Where should we point the fingers for our current fiscal/economic mess? Keith Hennessey has a post that I tend to agree with. Hennessey looks at the opening statements from President Obama on his new budget,
The fact is, 10 years ago, we had a budget surplus of more than $200 billion, with projected surpluses stretching out toward the horizon. Yet over the course of the past 10 years, the previous administration and previous Congresses created an expensive new drug program, passed massive tax cuts for the wealthy, and funded two wars without paying for any of it -— all of which was compounded by recession and by rising health care costs. As a result, when I first walked through the door, the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade.
Hennessey has a fairly long list of responses to this, but I want to try and keep this post somewhat short. Obama lists a number of reasons why the current problems we face aren’t his fault,
Medicare Drug Program
Iraq and Afghanistan
Recession (2 of them actually)
Now, how many of these are “Bush’s fault”? I’d say the first 3 can be partly blamed on Bush. But let us consider what Team Obama is going to do:
Medicare Drug Program—Keep it
Tax Cuts—Keep Most of them
Iraq and Afghanistan—Continue Bush’s policies.
Huh. Not all that much change if you ask me. What was Candidate Obama’s campaign slogan again?
And to be fair, if the Democrats were in charge during the Medicare Drug Program we’d have an even larger program than we do now. And regarding Iraq and Aghanistan, I’ve seen the claim that Obama’s first term could be considered Bush’s third term. So, even though Obama, ostensibly, could take different policy positions on several of things he claims are responsible for our current plight…he doesn’t.