Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Reality check

When the President addresses the nation this evening, one of the things that he is certain to do is to tell us how much better off we are than we were a year ago, because he's working to make things better. There will be comments about "the last eight years" or "the prior administration" and the whole tone and tenor of it will be about how much better off we are with Democrats in charge.

But there are a couple of details that people ought to be aware of.

  1. Spending bills are, constitutionally, the responsibility of the House of Representatives.
    Article 1, Section 7:
    All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives
    Presidents do traditionally send budget proposals to Capitol Hill, and negotiate for what they will or won't sign, but the budget is primarily the responsibility of the House of Representatives.
  2. The House of Representatives has been controlled by the Democrats since January of 2007, three years ago.
The controlling legal authority for fiscal year 2008, which ran from October 2007 through the end of September 2008, was a budget that George W. Bush signed, but was written by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. The controlling legal authority for fiscal year 2009, which ran from October 2008 through the end of September 2009, was a budget that George W. Bush signed, but was written by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. The $787 billion stimulus package (about 5.5% of the 2009 GDP [and no, it wasn't all spent in 2009]) was passed exclusively by Democrats and signed into law by President Barack Obama.

So when he stands up tonight and talks about the budget deficit, when he proposes a "freeze" that doesn't touch the vast majority of government spending, when he hauls out the rhetoric of fiscal responsibility and when he talks about jobs, here are two charts that you can refer to as a reality check.

This first chart shows the US federal surplus or deficit for the last 15-20 years, color-coded by the party controlling the House of Representatives for each year, because that's the party primarily responsible for the budget.



The second chart shows the US average unemployment rate, again, color-coded by the party in control of the budget process.



For all of Barack Obama's complaining about "the last eight years" and the "previous administration," you can see that the massive increase in the deficit and the unemployment rate coincide with a change in color from Republican red to Democratic blue.

I'm not going to make excuses for George W. Bush - he should have acted to curb the growth of government. The Republican Congress in 2003-2004 did a dreadful job, exhibiting profligate spending much like the Democrats of yore.

It's time for the Democrats in Congress to stop being so humble, to stop letting George W. Bush take credit for their accomplishments. The Democrats own this economy right now, and Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and their foot soldiers ought not be allowed to continue claiming otherwise. The deficit right now is the Democrat's deficit. Harry Reid's and Nancy Pelosi's deficit. Barack Obama's deficit. Period.

Labels: , , , , ,

|

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Comment?

<< Home

Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link