Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Jonathan Chait at the New Republic explains why the current deficit and most of the growth in the federal debt over the next 10 years is still attributable primarily to Bush-era policies and the economic recession rather than by Obama’s policies. The combination of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush-era tax cuts (which still have not been rescinded) and the recession diminishing tax receipts are responsible for the overwhelming majority of the debt projected to accumulate over the next 10 years.

More than 2/3 of this year’s deficit is due to those factors, with just under 1/3 the result of stimulus package spending. Next year it will be about 85% the result of Bush-era policies and even less each year after that (counting only current projections, not any new spending that might be passed over those years). Here’s a chart that shows the numbers: