What The GOP Doesn’t Want You To Know About The Deficit

The Huffington Post

1.   The Deficit Has Grown Mostly Because Of The Recession

The deficit has ballooned not because of specific spending measures, but because of the recessionThe deficit more than doubled between 2008 and 2009, as the economy was in free fall, since laid-off workers paid less in taxes and needed more benefits. The deficit then shrank in 2010 and 2011.

2.   The Stimulus Cost Much Less Than Bush’s Wars, Tax Cuts

Republicans frequently have blamed the $787 billion stimulus for the national debt, but, when all government spending is taken into account, the stimulus frankly wasn’t that big. In contrast, the U.S. will have spent nearly $4 trillion on wars in the Middle East by the time those conflicts end, according to a recent report by Brown University.  The Bush tax cuts have cost nearly $1.3 trillionover 10 years.

 3.   The Deficit Grew Under George W. Bush

When George W. Bush took office, the federal government was running a surplus of $86 billion. When he left, that had turned into a $642 billion deficit.

4.   The Deficit Is Shrinking

Last year’s federal budget deficit was 12 percent lower than in 2009, according to the Office of Management and Budget.The deficit is projected to shrink even more over the next several years.

5.   Investors Are Paying Us To Borrow Money

The interest rate on 10-year Treasury bonds is negative, according to the Treasury Department. Investors are even paying us for 30-year Treasury bonds, when adjusted for inflation.

 6.  Investors Are Not Running Away

Conservative commentators have been warning for years that investors will run away from Treasury bonds because of the national debt. So far it’s not happening. Interest rates on Treasury bonds continue to hover at historic lows.

7.  Health Care Reform Reduces The Deficit

Republicans have blasted the Affordable Care Act as “budget-busting.” But health care reform actually reduces the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

8.  The U.S. Is Borrowing Less From China

The U.S. government is borrowing much less from foreign countries than before the recession, according to government data cited by Paul Krugman. That is because the U.S. private sector is financing our bigger deficits.

9.   We Spend A Lot On Defense

Defense spending constituted 20 percent of federal spending last year, or $718 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. This adds up to 41 percent of the world’s defense spending, according to Bloomberg TV anchor Adam Johnson. Mitt Romney has vowed to not cut defense spending if elected president.

10.   We Spend A Lot On Health Care

Health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, constituted 21 percent of federal spending last year. In contrast, education constituted 2 percent of federal spending. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have promised not to change Medicare for Americans age 55 and older.

11.   Republicans May Want Large Deficits For Now

The federal budget deficit ballooned under Ronald Reagan, and that may be just the way Republicans like it. Some Republican thinkers have proposed “starving the beast”: that is, cutting taxes in order to use larger deficits to justify spending cuts later. Since Republicans ultimately want lower taxes and a smaller government, what better way is there to cut spending than to make it look urgent and necessary?

5 comments

  1. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    The GOPretenders are full of shit. Thank you The Fifth Column for another dose of truth & facts to combat the TeaTardedRepubliCANTS lies & misinformation.

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  2. Reblogged this on FortLeft and commented:
    I had been thinking about a post on the deficit, but then “The Fifth” did the work for me. Thanks, Kstreet607.

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  3. The single largest cause of the increase in the structural deficit during the Bush Administrations were his tax cuts. Obama just endorsed extending roughly 75% of those in terms of lost revenue. Are critics of Bush’s tax cuts prepared to be honest enough to blame Obama for adding now close to $400 billion per year to the deficit? I am guessing they aren’t, but maybe I’ll be surprised by a rare single standard from Bush bashers. The likely reply will be something along the lines of “but those tax cuts are for the middle class!” Never mind that Bush is the one who enacted them in the first place, and would have made them permanent had it not been for his willingness to respect the PAYGO rules then in force. (I might add in passing that those same Bush bashers now conveniently forgive Obama for keeping Guantanamo and for assassinating US citizens abroad.)

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