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Dems: Go into budget battle with Obama. Here's your ammo

With his speech in Ohio yesterday, President Obama marked a pivot point in the midterm elections and in his administration. The latter-day man from "hope" finally jumped feet-first into a debate over what to do to jumpstart the economy, reminding us of how we got into this mess and defending what he has done and is trying to do to get us out of it. As E.J. Dionne points out today, "Obama is late to this game, but at least he's finally playing it."

Obama's speech was a call-to-arms for the Democratic Party faithful. By attacking House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) by name, Obama has given his base and the American people a real person to focus on. And by reminding voters of the fiscal irresponsibility of Republican leadership before he took office, Obama is giving them a reason to doubt the GOP would be any different or better if it held the majority again.

One particular area that everyone is rightly worried about is the exploding federal deficit, which the president addressed yesterday.

And meanwhile, a failure to pay for two wars and two tax cuts for the wealthy helped turn a record surplus into a record deficit.....

Now, it's right to be concerned about the long-term deficit. If we don’t get a handle on it soon, it can endanger our future. And at a time when folks are tightening their belts at home, I understand why a lot of Americans feel it's time for government to show some discipline, too. But let's look at the facts. When these same Republicans -- including Mr. Boehner -- were in charge, the number of earmarks and pet projects went up, not down.

These same Republicans turned a record surplus into a record deficit. When I walked in, wrapped in a nice bow was a $1.3 trillion deficit sitting right there on my doorstep. (Laughter.) A welcoming present.

Some Republicans and other critics call that whining. That might be, but the fact remains, two wars and two tax cuts that weren't paid for continue to wreak havoc on the nation's finances. So, if Obama's speech was a call-to-arms to dispirited Democrats, here's the ammo they'll need to beat back the GOP counterattacks.

To back up the well-known and well-worn statement that the U.S. went from record surpluses to record deficits, a June 2004 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has what you're looking for.

In January 2001, CBO projections showed surpluses over the ten-year period from 2002 through 2011 totaling $5 trillion.....Our current estimate of this same ten-year period shows cumulative deficits of $3.9 trillion, for a total deterioration of $8.8 trillion over the ten-year period 2002 to 2011....

What caused a projected surplus of $5 trillion to become a projected deficit of $3.9 trillion? Approximately 31 percent of this stunning $8.8 trillion deterioration is due to the tax cuts enacted over the past three years or assumed in this analysis, making tax cuts slightly more important than spending increases in explaining the shift from surpluses to deficits. Another 30 percent of the deterioration is due to spending legislation, with more than two-thirds of the growth in spending representing increased costs for defense, homeland security, and the war on terrorism....The remainder of the deterioration (the other 39 percent of it) stems from the view CBO now holds that the economic and technical underpinnings of its 2001 projection were too rosy.

Here's a chart from a 2008 CBPP report that shows the results if President Bush's proposed 2009 budget had actually included costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and relief from the Alternative Minimum Tax.

WarAMTcostsadded.jpg

And if you're facing off with those who say Obama's policies are fueling future deficits, present them with this chart from a June 2010 report from CBPP.

CBPP Deficit Chart.jpg

The fiscal hole in which the United States finds itself is deep. But as Obama asked yesterday in Ohio, "Do we return to the same failed policies that ran our economy into a ditch, or do we keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out?" We'll find out on Nov. 2.

By Jonathan Capehart  | September 9, 2010; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: Wall Street needs to change, not Obama

Comments

The Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) economy kicked in during the latter part of 2007, when its architects decided that starving the economy of energy by refusing to allow more offshore drilling in the face of $4 gas prices was a winning political position. Pelosi claimed that because we couldn't totally "drill our way out of this," we shouldn't increase drilling at all. Reid put an exclamation point on Pelosi's stubbornness by insisting that fossil fuels are "making us sick." The only thing sickened was the US economy.

What Pelosi, Obama, and Reid should do now is expand tax cuts, ditch all of the alleged "investments" in so-called "green" (read: globaloney boondoggle) technology, open up Alaskan oil and gas exploration, and watch the royalty money pour in. I know— that's way too much to "hope" that Alaskans be allowed to sell our own resources and enrich our country.

