy, they want us to also believe that ending the tax cuts would automatically fix the problems our country is having. I respectfully disagree.
Bush’s biggest problem wasn’t the fact that he pushed the tax cuts into law, or that Congress went along and designed them to be renewable every year or two. No, his biggest problem wasn’t on the revenue side of the equation, but rather on spending. He failed to cut spending to match the tax cuts. That’s not a failure of the tax cuts, but it does shine the light of day on his habit of spending money. Although some of the events that happened during the Bush presidency were out of his control, ie. 9/11, some were not. The facts clearly show that George W. Bush was not a fiscally conservative President. At the same time, those facts show us that neither is Barack Obama.
Just as Bush increased spending, so has President Obama, but at a greater rate. Couple that with reduced revenues because of the recession and you can see why we have a much greater spending deficit and national debt than we had when Bush was in office. You can blame part of 2009 on the policies left over from the Bush administration, but make no mistake. Saying Barack Obama is fiscally conservative just isn’t true. It is his policies that have allowed the spending deficit to continue to grow. The national debt is sitting at well over $15 trillion and much of it is the direct result of the tax and spend policies of Barack Obama. And this is before the monstrous costs of Obamacare is fully on the federal books. Who knows what the results will be of that?
I want to reiterate one point in my closing remarks. One of the main arguments I have seen in favor of the idea that Barack Obama is fiscally conservative is the theory that the Bush tax cuts and the recession are to blame for the increases in the federal deficit and national debt we are currently seeing. While it is true that they hold part of the blame, let us make no mistake. What does any sane person do when their personal or business revenues decline? They reduce the amount of money they are spending. What did Barack Obama do when revenues declined because of the recession? He increased spending. What did Barack Obama do when faced with the reality of lower tax revenues because of the Bush tax cuts? He still increased spending and has continued to rant and rave about how the rich are not paying their fair share. That’s why I will always see him as a tax and spend President.
So, tell me again how President Barack Obama is fiscally conservative?