President Barack Obama is using a series of specious arguments to duck out of responsibility for 90 percent of the budget deficit, according to a Wall Street Journal
Journal editors cite his remarks from CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday and then proceed to debunk them.
"When I came into office, I inherited the biggest deficit in our history,” Obama said on the show. “And over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren't paid for, tax cuts that weren't paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
As for the record deficit claim, “the biggest annual deficit the modern government has ever run was in 1943, equal to 30.3 percent of the economy, to mobilize for World War II,” the editorial states. “The deficit in fiscal 2008 was a mere 3.2 percent of GDP.”
When it comes to the war, tax cuts, and the drug plan, “liberals continue to claim that the main causes of the current fiscal mess are tax rates established in, er, 2001 and 2003 and the post-9/11 wars on terror,” Journal editors write. “But by 2006 and 2007, those tax rates were producing revenue of 18.2 percent and 18.5 percent of GDP, near historic norms.”
And it’s a bit disingenuous for Obama to blame these policies, given that he has endorsed nearly all of them, the editorial says.
As for the Great Depression argument, “Mr. Obama keeps dining out on the excuse of the recession, but that ended halfway through his first year,” Journal editors explain. “The 2008 crisis is long over. The crisis now is Mr. Obama's non-recovery.”
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