I looked at actual numbers this week, to see if what I believed squared with the numbers.
What I believed: That George Bush spend a LOT of money. Wars (justified, I thought for the most part) and also ridiculous "compassionate" uses of my money, like a freakishly complicated Prescription Drug program for seniors, the now-notorious No Child Left Behind, even steel tariffs. And TARP. Lord, don't get me started on TARP. But I also believed that Barack Obama spent even more. Mind-blowing amounts on things like Cash for Clunkers, first-time homeowner support, and my very own car company.
I found this:
See the line with the dots? That is debt limit as a percent of GDP. Even though GDP was growing over those years, the debt limit was pretty much a stable percent of GDP. It bumps up in 2008. That was TARP.
But what happens in 2009 and 2010? Spending blows up. There is no end in sight to the spending.
Over and over I heard how this debt limit problem is another Bush issue. But it simply isn't. We went from about $5 trillion in 2000 to about $10 trillion in 2008. That is all Bush. But we now stand at $14.6 trillion, an increase of $4.6 trillion in only 30 months under Obama.
And now, as our "professional political class" negotiates a new debt limit, our President can only propose tax increases. They have not offered one spending cut. Not one. Do you see that? Nothing. I have scoured the news wires and can only find references to tax increases and loophole closures. In fact, there are only new programs just waiting to be implemented. Just this week Kathleen Sebelius offered the new guidelines for insurance exchanges. This proposal will involve the creation of at least fifty new regulatory agencies. This is only one depressing example.
But it is Saturday night, I've spent all day at the lacrosse fields and it's time to rest and be ready for a full day of it tomorrow. Sleep well, and let's all take a Sabbath rest from the news tomorrow.
Edited to add: Of course Victor Davis Hanson says it all better today here.