Unless you live in a hole or just pay no attention whatsoever to what is going on, you know by now that President Barack Obama kicked-off his reelection campaign this weekend with stops in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia.
It might strike some as odd that the establishment media made such a big deal out of the fact that President Obama was just now getting around to launching his reelection. After all, Obama started planning his reelection bid in late February 2011, months earlier than either Presidents Bill Clinton or George W. Bush did. And by the end of the first week of March 2011, Obama was already in “Florida trying to jump-start . . . his 2012 re-election campaign.” And by the time Obama “kicked-off” his reelection bid this weekend, the fundraiser-in-chief had “already held more re-election fundraising events than every elected President since Richard Nixon combined.”
I suppose none of that really matters in the grand scheme of things though. What does matter is what the President had to say at his campaign rallies. As you might expect, Obama can talk and he often has a lot to say. But much of what he had to say was deceptive, and that would be putting it mildly.
While I simply don’t have the time to go into every falsehood, one really stuck in my craw. There is a myth the Democrats have built over the years that has turned into an establishment media driven reality: that the Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress ruined the economy and caused the annual trillion dollar deficits we’ve seen under President Obama. As Obama launched his reelection bid this weekend, he continued this deception.
President Barack Obama: “We inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. The other side doesn’t like to be reminded of this. But that’s okay.” (“Remarks By The President And First Lady At A Campaign Event,” Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, The White House, 5/5/12)
This is a statement the President, his Administration and Democrats have made on many occasions. For example, at a House Republican Issues Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, in January 2010, Obama said he inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit, all before he had even passed a law and that the debt in the coming decade had nothing to do with Democrats.
President Barack Obama: “The fact of the matter is, is that when we came into office, the deficit was $1.3 trillion. -- $1.3 [trillion.]” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks By The President At GOP House Issues Conference,” Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, The White House, 1/29/10)
President Barack Obama: “And what is true is that we came in already with a $1.3 trillion deficit before I had passed any law.” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks By The President At GOP House Issues Conference,” Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, The White House, 1/29/10)
President Barack Obama: “What is true is we came in with $8 trillion worth of debt over the next decade -- had nothing to do with anything that we had done.” (President Barack Obama, “Remarks By The President At GOP House Issues Conference,” Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland, The White House, 1/29/10)
The establishment media has been eager to not only parrot, but validate this claim. Following the President’s remarks at the Republican Issues Conference, PolitiFact was quick to say Obama’s claim was “mostly true.” PolitiFact didn’t quibble over Obama’s assertion that he “inherited” a trillion dollar deficit, but did on his accounting of $8 trillion in debt over the decade because of uncertainties over whether to count the Bush tax cuts.
Regardless, what is important here is to remember that you cannot inherit something of which you were a part of and contributed to.
The inconvenient truth that Obama and Democrats would like you to forget is that beginning in January 2007, Democrats controlled the whole of Congress through the end of December 2010. That’s four years. And in two of those years, then-Senator Barack Obama was in the Majority in the Senate and the other two he was President.
Now let’s consider some facts leading up to when Democrats assumed control of the House and Senate. The annual fiscal deficits were on the decline, federal receipts were climbing, the economy was “robust” and other main drivers of deficit spending that Democrats love to cite (like Medicare) were coming in under budget.
