From The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP):
Economic Downturn and Legacy of Bush Policies Continue to Drive Large Deficits
Economic Recovery Measures, Financial Rescues Have Only Temporary Impact
By Kathy Ruffing and Joel Friedman
Updated February 28, 2013
Federal deficits and debt have been sharply higher under President Obama, but the evidence continues to show that the Great Recession, President Bush’s tax cuts, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain most of the deficits that have occurred on Obama’s watch – based on the latest Congressional Budget Office projections as well as legislation enacted since we last issued this analysis of what lies behind current deficits and debt.
Though some lawmakers and pundits continue to blame record deficits on the President’s policies in general – and his actions to boost the economy and stabilize the financial system in particular – these policies increase budget deficits only briefly; they will have no significant impact on the long-term problem of large deficits and rising debt….
….Although longer-term pressures on spending stem chiefly from an aging population and rising health-care costs, those pressures are not new. Policymakers knew about them when they enacted the Bush-era tax cuts and assented to fighting two wars on borrowed money. (These pressures also were taken into account in the Congressional Budget Office projections issued at the start of 2001, which showed budget surpluses for the next several decades.)
The goal of reining in long-term deficits and debt would be much easier to achieve if it were not for the policies set in motion during the Bush years. That era’s tax cuts – most of which policymakers extended in this year’s American Taxpayer Relief Act, with President Obama’s support – and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for almost half of the debt that we will owe, under current policies, by 2019. By contrast, the economic recovery measures and financial rescues will account for just over 10 percent of the debt at that time….
Ah, yes, the Bush tax cuts. The plan has always been to dismantle everything, long term debt didn’t matter.
So, we get this right wingnut drivel:
….Many federal agencies will be required to implement 7.8 percent cuts across their departments, and the Department of Defense will experience a $43 billion cut taken from the last six months of its budget.
I continue to be very concerned about the impact of these cuts to our national defense and to individuals and families in the Fourth District, specifically. The biggest impact will be felt among civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DOD). According to preliminary plans laid out by the House Armed Services Committee’s Readiness Subcommittee, on which I serve, these workers are expected to be furloughed one day a week starting sometime around the end of April for a period of 22 weeks. I inquired of DOD officials as to how this was going to be implemented. They stated they are in negotiations now and details will be unveiled soon, but the “once-a-week-for-22-weeks-plan” is the most likely scenario.
The furloughs could impact a significant number of families in our area. Preliminary DOD estimates show up to 6,000 Army civilians and 2,000 Air Force civilians could experience this furlough. Being required to stay home one day a week will result in a 20 percent reduction to workers’ take home pay, which translates to less money to buy groceries, put gas in the car, and pay for school expenses for their children. It will mean less money available to be spent elsewhere and could impact the economies of local communities….
The defense budget is first a local economic stimulus program?
Revenue is, as always with republican dogma, completely off the table:
….raising taxes….This idea is a nonstarter….
And then there are these gems:
….The EPA gave over $100,000 in grants last year to foreign countries….
….I believe some of the cuts to other areas of the government are being politicized. The President, this week, cancelled White House tours. This is unnecessary.
I have spoken with citizens of Missouri’s Fourth District who have planned family trips to Washington with tours of the White House on the schedule. Among my constituents impacted by this unnecessary decision is State Representative Mike Kelley who will be visiting Washington on a working vacation during the legislative spring break. Representative Kelley, his family, and a foreign exchange student from Ukraine had hoped to visit the White House during their visit. He told me he is particularly disappointed for the student who looks to America as a beacon of freedom and to the White House as a symbol of that freedom. I will have the opportunity to show her our beautiful U.S. Capitol, but I am saddened that the President’s actions will deny her what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the White House….
[emphasis in original]
Think about that for a moment. EPA expenditures (of a relatively modest amount) which might ostensibly have a positive effect on the global environment (after all, we do live on the same planet) are bad, tours of the White House by foreign nationals are good.
How’s that for consistency?
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): missing the point, again (March 6, 2013)