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Assigning Blame for FY09 May 25, 2012

Posted by geoff in News.

There’s a lot of Obamaphilic revisionism going on lately, with the President and his supporters claiming that he has had the smallest budget increases of any President in recent history. That claim comes from several weak assumptions, the foremost of which involves blaming President Bush for the spending in FY09. This is a bit of a toughie – Bush was President, but the Democratic Senate and House never gave him a budget to sign, so the budget, Stimulus, and Omnibus bills were all passed after President Obama took office.

But there is an easy way to decide how much blame to give Bush for the FY2009 spending – we can just look at his proposed budget to see what he was planning before the Dems got a hold of it.

President Bush proposed a $3.1 trillion budget in 2009, with a projected $400 billion deficit. The Dems added $400 billion, and the recession lowered the expected receipts of $2.7 trillion to a dismal $2.1 trillion.

So in the end it’s a tie:

  • Bush Share of Deficit: $400 billion
  • Obama Share of Deficit: $400 billion
  • Recession Share of Deficit: $600 billion

But despite the similarity of the numbers, there’s a huge difference in culpability. Bush’s budget was submitted before the troubles at Bear-Stearns became well known, and well before the collapse in late summer and fall of 2008.

President Obama, on the other hand, had full knowledge of these events. He knew what the original deficit was, he knew that the recession would make that deficit larger, and yet he still chose to pile on another $400 billion in spending. Where a rational budgeting process would have led to adjustment of spending to accommodate the changing circumstances, President Obama went the opposite direction. And that demonstrates that his decision-making ability is far inferior to his predecessor’s.

Finally, people who try to defend President Obama by comparing the similarities of his spending to President Bush’s forget one key fact:

Fiscal conservatives hated Bush’s spending.

Saying the President Obama’s spending isn’t much worse than Bush’s isn’t going to earn any applause from budget-conscious voters. Or votes, for that matter.


1. geoff - May 25, 2012

Political Math has a great post on the subject at Hot Air.

2. red sweater - May 25, 2012

What I can’t fathom is how this talking point gained any traction. Isn’t it patently obvious that 2009 was bloated with multiple large one-time-only stimulus hits? And Obama’s being praised for holding at that same level of spending in the following years? I normally don’t like the r-word, but this idiots make retards look smart.

3. red sweater - May 25, 2012

(I followed the rule of having at least one spelling error when insulting others’ intelligence.)

4. skinbad - May 25, 2012

Obamanomics for Dummies (like me):

1. Jack the baseline way up
2. Blame all of that on Bush
3. Don’t increase spending a whole lot more on the jacked up baseline
4. Watch media carry water

Is that about right?

5. lauraw - May 25, 2012

A cursory search for ‘obama pushes stimulus 2009’ brings up many damning articles and videos of him begging for massive Keynesian spending.

For this guy to blame his predecessor for it is a transparent lie worthy of Baghdad Bob.

6. joe buzz - May 25, 2012

g, I always enjoy your innate ability to summarize complex issues within a couple of paragraphs or graphs with or without utilizing triangles.

7. geoff - May 25, 2012

…from budget-conscious voters

Apparently that’s a significant demographic:

In U.S., Nearly Half Identify as Economically Conservative

8. Nan G - June 4, 2012

I just noticed that this is being touted as the new truth:
“More than 90,000 new jobs are required per month to keep up with population growth.”
I thought the number was MUCH higher!
What happened?
Who decided this?
Moved the goalposts?

That sentence comes from this article:
US election: Bad news for Barack Obama as unemployment rate rises for first time in a year

9. geoff - June 4, 2012

Yeah, if you look a the pre-recession numbers, the labor force was growing at 150K/month. If you look over the past 10 years including the recession, it averages out to 90K/month. So if this is the new normal, then they’re right. But that would be a terrible thing.

10. Michael - June 4, 2012

According to Zero Hedge, it takes 230,00 jobs per month to break even assuming a static labor force that employs entrants replacing retirees, and 90,000 more to accommodate labor force growth.

11. Michael - June 4, 2012

You can see the data (charts!) at the “Democrats Are Toast” post which is linked on the sidebar. I got an Instalanche for that post. That was November 2010.

The 2012 election will show that I was right.

12. Retired Geezer - June 4, 2012

*crosses fingers*

Hopes that tomorrow is a happydance day

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