“The Federal Budgetary Situation Improved In 2006 For The Second Consecutive Year.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
“As A Percentage Of GDP, The 2006 Deficit Was Below The Average Of 2.3 Percent Since 1965.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
Higher Revenues Fueled The Improving Budget Picture. “CBO’s current estimate of the deficit for 2006 is $112 billion lower than the amount that it estimated when it analyzed the President’s budgetary proposals in March. Higher-than-anticipated revenues, mostly from individual and corporate income taxes, account for the bulk of that improvement. CBO now expects 2006 revenues to exceed its March estimate (including the President’s proposals) by $99 billion, or about 4 percent.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
Outlays Lower Than Expected “Because Of Lower-Than-Anticipated Spending On The Government’s Major Health Care Programs, Medicare And Medicaid.” “At the same time, outlays this year are expected to be $13 billion⎯or less than 0.5 percent⎯below CBO’s March estimate (including the impact of proposed supplemental appropriations primarily because of lower-than-anticipated spending on the government’s major health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid.” (Donald B. Marron, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/1/06)
With Bush Tax Cuts In Place, Revenues Were Growing At A 25-Year High. “On the basis of tax collections through July, CBO anticipates that federal revenues will rise sharply in 2006 for the second year in a row. After growing by 14.5 percent in 2005, total revenues are expected to increase by 11.6 percent⎯or $249 billion⎯this year to just over $2.4 trillion. Those percentage increases are the highest in the past 25 years.” (Donald B. Marron, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/1/06)
• “As a share of GDP, revenues are expected to rise from 17.5 percent in 2005 to 18.3 percent this year⎯slightly higher than the 18.2 percent average of the past four decades.” (Donald B. Marron, “The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/1/06)
• “As a share of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), the 2006 deficit was 1.9 percent—down from the 2.6 percent share recorded in 2005.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
Final Revenues Even Higher Than Projected Earlier In The Year. “Receipts rose to $2,407 billion in 2006, an increase of $253 billion, or 11.8 percent, from 2005. That increase was lower than the 14.6 percent increase in 2005 but the second highest percentage increase since 1981. Receipts as a share of GDP rose to 18.4 percent, which is slightly above the average of 18.2 percent experienced since 1965.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
Corporate Tax Receipts Grew At An Even Faster Pace (27%). “Receipts of corporate income taxes increased by 27 percent in 2006, following growth in excess of 40 percent in both 2004 and 2005. As a result of those three strong years, corporate receipts as a share of GDP have risen from 1.2 percent in 2003, their lowest point since 1983, to 2.7 percent of GDP in 2006, their highest percentage since 1978. Investment tax incentives enacted in 2002 and 2003 that expired at the end of calendar year 2004 contributed to the swing.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
Receipts Due To Robust Economic Activity. “Most of the strong growth in receipts in the past three years, however, probably reflected robust economic activity.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2006,” Congressional Budget Office, 11/6/06)
Even Into The First Quarter Of 2007, The Outlook Of The Federal Budget Continued To Improve. “The federal budget deficit was about $85 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2007, CBO estimates—about $35 billion less than in the same period last year. Revenues have risen by 8 percent compared with their level in the first three months of 2006, substantially outpacing the 1 percent growth in outlays.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2007,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/8/07)
During The Last Month Republicans Retained Control Of Congress, December 2006, The Government Operated A $40 Billion Surplus. “The surplus in December was $40 billion, CBO estimates, which is about $29 billion more than the surplus recorded in December 2005. Revenues were 7 percent above their December 2005 level, and spending was about 5 percent below outlays in the same month last year.” (Mark Booth, Chad Chirico, Barbara Edwards and Kathy Gramp, “Monthly Budget Review: Fiscal Year 2007,” Congressional Budget Office, 1/8/07)
Deficits under the Bush Administration (and while Republicans were in control of Congress) were on the decline from a high in FY 2004 of $412.7 billion (3.5% of GDP) to a low of $160.7 billion (1.2% of GDP) in 2007. I include FY 2007, because the majority of the appropriations bills, supplementals and continuing resolutions were passed while Republicans were still in control of Congress (some of course were not).
Guess who voted for a majority of the appropriations for FY 2007? Barack Obama. Actually, I should note that on two occasions there were no recorded votes in the Senate. A continuing resolution on November 15, 2006 was conducted by voice vote and a continuing resolution on December 9, 2006 was passed by the Senate with unanimous consent. It is not known if Obama was present.
Note, for FY 2007, only Homeland Security and Defense appropriations bills passed Congress and were signed into law. Spending for FY 2007 was carried through with Continuing Resolutions.
