Don’t Just Blame Bush; Blame the GOP

I get a lot of grief from my Republican friends who chide me for “blaming Bush” for the troubled state of our economy when they want to pin it all on President Obama.  Well, I don’t just “blame Bush,” I blame the Republicans for policies passed when they were in charge for most of last decade.

This LA Times opinion piece from Sunday makes the case better than I can.

From the piece by retired Congressional staffer, Mike Lofgren:

“But the same Congressional Budget Office that punctured Obama’s budget also concluded that the major policies that swung the budget from a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion in 2001 to the present 10-year deficit of $6.2 trillion were Republican in origin.

Consider the two signature GOP policies of George W. Bush‘s presidency: the wars and the tax cuts. Including debt service costs, Bush’s wars have cost about $1.7 trillion to date. Additionally, as part of being “a nation at war,” the Pentagon has spent about $1 trillion more than was expected in the last decade on things other than direct war costs, which has been a bonanza for military contractors but a disaster for the federal budget. And finally, there has been another trillion dollars spent domestically in response to 9/11, including spending on such things as establishing the Homeland Security Department and increasing the budgets for the State Department and the Veterans Administration.

The Bush tax cuts have added another $3 trillion in red ink. While Republican leaders wail that Americans — particularly their rich contributors — are overtaxed, the facts say otherwise: U.S. taxpayers, particularly the wealthiest, pay far less in taxes than they would in most other developed countries. Today, the 400 wealthiest Americans have as much wealth as the bottom 125 million. The GOP insists that those wealthy people use their money to create jobs, and that taxing them more heavily would ultimately hurt the economy. But, if that’s so, why was the rate of job creation in the decade after the Bush tax cuts the poorest in any decade since before World War II?

Like a drunk swearing off hooch for the hundredth time, Republicans are now trying to show they are serious about controlling the deficit by saying they won’t raise the debt ceiling unless they get through some of their cost-saving projects, like privatizing Medicare. Meanwhile, they want revenue increases “off the table,” even though, at 14.8% of GDP, revenues are at their lowest level in 60 years. And the budget passed by the Republican-controlled House further cuts taxes on the wealthy, a fact it glosses over with optimistic growth forecasts.”

Where were these calls for fiscal restraint and austerity during the Bush years?

  9 comments for “Don’t Just Blame Bush; Blame the GOP

  1. June 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, an I am a Libertarian at heart. Bush, backed by a Republican Congress did the country a grave injustice by implementing the Department of Homeland Security. Just the mere mention of “Homeland” sends shivers of facism up my spine. While I don’t always agree with the democrats (who have just as many nutcases on their side of the fence), I do believe it will take a meeting of the moderate forces to keep this country afloat. And, while I am no fan of Obama, I do stand behind our President 100% prefering political dialogue rather than rhetoric and name-calling to solve our Country’s problems.

  2. June 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    By the way, Dan, what do you have against the Veterans Administration?

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    June 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I have nothing against the Veterna’s Administration. Where do you get that idea?

  4. mstimc
    June 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Also check the latest Newsweek. A university analysis showed that what few jobs were created under Bush and the GOP were generally low-paying “service sector” jobs. The big corporations that benefited the most from the tax cuts shipped the jobs and the wealth overseas.

    • June 28, 2011 at 8:32 am

      It’s sad but true that most people look at what is happening today, on any given day, and blame it on the current administration, whether they are democrat or republican. They don’t realize that today’s program or problem was created through the previous administration.

  5. June 28, 2011 at 8:07 am

    “including spending on such things as establishing the Homeland Security Department and increasing the budgets for the State Department and the Veterans Administration.”

    I hope this was just commentary. The VA is one of the few things the Feds have trying to get right but they see how out of whack it was to begin with. The spending on the VA was a direct result of neglect for all those years between Vietnam and Iraq.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    June 28, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Just commentary and documenting facts. many Tea Partiers believe all government spenidng is wrong and that certain government agencies should turn a profit (the Post Office for example); government is there to do the things that need to be done where profit shouldn’t be part of the equation.

  7. junior
    June 29, 2011 at 6:14 am

    “.. many Tea Partiers believe all government spenidng is wrong ..”

    Absolutely a mischaracterization – stick to the facts Dan, don’t make up s**t.

  8. junior
    June 29, 2011 at 6:20 am

    “Blame it on Bush” will not keep the White House for the dems.

    Wasserman: “We own the economy – we own the beginning of the turn-around ..”
    WHAT turn-around ?? I don’t see any STINKING turn-around.

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