Let's talk about facts this election - Part II - The Federal Budget Deficit

Again here's a simple graph that says it all.


And they say that Democrats are fiscally irresponsible.

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Again here's a simple graph that says it all. And they say that Democrats are fiscally irresponsible.
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While I'd agree that the last few years of the Republican-controlled congress saw them spending like drunken sailors, labeling the x-axis with presidents isn't necessarily the most fair metric. It's congress that sets the budget. Reagan and GHWB had mostly Democratic congresses, Clinton had a Republican one.

There's no excuse for the Republicans between about 2000-2006 though.

I am but simple physicist.

As far as I know, there is no correlation between who controls congress and the budget deficit. Therefore, theories which lay the blame on congress are pointless.

Reagan and GHWB had mostly Democratic congresses

Unfortunately, during those years, a solid 10-15% of the congressional Democrats (e.g. John Kerry) voted with Reagan and GHWB on almost every budget issue. In particular, they supported Reagan's fiscally irresponsible tax plans, and Reagan's grotesque expansion of ICBMs and other useless military delusions. (Obviously that can't excuse the Democrats. Likewise, at least some Republicans deserve to share with Clinton the credit for the surplus achieved during Clinton's term), while Reagan and GHWB pushed extravagant spending policies, particularly through agressive military policy. Clinton pushed for restraint. A great deal of the Clinton-era surplus is due to Clinton pursuit of huge military cutbacks. Over the last 27 years, congresses has largely followed the lead of the president on budget issues. Historically speaking, about 19 of those 27 years were rather peculiar in that a congress with an opposing party majority largely followed the lead of the president on budget issues. The President, as commander in chief, with the aid of the war powers act, executive decisions, and so forth, has a huge influence on military expenditures - and that played a big role in the budgets of the last 27 years.

Congress always overspends - each representative pork barelling for their districts. The President's inclination is to underspand, as he is identified with the IRS.

But when the elections are rigged, all that goes out the window. The money goes straight from the people to the military, from there to the military contractors, and thence to the trouser pockets of congresspersons via "campaign contributions". That graph is not a graph of spending so much as a graph of corruption - a measure of just how much bribery igoing on.

By Paul Murray (not verified) on 31 Aug 2008 #permalink

2 years into the Chosen One's presidency, any new comments from you?