Obama/Bush by SmallIslander
The debt ceiling debate has renewed the vitriol of rhetoric dividing a nation as the political elite seek to further the economic destruction of America.

Let’s just face it, President Bush tripled the deficit for FY2009, not President Obama . (1) Obama is been blamed for it, but he did not do it. Blamed is President Bush for single handedly causing the Great Recession, but that is not a fair accusation now is it? (2) As the United State’s government enters the final chapter of the FY2011 debt ceiling debate, perhaps some true and objective, good old-fashioned honesty is order. If you are blindly partial and solely partisan to the Right or Left, you have come to the point in the article that indicates it time for you to hit the back button on your browser and return from which you have come. The intent is to discern the rhetoric and lies to expose the truth in how the both Republicans and Democrats are culpable for America's economic downfall.

Blame through denial

The tool of politically blaming the other has provided a path to absolution the political supporters of both the Right and the Left to hide behind as they continue their blind championing of a given side. (3) , (4) The debt ceiling debate has renewed the rhetoric of blame as opposing views seek to overlook their Party’s culpability in America’s egregious fiscal mismanagement in a veiled attempt to make the other appear both incompetent and solely responsible.

This all started in 2009 when the Obama administration went on a Bush blaming campaign stating America’s financial condition was President Bush’s fault. The fact of the matter is they were in part correct. While President Bush cannot be blamed for the entire financial crisis, he, and his administration, both Republican and Democrat alike, can rightfully be faulted for the significant increase in the deficit that President Obama largely took heat for. The federal deficit jumped from roughly 450 Billion in FY2008 to over 1.4 Trillion in FY2009. (1) Fiscal Year 2009 was funded in October of 2008 under the Bush administration. (5) Truly, this was inherited by President Obama and not of his doing. The Right immediately went on the assault blaming President Obama for “tripling the deficit” while turning a blind eye to the fact the FY2009 deficit spending was of President Bush’s doing, not President Obama’s. (6) Fox News claimed President Obama shattered the spending record for first year presidents. A better comparison would be a forth-right assessment of last year presidential spending as an evaluation of President Bush’s final year fiscal performance. (7) However, this is not to say President Obama is completely innocent when it comes to America’s profligate spending and government’s irresponsible fiscal practices.

As we can clearly cite President Bush’s culpability in tripling the deficit in FY2009, we must acknowledge that the FY2010 deficit spending practically mirrored that of FY2009. (8) This means President Obama picked up where President Bush left off, earning him full credit for his role in government’s failed fiscal practices. To blame President Bush for his role is one thing, but to blame him and then directly continue the fiscal practices that were intensely criticized represents a reprehensible act of dichotomy. The Left is correct in its criticisms of the Right’s contributions to America’s ongoing deficit struggles, but the Left is at equal fault for continuing them.

Rhetoric of misrepresentation

The Obama administration has pushed the blame Bush campaign so hard many Obama supports only see Bush as the problem. One recent article of a poll published and conducted by Quinnipiac University stated, “That’s more than half the country that has not given in to the myth that Obama is responsible for creating the downturn in the economy.” (9) The obviously slanted article and poll is quick to “confirm” the ideology of President Obama’s innocence in America’s economic crisis, while it makes no mention of FY2010 Obama spending that was completely autonomous of any Bush fiscal policy. The rhetoric filled article goes forth with no data backing its claims to blame Republicans for blocking job creation, spinning the economic “catastrophe” against Obama and uses the slanted poll as proof Americans will blame the Republican Congress and not President Obama for the economy. Articles like Desmond’s and that of Fox News serve to only fuel the gross misinformation being deliberately passed by opposing sides whom refuse to acknowledge their Party’s mishandling of the economy. Bush was guilty and Obama is guilty, it should not take an objective opinion from the outside to bring the facts forth, the facts should be embraced by the whole in order to improve America. Clearly, the problem is a Bush – Obama failure in that both are culpable in their own individual right for leading America into economic failure. (1)

In defending President Obama through misinformation, we hinder the nation. We must ask of ourselves, what is it about President Obama’s economic policy we wish to defend? Often, supporters are defending the president solely because they voted him, using his “defense” as a tool to belittle the Right while the entire time not identifying how the president has only perpetuated the very concepts his supporters now actively condemn Bush for. Collectively, we should assess what the president’s economic goals actually are. In viewing President Obama’s own budget, we can gain a clearer and more objective perspective.

President Obama has stated that 80% of Americans are “sold” on tax increases as part of the current budget resolution. (10) Again, a gross misrepresentation. The ideology presented in the quote is the tax increases in question are reserved for individuals other than those being polled. Be that as it may, tax increases are ever present in the Obama deficit dialog. His budget proposal contained some 43 separate tax increases and was anything but balanced. His budget ideology was so bad that it failed in a 97 – 0 vote. (11) Continually we hear Obama referring to his tax cuts and the taxation of the rich, but it has become obvious his interest in a balanced budget is minimal at best. Why all of the emphasis on tax increases?