Obama Voted IN FAVOR Of Passage Of The FY 2007 Homeland Security Appropriations: (H.R. 5441, Vote #203: Passed 100-0: D 44-0; R 55-0; I 1-0; 7/13/06, Obama voted Yea)
Obama Voted IN FAVOR Of Passage Of The FY 2007 Defense Appropriations: (H.R. 5631, Vote #239: Passed 98-0: D 43-0; R 54-0; I 1-0; 9/7/06, Obama voted Yea)
Obama Voted IN FAVOR Of Passage Of The FY 2007 Defense Appropriations: (H.R. 5631, Vote #261: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 100-0: D 44-0; R 55-0; I 1-0; 9/29/06, Obama voted Yea)
On November 15, 2006, The 2nd Continuing Resolution (Through 12/8/06) Was Passed By The Senate With A Voice Vote. (“Status Of Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2007,” The Library of Congress’ Thomas Website)
On December 9, 2006, The 3rd Continuing Resolution (Through 2/15/07) Was Passed By The Senate With Unanimous Consent. (“Status Of Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2007,” The Library of Congress’ Thomas Website)
Once in control of Congress, and with Obama in the Majority in the Senate, Obama voted in favor of the FY 2007 supplemental conference report, which also called setting “a goal of redeploying most U.S. combat troops in Iraq by the end of March 2008, if the president can certify the Iraq government is meeting benchmarks, and by the end of 2007 if he cannot.”
Obama Voted IN FAVOR Of The FY 2007 Supplemental Conference Report: (H.R. 1591, Vote #147: Adopted (thus cleared for the president) 51-46: D 48-0; R 2-45; I 1-1; 4/26/07, Obama voted Yea)
• Note: On May 1, 2007, President Bush Vetoed The Supplemental, “U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007.” (“Veto Message” The Library of Congress’ Thomas Website)
After Bush vetoed the supplemental with an artificial timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, Obama voted against the succeeding supplemental, which contained only minor differences in funding.
Obama Voted AGAINST The FY 2007 Supplemental Report: (H.R. 2206, Vote #181: Motion agreed to 80-14: D 37-10; R 42-3; I 1-1; 5/24/07, Obama voted Nay)
For FY 2008, only Defense appropriations and a consolidated appropriations bill were passed by Congress and signed into law. Spending for the rest of FY 2008 was carried through with supplemental appropriations and continuing resolutions.
Obama voted in favor of the FY 2008 Budget Resolution and in favor of the FY 2009 Budget Resolution.
Obama Voted In FAVOR Of The 2008 Budget Resolution Conference Report: (S. Con. Res. 21, Vote #172: Adopted, thus cleared, 52-40: D 48-0; R 2-40; I 2-0; 5/17/07, Obama voted Yea)
Obama Voted In FAVOR Of The 2009 Budget Resolution Conference Report: (S. Con. Res. 70, Vote #142: Adopted, (thus sent to the House), 48-45: D 44-1; R 2-44; I 2-0; 6/4/08, Obama voted Yea)
Many of the continuing resolutions to keep feeding government spending passed the Senate for FY 2008-2009 during 2007 and 2008 were done so by voice vote or unanimous consent, so it is impossible to know for sure how exactly Obama voted or if he was even present to vote.
On the rest of the other continuing resolutions and consolidated appropriations, Obama simply didn’t cast a vote.
On September 27, 2007, Obama DID NOT VOTE On The 1st Continuing Resolution For FY 2008 (From 10/1/07 To 11/16/07). (“Status Of Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2008,” The Library of Congress’ Thomas Website)
On December 18, 2007, Obama DID NOT VOTE On The Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764) Which Passed The Senate. (“Status Of Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2008,” The Library of Congress’ Thomas Website; H.R. 2764, Vote #441: Motion agreed to 76-17: D 41-3; R 33-14; I 2-0; 12/18/07, Obama did not Vote)
On September 27, 2008, Obama DID NOT VOTE On The Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, And Continuing Appropriations Act Of 2009 (A Continuing Resolution Through 3/6/09) Which Passed The Senate. (“Status Of Appropriations For Fiscal Year 2008,” The Library of Congress’ Thomas Website; H.R. 2638, Vote #208: Motion agreed to, thus clearing the bill for the president, 78-12: D 40-1; R 36-11; I 2-0; 9/27/08, Obama did not Vote)
So then what happened to the declining deficits (FY 2007) Democrats and Obama in Congress inherited? Spending, and lots of it.
