Following up on my earlier post about the Republicans not worrying about the deficit if it helps the rich, I decided to post this little graph. It really puts a perspective on the current budget deficit and who is ultimatley responsible for it.
Fareed Zakaria, writing an article entitled “Raise My Taxes, Mr. President!” in Newsweek, sums it up perfectly:
The Bush tax cuts remain the single largest cause of America’s structural deficit—that is, the deficit not caused by the collapse in tax revenues when the economy goes into recession. The Bush administration inherited budget surpluses from the Clinton administration. What turned these into deficits, even before the recession? There were three fundamental new costs—the tax cuts, the prescription-drug bill, and post-9/11 security spending (including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars). Of these the tax cuts were by far the largest, adding up to $2.3 trillion over 10 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly half the cost of all legislation enacted from 2001 to 2007 can be attributed to the tax cuts.
Those cuts are set to expire this year. The Republicans say they want to keep them all, even for those making more than $250,000 a year (less than 3 percent of Americans). They say that higher taxes will hurt the recovery. But for months now they have been arguing that the chief threat to the economy is our gargantuan debt and deficit. That’s what’s scaring consumers, creditors, and businesses. Given a chance to address those fears by getting serious about deficit reduction, though, they run away. Look by contrast at British Prime Minister David Cameron, a genuine fiscal conservative. To deal with his country’s deficit, which in structural terms is not so different from America’s, he concluded that he would have to raise taxes as well as cut spending.
It was conservative principals and ideologies that made the deficit what it is today. The Republicans bitch about health care reform, yet that is going to actually reduce the deficit in the long run, while the things they want to see extended will do nothing but increase it.
Conservative fiscal policy is nothing but a recipe for disaster for our nation. That’s why we must make sure it never comes to fruition. This is about our children and grandchildren, and the Republicans are the ones leaving them stuck with the bill.