There are great many people who seek to credit or blame some specific president or party for taxes, deficits and national debt – but the fact is that most of our federal spending has been locked in for decades preceding any of our contemporary presidents. It started with FDR and accelerated under subsequent presidents and congresses, skyrocketing under Johnson when his “Great Society” programs kicked in – and unfortunately continues today with G.W. Bush’s Medicare Part D drug program and Obama’s homage to Leviathan, Obamacare.
Here are some facts:
- Spending on Medicare, Social Security and welfare programs account for 62 cents out of every tax dollar collected (more, because these programs are also being financed by debt)
- Including the interest on the national debt, MANDATORY spending makes up 70% of all federal spending, meaning this spending is untouchable without action by a president and congress willing to take on structural change in Medicare, Obamacare, Social Security, welfare programs and the national debt.
- Obama came in to office in January 2009, dealing with Bush’s $458 billion FY 2008 deficit that subsequently ballooned to $1.412 trillion in FY 2009 (including an $800 billion “stimulus”).
- Obama only recorded one year of deficits lower than Bush’s highest – $438.5 billion in 2015.
- Total deficits for the 8 years of Obama totaled $7.28 trillion, financed by a doubling of the national debt – a $10 trillion increase.
- At the current rate of spending, the federal deficit is projected to hit $987 billion in 2020.
- For the past 4 years (starting in 2014) the federal government has set records each year for federal income taxes collected – and yet the federal deficit and national debt continues to grow (proving that tax cuts stimulate but that stimulation cannot keep pace with spending without cuts)
- Over the past 87 years (since 1931), the Democrat Party has controlled the House of Representatives (where spending starts) for 68 of those years.
- Over the past 87 years (since 1931), the Democrat Party has controlled the Senate for 60 of those years.
- Over the past 87 years (since 1931), the Democrat Party has controlled both houses of Congress for 54 of those years, most recently the 110th and 111th Congresses from 2007 to 2011 (during which time Obamacare was passed)
- Social Security act was passed in 1936 under FDR and a Democrat controlled Congress.
- Medicare was established in 1965 under Lyndon Johnson and a Democrat controlled Congress.
- The GOP owns Medicare Part D, passed in 2003 by a George W. Bush and a Republican controlled Congress.
- Obamacare was passed in 2010 under Barack Obama and a Democrat controlled Congress.
- Over the past century, key progressive social policies have been protected by left leaning Supreme Court majorities.
Here are some observations we can draw from these facts:
- The US government does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem – and has for almost a century.
- The clear majority of the structural components of current mandatory spending for healthcare, social security and welfare is the creation of Democrat presidents and Democrat controlled Congresses.
- Over the past 18 years, the increases in national debt are owned by Democrats via the money printing policies of “quantitative easing”.
Some will say that Bush is responsible for Obama’s deficits and increases in the debt – but the fact remains that the mortgage bubble crash can be traced directly to the Community Reinvestment Act supported by both Republican and Democrats but weaponized by the Democrat controlled Senate and House banking committees through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – but that is entirely another discussion.
I’ll leave people to make their own observations and draw their own conclusions – but in my mind, we have a structural problem created by a nearly a century of free-spending Democrats and a total failure of GOP presidents and congresses to control them.
Change my mind.