I saw it with my own eyes on a video clip that Sean Hannity played. At a speech in Baltimore, President Obama laughingly dismissed the notion that he is responsible for our nation's current spending orgy. Seriously.
Sporting a wide grin, Obama said, "I love listening to these guys give us lectures about debt and deficits." He must think this subject is a real knee-slapper. He continued: "I inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. We had a surplus; they turned it into a deficit, built in a structural deficit that extends for decades. ... We signed $2 trillion in spending cuts into law. I laid out a detailed plan for a total of $4 trillion in deficit reduction. ... But even when you account for the steps we took to prevent a depression and jump-start the economy ... spending under my administration has grown more slowly than under any president in 60 years."
A fascinating question is whether Obama actually believes this fantasy or he and his disciples are laughing at us, as well.
Yes, he's had some delusional enablers who have argued that he has been fiscally frugal, having actually slowed the rate of government spending. Yes, you read that correctly.
But how do these enablers make such a claim -- in print, no less? Well, the best I can figure is that they say that the deficit for Bush's final fiscal year was above $1 trillion and that hence Obama's $1 trillion deficits thereafter constitute continuing the status quo; he's not increasing the level of the deficits.
Wow. That's creative, but it's completely disingenuous. We must first understand that presidential term years don't coincide with budget years. There is overlap, and the final Bush year was partially Obama's.
Also, the final Bush budget year was extraordinary because the housing crisis had unfolded and there were TARP expenditures, many of which were later repaid. It's also worth remembering that the primary cause of the housing crisis was the affordable housing policies that were mostly pushed by liberal lawmakers. President Bush might have been on board for some of this early on, but he strongly appealed to Democrats in Congress to curtail this program well before it had reached crisis levels, and scoffers such as Rep. Barney Frank dismissed him out of hand and assured the nation there was nothing to fear from these reckless policies.
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