Spending cuts to increase spending

Deficits are the perceived problem and to overcome deficits the political class will seek to increase tax revenue over exercising spending restraint. Increasing the tax burden only replaces debt-financed spending with tax-financed spending leaving spending as the common denominator, which then remains as the underlying culprit of America’s fiscal woes. (12) As the political class seeks to protect spending by all means necessary, they create a façade of “spending cuts” that actually translate to spending increases. (13)

For the political elite, a “spending cut” is not increasing spending at the rate once planned. To them, a ten-year spending plan of 10 Trillion dollars that is reeled back to 8 Trillion dollars equals a 2 Trillion dollar “spending cut.” The traditional American will view a spending cut as an actual and tangible true savings in the forth-coming fiscal year. Sadly, this not how our elected Republicans or Democrats define spending cuts. What’s worse, European states having learned from the failure of this approach to fiscal policy and are now moving away from Obama-style class warfare that seeks to tax and attack the rich to fund reckless spending. This is due fiscal crises in Greece and Portugal that will likely spread to Spain, Italy, and Belgium where politicians utilized “Obamanomic-styled” approaches to governance and Bush – Obama style increases in deficit spending. European nations have spent themselves into deep economic peril, while America marches forward rationalizing irrational spending practices in blatant denial of the collapse it will eventually lead to. The European Commission Report details how European nations are now moving in the opposite direction of the Obama administration as they seek to recover from policies Obama now seeks to implement. To put it simply and bluntly, the Obama administration wishes to create the welfare state from which Europe countries are now desperately trying to recover.

Forced fiscal restraint through collapse

As we fall deeper into the vitriol of the debt ceiling debate it is important remember that in 2006, then Senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling stating a sentiment that is currently reflected by Republicans and Democrats whom today oppose the raising of the debt ceiling. “The fact that we're here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means 'The buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.” (14) Today, this statement is defended by the attempt to justify the difference in perspective of a President to do what is right as opposed to a Senator or Representative to insist upon what is best. The then Senator Obama was correct, debt ceiling increases are the result of failures in leadership, but one could add the inability to pass a budget in more than 800 days while simultaneously pushing for more deficit spending is the result governmental incompetence under no apparent leadership.

America’s deficit problem is not a matter of blaming Bush, or blaming Obama. It is an addiction to spending that has perpetuated from administration to administration over more than a generation that Bush and Obama has exacerbated. The responsibility for this rests collectively on the shoulders of Republican and Democrats alike. To defend themselves, the political elite has set forth on a campaign of rhetoric based upon half truths to turn Americans against each other to enable political agendas that will ultimately unfold against Americans as a whole. In our division, and blinded by rhetoric we become defensive to objective criticism. As a nation, either we can curtail the irrational runaway spending through a series of tough choices today, or we can allow our poor choices of today to force the needed economic restraint upon our children and grandchildren as the European nations have.


1. Mitchell, Dan. Don’t Blame Obama for Bush’s FY2009 Deficit. International Liberty. [Online] 11 19, 2009. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

2. Williams, Phillip. How President Bush RUINED Our Nation’s Economy. US Money Talk. [Online] 01 27, 2010. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

3. Kornacki, Steve. Why blaming Bush is a dead end for Democrats. War Room. [Online] 08 03, 2010. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

4. Chait, Jonathan. The Stigmatization Of Bush-Blaming. The New Republic. [Online] 05 23, 2010. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

5. N.A. Budget of the United States Government: Browse Fiscal Year 2009. GPO Access. [Online] N.D. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

6. Gearghty, Jim. Obama, Spending Three Times as Fast as Bush, Blames Bush. national Review Online. [Online] 04 12, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.

7. N.A. Obama Shatters Spending Record for First-Year Presidents. Fox News. [Online] 11 24, 2009. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

8. N.A. Budget of the United States Government: Browse Fiscal Year 2010. GPO Access. [Online] N.D. [Cited: 07 16, 2010.]

9. Desmond, Matthew. Twice As Many Americans Still Blame Bush Over Obama For The Economy. Addicting Info. [Online] 07 14, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

10. Youngman, Sam, Cohn, Alicia. Obama: Public is 'sold' on tax increases in a debt-ceiling deal. The Hill. [Online] 07 15, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

11. Darling, Brian . President Obama Is Against A Balanced Budget. The Foundry. [Online] 07 15, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

12. Mitchell, Dan. New Study from Swedish Economists Allows Us to Quantify the Cost of the Bush-Obama Spending Binge. International Liberty. [Online] 07 14, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

13. Mitchell, Dan. Washington’s Never-Ending Scam of Fake Spending Cuts. International Liberty. [Online] 07 07, 2011. [Cited: 07 15, 2011.]

14. Jackson, David. Obama once opposed lifting debt ceiling. USA Today. [Online] 01 06, 2011. [Cited: 07 16, 2011.]

Copyright Paul Johnson. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

Read more at Suite101: The Reprehensible Dichotomy of the Debt Ceiling Debate | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/the-reprehensible-dichotomy-of-the-debt-ceiling-debate-a380188#ixzz1SWHyxXky


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