But that's the Leftist answer for everything— punish achievers to fund their distopian Big Gov Marxist pogroms. Only the most devoted Obamateur cultists buy Obama's redistributionist nonsense anymore.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | September 9, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Capehart's bedwetting over the cost of our military defense against global jihadists is childish. The United States was founded on the basis of individual liberty. As a result, the Constitution assigns to the federal government the primary responsibility to “provide for the common defence.”

It is entirely reasonable to expend 4 percent of national income in the defense of freedom. Never­theless, the federal government is now allocating a smaller share of national income to defense than the average for the past four decades, despite the ongo­ing war against terrorism.

Projected growth in entitlement spending (not defense spending at this level) is at the core of the looming fiscal crisis facing the federal government. Defense expenditures at this level will jeopardize neither the health of the economy nor the prosper­ity of the American people— but a sustained commit­ment to defense is necessary to sustain liberty.

Paying 4 percent for freedom is worth the price. Indeed, it is a bargain.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | September 9, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

HOLD THE PHONE! This chart says the Bush tax cuts cost $300 billion a year and Obama says the Bush tax cuts "for the rich" cost $70 billion a year. Are Democrats lying when they say the tax cuts benefitted the rich disproportionately? One fourth of the tax cuts went to those paying more than half of the taxes!!!

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | September 9, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Just say no to socialism. It's time to throw all Democrats out of Washington. No more dishonest liars.

Posted by: JimthePuritan | September 10, 2010 4:31 AM | Report abuse

Obama, “The Teleprompter President” is and has always been in campaign mode. This Administration and Congress need to get out of campaign mode and start working for the American people. This Administration and Congress will never understand the middle and low income groups DO NOT CREATE JOBS, they take jobs. It is the upper income groups who create jobs and those groups are not going to create jobs in the face of high taxes, senseless regulation, and uncertainty.

The Congress and current Administration have put the country on a course of reckless government spending that has mortgaged the future of all Americans especially future generations. The only way to fix this long term structural problem is to create a pro-growth atmosphere for business. To do this we must reduce taxes NOW. How many different taxes does a business or individual pay on a regular basis? We must eliminate number and complexity of all these taxes and reduce the tax burden.

We also need to end the micro-management of business and the economy. Until we GREATLY reduce the tax burden on business and consumers and remove the senseless regulations that accomplish little in relation to the cost they impose, our future is bleak.

REMEMBER IN November...VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | September 10, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Obama, “The Teleprompter President” is and has always been in campaign mode. This Administration and Congress need to get out of campaign mode and start working for the American people. This Administration and Congress will never understand the middle and low income groups DO NOT CREATE JOBS, they take jobs. It is the upper income groups who create jobs and those groups are not going to create jobs in the face of high taxes, senseless regulation, and uncertainty.

The Congress and current Administration have put the country on a course of reckless government spending that has mortgaged the future of all Americans especially future generations. The only way to fix this long term structural problem is to create a pro-growth atmosphere for business. To do this we must reduce taxes NOW. How many different taxes does a business or individual pay on a regular basis? We must eliminate number and complexity of all these taxes and reduce the tax burden.

We also need to end the micro-management of business and the economy. Until we GREATLY reduce the tax burden on business and consumers and remove the senseless regulations that accomplish little in relation to the cost they impose, our future is bleak.

REMEMBER IN November...VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | September 10, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The Bush Era Tax Cuts expire in 2011. Why are they projected out to 2019? More lies?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | September 10, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

to all,

don't worry. in just about 4.5 months the GROWN-UPS will be running Congress & then we can UNDO nearly all the STUPID, NEEDLESS, ARROGANTLY passed spending that BHO & his motley gang of bigots, crooks, fools, nitwits, leftists & cretins have saddled us with.

IF i could do so, i would personally sue every one of the DIMocRATS in Congress for GROSS STUPIDITY & MALFEASANCE in the First Degree, as well as PROSECUTE them for FRAUD, WASTE & ABUSE of their positions of trust.

but since we taxpayers cannot do that, i'll settle for the coming BLOODBATH that will sweep 11 DIMocRAT Senators & 60-65 DIMocRAT HoR members OUT of office & permanently consign the DIMocRATS Party to the political wilderness.

btw, 01/20/2013 cannot come soon enough to suit me.====> just SEEING "the annointed one" on TV makes me GAG.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | September 11, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

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