Remember, deficits were on the decline from a high in FY 2004 of $412.7 billion (3.5% of GDP) to a low of $160.7 billion (1.2% of GDP) in 2007. FY 2008’s deficit was $458.6 billion (3.2% of GDP) and ever since we’ve seen trillion dollar deficits (starting with FY 2009).
Let’s start with the biggest contributor to the FY 2008 deficit. The financial crisis. An economic downturn and diminished federal receipts contributed, but so did the Democrat controlled Congress, specifically the bailout of Fannie Mae. As customary for Obama while campaigning for President, he missed the vote on final passage in the Senate. But it should not be lost on anyone that it was Democrats, in the Majority, that controlled the bill writing process and the floor schedule.
Mortgage Relief – Motion To Concur. (HR 3221, Vote #186: Motion agreed to, thus clearing the bill for the president, 72-13: R 27-13; D 43-0; I 2-0, 7/26/08, Obama did not Vote)
Then FY 2009. Many drivers or new deficit spending (not including the prolonged pain of the mortgage bailout and the recession), included the bailout of wall street, which Obama voted in favor of.
Mortgage-Backed Securities Buyout – Passage. (HR 1424, Vote #213: Passed 74-25: R 34-15; D 39-9; I 1-1, 10/1/08, Obama voted Yea)
In January 2009, Democrats increased funding for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program by $33 billion.
Children’s Health Insurance – Passage. “Passage of the bill that would reauthorize the State Children’s Health Insurance Program over four-and-a-half years and increase funding by $32.8 billion. To offset the cost of the expansion, it would increase the federal tax on cigarettes to 62 cents per pack and raise taxes on other tobacco products. The measure would remove a five-year waiting period for the SCHIP program for new, legal immigrants, including pregnant women, and loosen citizenship and eligibility documentation requirements. The bill would limit program eligibility to families earning three times the federal poverty level or less and would require states to phase out coverage of childless adults.” (H.R. 2, Vote #31: Passed 66-32: D 55-0; R 9-32; I 2-0; 1/29/09)
At the same time, newly-minted President Obama pushed a $1.2 trillion stimulus, which was not paid for, even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) bragged it was “new money,” meaning borrowed, unpaid for money. Democrats kick and scream when you tell the public that the true cost is $1.2 trillion, and even the establishment media even gets in on the game, refuting that the stimulus will cost $1.2 trillion. However, it is a simple fact that when you borrow money, you have to pay interest on it.
“The long-term cost of the $825 billion economic recovery package before Congress could rise to $1.2 trillion over 10 years, a top budget official said Tuesday.” (Jeanne Sahadi, “Stimulus With Interest: $1.2 Trillion,” CNN Money, 1/27/09)
“That’s because the government will borrow to fund the plan and pay an estimated $347 billion in interest, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee on Tuesday.” (Jeanne Sahadi, “Stimulus With Interest: $1.2 Trillion,” CNN Money, 1/27/09)
Then after the stimulus passed and we borrowed $800 billion dollars, the Democrats passed an omnibus bill that increased spending over FY 2008 levels by 8.4%.
Fiscal 2009 Omnibus Appropriations – Cloture. “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the bill that would provide $410 billion in discretionary spending in fiscal 2009 for federal departments and agencies covered by nine unfinished fiscal 2009 spending bills. Those bills are: Agriculture; Commerce-Justice-Science; Energy-Water; Financial Services; Interior-Environment; Labor-HHS-Education; Legislative Branch; State-Foreign Operations; and Transportation-HUD. It would also provide $100 million for the U.S. Secret Service and block the automatic cost-of-living adjustment for members of Congress in 2010.” (H.R. 1105, Vote #96: Motion Agreed To 62-35; R 8-32; D 52-3; I 2-0, 3/10/09)
Then, there was FY 2010 Budget Resolution and the Congressional Budget Office forecast $9.3 trillion in cumulative budget deficits under Obama’s budget blueprint.
