Friday, July 29, 2011

Obama’s and Bush’s effects on the deficit in one graph

Welcome to Tony Island Blog!
Please study the graphic below carefully before reading the analysis that follows:

Before I begin my analysis of this graphic, I'd like to mention that it came from a New York Times editorial. Enough said.

OK, where do I begin? I must say two things about this graphic off the bat:

1) it's absolutely brilliant! It takes a confusing subject (deficit, debt, budgeting) and confuses it even further. It places Vaseline over the lens of the budget debate to "soften the image" and thus make Obama look better.

2) it does show how fiscally irresponsible President Bush was. Liberal Loons run around calling Bush conservative - this graphic should show them he was anything but. Perhaps he was a social conservative, but he didn't seem to be a fiscal conservative.

Now onto some of the gritty details.

At first glance, you can easily fall into the Liberal trap that has been set - namely, that Bush's policies all but created the current increase in the deficit and Obama's policies have only been a drop in the bucket. But that would be wrong. Why do I say that? Well, look at how the graphic is structured. It covers only policy changes spending, not actual or projected spending.

That is why there's no Iraq, Afghanistan wars section on Obama's side of the ledger. He's merely continuing a policy from the previous administration. Never mind that Obama ran on a peace platform AND won a Nobel Peace prize! We're still at war, YET not one cent of the continuing drain on the Treasury (which adds to the deficit) is reflected in the graphic for Obama. Surprisingly, there's a net SAVINGS on defense - where this comes from is any body's guess. I'm assuming it's the President's projected savings from winding down the war efforts some time in 2012. Not sure, as no details are provided for what each segment means, outside the given label itself.

Next we get the Liberal bugaboo on tax cuts. $1.8 trillion of the deficit is attributed to Bush's tax cuts. Had Bush and the Congress (both parties had control during parts of Bush's presidency) CUT $1.8 trillion in spending, there would be no net effect on the deficit from the tax cuts. Liberals don't want to see this. They continually rail against tax cuts as adding to the deficit. They don't if you cut the same amount of spending. Again, let's make it clear that Bush didn't cut spending enough to offset any loss in revenue from his tax cuts, so it's legitimate to include the "Bush" tax cuts here. BUT, here's the rub - even though Obama continued the tax cuts, they don't seem to show up on his side of the ledger. And if they do, they're not called "Obama's tax cuts" or even "Bush's tax cuts continued". I have a suspicion that the Bush Tax Cuts section is both the original tax cut and the extended tax cut that Obama signed into law last fall. But who knows? Also, what's behind the stimulus tax cuts on Obama's side? Is that the payroll tax cut and Social Security tax cut and/or the extended Bush tax cuts? I dunno.

The other obfuscation in this graphic is a really remarkable one. I have to be misinterpreting this graphic somehow because not to be misinterpreting the graphic means that the creator of the graphic really really wanted to make this a truly biased graphic. Look at the date ranges, for each President, covered by this graphic. In Bush's case, the date range is in the past and "fixed"  - you can't put any more fiscal damage on him than you already have. But look at Obama's date range. His covers the future.

Are you trying to tell me or anyone else looking at this graphic that President Obama intends NOT to have any policy changes in the next 6 years that will increase deficit spending?? Are you kidding me? He's not going to propose an infrastructure bank (as he did in his State of the Union)? Or perhaps "green job initiatives"? Nothing that will add to the deficit? He's going to create new spending programs out of whole cloth using ONLY the revenues that are currently coming into the Treasury? Again, I don't think so.

And there you have it - the one element that exposes the complete bias of this graphic. Of course, since Obama hasn't proposed any new policy change spending BEFORE this graphic was created, it doesn't get included in this graphic. And if he proposes something massive tomorrow? Don't bet on the graphic being updated any time soon.

The graphic may be "accurate", but it's so biased to show what it wants to show that it's a useless but highly misleading analysis tool.

Thanks Liberals for trying to spin a better picture for Obama - it's working on your side of the aisle, not ours.

Please leave your thoughts on this graphic. Correct or enahnce my analysis. Leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading Tony Island Blog!

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1 comment:

  1. excellent job on this! I was discussing this on facebook with a liberal frriend and he keeps bringing up the points in the original chart/editorial, and you refuted it succinctly!