The Democrats’ Deficit Blame Game


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The people who have spent us into our greatest national debt in history are claiming, with practiced expressions of concern and dismay, that Republicans plan to double the deficit by letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire. It’s a deliberate misstatement of the facts.

The basis of the fable is a Congressional Budget Office report released last week. It concluded that letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of this year would increase the federal deficit by $3.9 trillion over the next decade – if federal spending continues at its current pace. That’s a huge if, which Democrats and liberal activists and journalists are ignoring on purpose.

Writing about the CBO report, Ezra Klein, the liberal Washington Post blogger, concluded, “Republicans and tea party candidates are both running campaigns based around concern for the deficit. But both, to my knowledge, support the single-largest increase in the deficit that anyone of either party has proposed in memory.”

Democrats have used that same spin on the campaign trail. In New Hampshire, where I live, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Hodes, who as a representative voted for the Obama budget increases, the auto bailouts, the stimulus and Obamacare, is trying to paint his Republican opponent as a deficit-hiker because she supports extending all of the Bush tax cuts. He claims she would vote to double the federal deficit.

None of that is true. Indeed, anyone who reads Klein’s own Washington Post carefully would know that. The very lead of the Post’s Sept. 15th story on the CBO report read, “Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made.”

The Post reporter portrays the GOP in a negative light, but at least he gets the facts correct. The important phrase is “unless dramatic spending cuts are made.”

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  • bubba4

    "The people who have spent us into our greatest national debt in history are claiming, with practiced expressions of concern and dismay, that Republicans plan to double the deficit by letting all of the Bush tax cuts expire. It’s a deliberate misstatement of the facts."

    It's also not something people are saying. I can't recall hearing this little snippet of spin, but like the "don't believe the left's lies about running out of landfill space" I guess it's more about setting up pins for the knockdown than actually addressing the point properly.

    Really…I don't get it. These tax cuts were sold to us as a "rebate"…we had surpluses and Bush stood up and told us that government didn't need as much of our money….and he wanted to give it back. They were designed to sunset…why? Because…THEY ADDED TOO MUCH TO THE DEFICIT. Then he launched two wars…but that's another story.

    So you can champion tax cuts for the rich that the government can't afford and claim that Democrats are misphrasing their argument so its invalid…or something…

    • em2brown

      um two wars. guess we should have let sadam just kill all the curds with chemicals like he was doing. guess we should just convert to islam so we wouldnt have any more attacks on us by regular muslams. and um lets see. clinton did balance the budget but it was a projected year not the year bush took over which means balanced bugget was a lie. when u have wars you have to pay for them and it cost a lot of money for me to go to war. but thats what happens when most manufactoring leaves for over seas. and thats both parties fault.

    • Sprinklerman

      Bubba,
      I'll type slow so you can keep up!
      Deficit is defined as the amount of money by which expenditures or liabilities exceed income or assests.
      Revenue is defined as the amount of income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs or other sources appropriated to the payment of the public expense.
      Expenditures is defined as the act of expending something, esp. funds; disbursement; consumption.
      A deficit is realized when the spending of Congress (they are the only ones allowed to spend money Constitutionally) exceeds the amount of money that the Federal Government brings in in taxes and excise duties etc.
      The characterization of any person running for elected office as one who would purposefully raise the deficiet by any present occupant of a seat in either House of Congress right now is the height of hippocracy.
      The legislation was designed to sunset because the elected officials in both houses on both sides of the aisle wanted it that way.

      • Sprinklerman

        Part II
        And Bush didn't go to war without the consent of almost all of Congress and last time I looked providing for the safety of the citizens of this Country is the Governments most important job. A concept that this present President just doesn't seem to understand.

  • riddler01

    It's been daid that the last refuge of a SCOUNDREL is patriotism.The last "refuge"of Liberal/Keynesians is"We Just Didn't Spend Enough"!!

  • coyote3

    The tax "cuts" are really not tax cuts at all, if they are extended. To the extent there is an extension, if there is an extension, whether it includes all of the current rates, or not, is just keeping things as they are. No one will get any additional "tax cuts", at least, not from extending the current rates.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    Bush's tax cuts were designed to stimulate the economy, which they did. The US had 5 years (2002-06) of steady growth before the last recession.

    Obama's stimulus, on the other hand, was designed to reward certain industries (green) and certain entities (donors), which is why it didn't stimulate the economy. Bush's tax-cut stimulus was broad-based and economically sound, Obama's spending stimulus was largely political and failed miserably.

  • Robert Adams

    I understand that spending must be reduced, but why is it that Republicans never (or rarely) give specific answers as to what programs should be cut? All I ever hear is that catchall, 'Discretionary spending'. Well… Yeah, OK… What exactly do you mean? What programs? How much? Does that include anything significant in your district? If so, what? What are you wiling to have your constituents forego? Man up and have the courage of your convictions and say exactly what should be axed. It seems that the GOP is just as afraid of alienating 'Special Interests' as the Democrats are by their lack of specifics…