Tommy B asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 9 years ago

Are Republicans the real deficit builders?

Let's look at the deficit history since Clinton was elected with his party in control of both houses of Congress:

1992 290.4 Billion Dollar Deficit - Record

1993 255.1 Billion Dollar Deficit

1994 203.2 Billion Dollar Deficit

(GOP takes control of both houses, watch the deficit decrease)

1995 164 Billion Dollar Deficit

1996 107.5 Billion Dollar Deficit

1997 22 Billion Dollar Deficit

1998 69.2 Billion Dollar Surplus

1999 125.6 Billion Dollar Surplus

2000 236.4 Billion Dollar Surplus

(Bush elected with both houses still in GOP control)

2001 127.3 Billion Dollar Surplus

2002 157.8 Billion Dollar Deficit

(Dems take Senate, post 9-11 bills start piling up)

2003 374 Billion Dollar Deficit - Record

2004 413 Billion Dollar Deficit - Record

(GOP back in control of both houses; deficits going down again)

2005 319 Billion Dollar Deficit

2006 248 Billion Dollar Deficit

(Dems take both houses and retain them through FY 2010)

2007 162 Billion Dollar Deficit

2008 455 Billion Dollar Deficit - Record

(Obama's first year; both houses have larger Democrat majorities)

2009 1400 Billion Dollar Deficit <<== WTF? Record x 3!!!!!!!

2010 1350 Billion Dollar Deficit

... why do Republicans get blamed for such deficits, when the trend clearly illustrates the reverse is true?

Republicans are always lowering deficits, except when there is a war on -- and even then, they keep budgets at lower % of GDP than their Democrat predecessors when they had wars on their watch.


Edit: @ ...Flavor Aide: The Treasury figures I cite clearly refute that, unless you mean they are equally worthless in areas not related to deficit spending, which is debatable, but not relevant to my question.

Update 2:

Edit: A poster with a flourescent exclamation avatar named, "." posted this:

"Both houses of Congress had a Republican majority for both of Clinton's terms. Your numbers stink too. Obama was handed a $1.3T budget deficit when he became president."

How old are you? Most of us remember quite well that Clinton lost both houses to the GOP in the Nov. 1994 elections, a first in 4 decades. Look it up.

Obama's own party re-took control in 2007 and increased those majorities in 2009, the same year he took office. Budgeting is done annually, not bi-annually, so the Republicans can't take the heat for the budget for that year, which they loudy opposed. (Again, no GOP control of EITHER house since 2006)

Update 3:

Edit: @ Chupate -- look how those "Good times" coincide with GOP control of both houses: 1995-2000 was the largest economic boom in US history. 2002-2006 (Bush plus 1-2 houses in GOP control) were boom times with record high DOWs and record low unemployment.

See above for who stuck who with a bad economy...

Update 4:

@ Stereotype...

Again, the numbers I cite refute the idea of equal responsibility -- pretty roundly.

Update 5:

@ tribeca_belle -- Clinton neither raised taxes nor cut spending. He happily signed HIS party's tax-hike bill (You correctly remember the GOP hating that) then in 1995 he signed a budget that 2 GOP houses of Congress put on his desk which was under half the deficits he has signed when the Dems were still in power (Republicans only hated him for taking credit for THEIR campaign pledge to balance the budget -- not his!)

Update 6:

You call my presentation of facts dishonest? Budgets are ANNUAL. There is no denying the disparity between GOP budgets and Democrat budgets -- you are in denial, along with every other 18-30 year-old kool-aid drinker who was told that the recession is somehow Bush's fault, even though Treasury statistics plainly state otherwise!

Update 7:

@Ffakr -- nice, exhaustive response, but you fail to accept that a President signs the budget placed on his desk after the bicameral process, either that or he does not sign it. A popular President may sometimes get his agenda advanced (to a slight degree) over an opposition Congress, as only Reagan could do.

Now, I don't support ALL of the extras that Bush and his houses approved, when they had control, but history plainly shows a Democrat obsession with deficit spending, when compared with the GOP.

In the last 11 years of GOP control of both houses the deficits total 457.8 Billion

In just 3 years of Democrat control of both houses the total is 3.2 Trillion

Think about it -- that's around 7 times more in just a THIRD of the time! 'Nuff Said!

9 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Liberals often fall prey to believing in the cult of the presidency. They tend to only look at who's president when thinking about who is in charge. They often completely forget who holds / held control of congress. One party in the White house does not make them in control of the government.

  • 9 years ago

    You left out the part where Clinton raised taxes in 1993 without a single Republican vote. He raised taxes and cut spending. The Republicans blasted him for both.

    The President is required by law to present a comprehensive federal budget to Congress each year. That is why the President is held so responsible for the budget deficits. Congress doesn't have to accept any of it but the President has veto power.

    If you recall, Clinton and the Republicans in Congress has a showdown over the budget. The government shut down. Clinton won the standoff.