“The Cumulative Deficit From 2010 To 2019 Under The President’s Proposals Would Total $9.3 Trillion, Compared With A Cumulative Deficit Of $4.4 Trillion Projected Under The Current-Law Assumptions Embodied In CBO’s Baseline.” (“A Preliminary Analysis Of The President’s Budget And An Update On CBO’s Budget And Economic Outlook,” Congressional Budget Office, 3/09)
“President Barack Obama’s Budget Would Produce $9.3 Trillion In Deficits Over The Next Decade, An Eye-Popping Figure That Threatens His Ambitious Goals To Overhaul Health Care And Explore New Energy Sources, Congressional Auditors Said.” (“Projected Deficit Threatens Obama’s Plans,” The Associated Press, 3/20/09)
“The New Congressional Budget Office Figures That Emerged Friday Offered A Far More Dire Outlook For Obama’s Budget Than The New Administration Predicted Just Last Month — A Deficit $2.3 Trillion Worse.” (“Projected Deficit Threatens Obama’s Plans,” The Associated Press, 3/20/09)
• “It’s a prospect even the president’s own budget director called unsustainable.” (“Projected Deficit Threatens Obama’s Plans,” The Associated Press, 3/20/09)
“By The Auditors’ Calculation, Obama’s Budget Would Generate Deficits Averaging Almost $1 Trillion A Year Of Red Ink Over 2010-2019.” (“Projected Deficit Threatens Obama’s Plans,” The Associated Press, 3/20/09)
And then the rest, well the rest is history and you know where we stand today. Obama has gone on to spend and spend some more and is the “undisputed debt king of the last five Presidents.”
PolitiFact: Barack Obama Is “The Undisputed Debt King Of The Last Five Presidents.” “So by this measurement -- potentially a more important one -- Obama is the undisputed debt king of the last five presidents, rather than the guy who added a piddling amount to the debt, as Pelosi’s chart suggested.” (“Nancy Pelosi Post Questionable Chart On Debt Accumulation By Barack Obama, Predecessors,” PolitiFact, 5/19/11)
Congressional Budget Office: “The Amount Of Federal Debt Held By The Public Has Skyrocketed In The Past Few Years …” “The amount of federal debt held by the public has skyrocketed in the past few years, rising from 40 percent of GDP at the end of 2008 to reach an estimated 67 percent by the end of this year.” (“The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update,” Congressional Budget Office, 8/24/11)
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: Obama’s Record On The Debt Looks “Pretty Bad For Obama After Not Even Three Years In Office.” “If the chart were recast to show how much the debt went up as a percentage of GDP, it would look pretty bad for Obama after not even three years in office.” (Glenn Kessler, “A Bogus Chart On Obama And The Debt Gets A New Lease On Life,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 9/29/11)
Fact Checker: “[Obama’s] Record On The Growth Of National Debt Is The Worst Of Recent Presidents.” “An improvement in the nation’s economy would boost the gross domestic product, which would certainly begin to reduce his ratio. But the fact remains that under basic economic measures, not phony ones, his record on the growth of the national debt is the worst of recent presidents.” (Glenn Kessler, “A Bogus Chart On Obama And The Debt Gets A New Lease On Life,” The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker, 9/29/11)
Obama Is Responsible For “The Most Rapid Increase In The Debt Under Any U.S. President.” “The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. It’s the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.” (Mark Knoller, “National Debt Has Increased $4 Trillion Under Obama,” CBS News, 8/22/11)
By Next Election Obama Will Have Added “$22,500 In New Debt For Every Man, Woman And Child In The Nation — Enough To Pay For A New Toyota Corolla For Each Of Them.” “By the time the next election rolls around, the government will have taken on almost $7 trillion in debt under Obama. It’s hard to explain away a number so big. Republicans will find clever ways to make that number more digestible, including handy stats such as reducing that amount to $22,500 in new debt for every man, woman and child in the nation — enough to pay for a new Toyota Corolla for each of them.” (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, “President Obama’s Big Drags,” Politico, 8/4/11)
So, the next time Obama yaps about inheriting a trillion dollar deficit or Democrats say its all the fault of Republicans and President Bush and played no role in exploding the debt, look them in the eye and call ‘em out for being hypocritical, devious, manipulators of reality, unwilling to accept any responsibility for anything.