Monday, March 23, 2009


From Media Matters ...

On Fox & Friends Saturday, Karl Rove understated the debt run up by George W. Bush, asserting that there were only "$2.9 trillion in deficits under eight years of Bush."

Here's the problem with Karl Rove's math. The national debt really increased by at least $4.9 trillion during the eight years Bush was in office. But Rove doesn't see this figure because he ignores the costs of Bush's Blundering Wars Project. Rove also ignores the hundreds of billions in Clinton surpluses that the Bush administration burned through, and the trillion-plus dollar mess he handed President Obama. If we add this in we're now talking about at least $6 trillion in debt that the Bush administration buried us with over 8 years. And we haven't even begun to calculate the VA bills coming down the pike. Incredible.

Here's how Rove gets his $2.9 trillion figure.

Every year the Bush administration sent a budget to Congress after 9/11 they ignored the costs of war, preferring to put this in as "emergency" or "supplemental" expenses. They did this every year even though they knew we had to pay for the war every year. They did the same with Katrina funds. If you want to do this at home, add up your yearly normal expenses and forget to add in vacations, birthdays, special events, emergency expenditures, etc. Then think about how your budget would look like if you had vacations, birthdays, special events, and emergency expenditures every month. Your anticipated deficits (called "on-budget" deficits in DC) will not come anywhere near to what your real budget (padded by "off-budget" deficits) amounts to.

But we shouldn't be surprised. The Bush administration dedicated itself to creating a smoke & mirrors environment about what it did in Washington. Karl Rove and FOX News are dedicated to perpetuating the same smoke & mirrors today.

- Mark

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