    You are trying desperately to credit Republicans when it is clear that Republicans are fiscally irresponsible. Bush turned Clinton's budget surpluses into record-setting deficits with his tax cuts, unnecessary war and otherwise out-of-control spending.

    Bush vetoed nothing that the Republicans presented and the country borrowed its way into huge deficits. This is after the CBO had estimated that the budget surpluses would pay off the national debt by 2011.

    Then the bad Republican policies crashed the economy. President Obama entered office in the midst of the Great Recession -- the worst recession this country has experienced since the Great Depression.

    Your presentation is dishonest.

    Edit: Oh, and as previously pointed out, the fiscal year 2009 budget was a Bush budget which included TARP. President Obama added to it but the bulk of the budget deficit is attributable to Bush.

  • They both are. The situation will never change unless the voters keep punishing politicians. We are at a point where the governments are giving so much to just about anyone who asks that it's unsustainable. How about banning the practice of subsidizing? Verizon and Geico just cashed checks for hundreds of millions from the State of NY to set up here. It's about $2 million per job for Verizon and guess which party they gave to? It's beyond corruption and has to end! Geico is my competitor and owned mostly by Warren Buffet. Mr. Liberal Republican who is all for higher taxes. Which is it? More corporate welfare for the rich?

    Republicans controlled Congress under Clinton, so it looks like you supported their budgets.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    First of all, there are three metrics to look at.

    1) Total Deficit dollars

    2) Deficit as a percentage of GDP

    3) Increase in Deficit as a percentage of National Debt

    You only addressed deficit dollars.

    In regard to 1..

    You should note that budgets are created in the executive branch, then 'finessed' in Congress.. but approved by the President. Your reliance on control of Congress is misleading in that it shifts the blame from the Administration to Congress.

    Also, budgets are ratified the previous year. The 2009 1.4 Trillion dollar deficit was the result of George Bush's 2008 budget. Obama inherited the 1.4 Trillion dollar budget deficit the day he took office. The 2001 Surplus was the result of Clinton's budget created and ratified in 2000.

    In regard to 2..

    As a percentage of increase, Reagan did very well with an increase of ~79%. This blunts the effects of his tripling the debt. Then, in decending order.. Clinton, W, Carter, HW. Clinton and W were close, HW was by far the worst.. With almost half of the others. Since these were by percentage (actual years in office) I didn't have to adjust for single vs. double terms.

    In regard to 3..

    The Debt to GDP ration increased during Republican Presidents and decreased during Democratic Presidencies up until Obama.

    The increases for Reagan, HW and W are significant. They go off the chart during the transition from W to Obama but were fairly stable during Obama's actual time in office (the 2009 to 2010 increase).

    It's also important to factor in the reality that the US economy is cyclical.

    Carter came into office with an economy that was already in decline and he presided through a recession. Yet, he actually decreased the Deficit to GDP ratio while GDP was shrinking (the definition of a recession is at at least two consecutive quarters of GDP decline). Reagan was in an up-cycle as was Clinton. The economy briefly tanked after 9/11 and then REALLY tanked at the end of Bush's term.. and Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the great depression.

    In this light.. Carter did very well. Reagan did very poorly. Clinton produced the only surplus but he rode a strong economy. Both Bushes did poorly.. and Obama is doing well based on GDP growth and the change in Deficit to GDP (deficits didn't grow much DURING his term while GDP went up.

    So yes, Democrats are better at spending than Republicans overall.

    My sources are below.


    I forgot to mention another important factor.. The increase in total debt as a percentage. Reagan was the worst modern president in this regard. W was also terrible.

    And.. I also forgot to mention that large increases in Debt coincide with decreases in the tax rates (a Republican position) (Reagan actually increased taxes in his 2nd term after it was clear his massive tax cuts were disastrous) while Clinton produced a surplus while raising taxes. Bush ran massive deficits while cutting taxes.

    And one last point.. W. Bush actually kept much of the war costs OFF the budget by relying heavily on supplemental funding.. sometimes 100+ billion at a time. His numbers are better reflected by increase in National Debt.. not reported budgetary Deficit.

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  • 9 years ago

    I will admit that the GOP's record on cutting spending is lacking. That's why we had this battle recently within the party with the establishment folks and the Tea Party folks. Us Tea Party folks want the GOP to start cutting spending like they talked about.

    That 2009 deficit you mentioned, that's equally Bush's and Obama's fault, as it crossed both of their terms. Bush pushed for TARP, and Obama passed the Recovery Act.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    "Clinton was elected with his party in control of both houses of Congress"??? Both houses of Congress had a Republican majority for both of Clinton's terms. Your numbers stink too. Obama was handed a $1.3T budget deficit when he became president.

  • 9 years ago

    You are comparing good economic times with really bad economic times left by republicans...

  • 9 years ago

    Mia Copa is a little less.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Republicrats and Demopublicans, all equally worthless.

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