Budget Deficit Now $1.8 Trillion, Media Blame Bush
(NEWSBUSTERS) The Obama White House revised up 2009’s budget deficit projections to $1.8 trillion Monday, and the press blamed it on George W. Bush.
Without considering how the current budget passed last year with virtually no Republican support, and that all spending associated with this record-breaking deficit was either approved by Senator Obama or signed into law by President Obama, news outlets echoed what Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag ascribed as the culprit in his blog:
The deficits in these years, now projected to be 12.9 percent and 8.5 percent of GDP, respectively, are driven in large part by the economic crisis inherited by this Administration.
The New York Times accepted this assessment without question in its article on the subject Tuesday:
The president’s budget director, Peter R. Orszag, disclosed the deficit revisions Monday in his blog on the budget office’s Web site. He said they were “driven in large part by the economic crisis inherited by this administration.” He cited Treasury estimates that revenue collections would be $30 billion to $50 billion less this year and next compared with February calculations, and higher-than-expected costs for bank bailouts.
Congressional Democrats echoed the reference to the inheritance from President George W. Bush. “It took eight years for the previous administration to dig this hole. It is going to take time to climb our way out,” Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement.
The Associated Press also channeled Orszag’s opinion, as did much of the print media.
Yet, missing in all this Bush Derangement Syndrome was any look at how the current out of control spending in this budget occurred, and who voted for it.
After all, on March 14, 2008, then Sen. Obama voted in favor of the 2009 budget which authorized $3.1 trillion in federal outlays along with a projected $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote that morning was strongly along party lines with only two Republicans saying “Yes.”
When the final conference report was presented to the House on June 5, not one Republican voted for it.
This means the 2009 budget was almost exclusively approved by Democrats, with “Yeas” coming from current President then Sen. Obama, his current Vice President then Sen. Joe Biden, his current Chief of Staff then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and his current Secretary of State then Sen. Hillary Clinton.
How is this something “inherited by this Administration” when Democrats basically ramrodded the original budget through Congress with virtually no Republican approval — save Bush’s signature, of course — and the highest members of the Obama White House — including the president himself — supported it when they were either in the Senate or the House?
Sadly, Obama-loving media care not to address this inconvenient truth.
But that’s just the beginning, for on October 1, 2008, Obama, Biden, and Clinton voted in favor of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program designed to prevent teetering financial institutions from completely destroying the economy. Through March 31, $293.4 billion of these funds were already allocated.
Couldn’t Obama only disavow responsibility for this if he had voted no along with the other 25 Senators disapproving the measure?
And what about the $787 billion stimulus bill that passed in February with just three Republican votes? Wouldn’t Obama only be blameless if he vetoed it and was later overridden?
Of course, he didn’t, and, instead signed it into law on February 17. Nor did he veto the $410 billion of additional spending Congress sent to his desk three weeks later.
Add it all up, and Obama has approved every penny that will be spent in fiscal 2009 either via his votes in the Senate or his signature as President.
As such, if the Administration wants to blame lower tax receipts on a recession it inherited, and media want to echo that, fine.
But as the fiscal 2009 budget deficit will LARGELY be a function of out of control spending Obama and Company have either voted for or approved, it is unconscionable the press allow it to be completely blamed on either the economy or Bush.
—Noel Sheppard is the Associate Editor of NewsBusters.