RightWingNuts are seething over debt, but:
“The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office,” reported David Leonhardt in the New York Times yesterday.
“The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.”
Leonhardt lists four factors that account for the present deficit — a $2 trillion difference from the surplus Clinton bequeathed to Bush. 37% can be attributed to the business cycle and the resulting lost tax revenue from two recessions. 33% comes from legislation — like Medicare Part D — signed by Bush. 20% is accounted for by Bush spending that Obama continued — examples being two wars, the Wall Street Bailout, and a portion of Bush’s tax cuts.
“About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February.”