Jeffrey H. Anderson | A Historic Flood of Red Ink

Jeffrey H. Anderson | A Historic Flood of Red Ink

After proposing his third straight budget calling for more than $1 trillion in deficit spending—no other president has ever proposed even half that much (although, in his last year, President George W. Bush did end up spending that much)—President Obama complained to reporters, “You guys are pretty impatient.” In truth, Obama has gotten way too much of a pass on his deficit spending, which is so far outside of America’s historical norms as to be mind-boggling.

In a fair accounting, President Obama is responsible (along with the then-Democratic Congress) for the $1.3 trillion in deficit spending in 2010 and the estimated $1.6 trillion in deficit spending in 2011. He is responsible for the projected $1.1 trillion in deficit spending in his recent budget proposal. He is also responsible for the approximately $200 billion that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that his economic “stimulus” added to the deficit in 2009.

He should not get credit, moreover, for the $149 billion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) repayments made in 2010 and 2011 to cover most of the $154 billion in bank loans that remained unpaid at the end of the 2009 fiscal year—loans that count against President Bush’s 2009 deficit tally. The Treasury Department says that all but $5 billion of the TARP bank loans has now been repaid. The portion of repayments that was for loans issued in 2009 should be deducted from Bush’s deficit tally, not credited to Obama as deficit savings.

Add it all up, and Obama is responsible for $4.4 trillion in actual or projected deficit spending in just three years in office.


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