Sunday, January 31, 2010


I couldn't help but notice during President Obama's appearance at the Republican Retreat in Baltimore how many speakers prefaced their questions with right wing radio talking points, followed with outright lies about the origins of our budget deficits.

Here's the standard claim, and a contrived question, as posed by Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas):

As President Obama made clear in his response to Rep. Hensarling's comments, the reality between what Republicans claim about the budget and the truth is as vast as the Grand Canyon.

Simply put, Republicans are either lying about the reality of the budget or they're simply ignorant as to the facts (or both). Here's the math ...

If you don't like reading those CBO numbers, know this ...

President Obama came into office with projected deficits of $1.3 trillion dollars for 2009. As President Obama pointed out, this was a budget deficit that he had on his desk before he was sworn into office. Those projections have turned into a $1.6 trillion deficit for this year because the recession (and the needs of the parasitic sociopaths on Wall Street) were far worse than everyone imagined.

Let me repeat. This was not President Obama's doing. It was a gift from from President Bush and his pals on Wall Street. Simply stated, President Obama inherited an economic mess, and the Republican Party is lying to America about it's origins.

President Obama's response to the mess he was left has been both straighforward, and commendable. Here's why.

Under President Bush the majority of the costs associated with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were never on the books. President Bush regularly - and deliberately - kept them off budget and asked for emergency "supplemental" funding. What's supplemental funding? In a few words it's like the money you find yourself spending every year on birthdays, vacations, Christmas, etc. that you didn't plan for in your yearly budget. Instead, because you don't have the money, you borrow or put it on your credit card. Then you try to pretend that you didn't spend the money. We all know how those debts eventually catch up with us. President Bush did this to the tune of about $100-200 billion per year.

President Obama thinks that since we know we're in a war that that we shouldn't play "supplemental" accounting games with the American public. He's decided to put the cost of these wars in the budget. While this does inflate our budget deficits, it is also the way serious people deal with their budgets.

Want to see how Republicans deal with budgets post Bush? Check this out.

Seriously, a budget proposal with no numbers?

The impact of embracing the smoke & mirrors behind Republican borrow-and-spend policies is quite serious.

Then we have the expenses associated with cleaning up President Bush's economic mess. You can add hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit pot. See where this is going? The point is, Republicans are playing political games to score political points.

You would think that Republicans would show some humility on the budget topic, especially given that President Reagan almost tripled our national debt, and President Bush more than doubled it. Instead, Republicans think they should be "rewarded" in November for pointing out how deficits have increased, when they know (or should know) that President Obama's policies didn't bring our current budget mess to our doors.

It's a wonder to me that the media takes anything the Republicans have to say about the budget seriously.

- Mark

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