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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/so-what-caused-us-to-pile-up-16-trillion-dollars-30405149.aspx

Subject:  Re: Facts are stubborn things Date:  11/29/2012  1:03 PM
Author:  TheDope1 Number:  1840976 of 1972505

So what caused us to pile up 16 trillion dollars in debt? Reaganomics, Bush tax cuts, and two unfunded wars.


No.

Not. Even. Close.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/revisi...
Obama, in a speech on budget policy last month, offered this summary of how he thought the nation lost its way fiscally during the presidency of George W. Bush. Last week, we took a look at new data about the period of 2001-2011, and concluded that the biggest contributor to the disappearance of vast estimated surpluses was additional spending ($4.3 trillion), followed by incorrect revenue estimates ($3.3 trillion) by the Congressional Budget Office.

Tax cuts are estimated to have totaled $2.8 trillion, which we guess would count as “trillions,” as the president put it. Strictly speaking, the two big tax cuts during the Bush years are estimated to total about $1.5 trillion, But many continued into the early years of the Obama presidency, and in December he cut a deal with Republicans to extend them even more, which brings us to $2.8 trillion.


So let's set to rest the rather silly notion that "It's all the tax cuts' fault". That's crap. The BTCs "Cost" $1.5T/8 = just short of $200 billion a year.

Now for the wars. Same link:
(In case you are wondering, the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was $1.26 trillion through 2011 and the Medicare prescription drug program totaled $272 billion.)

So for those keeping score we have:

War cost: $1.26T/8 = $157 billion/year <--- We're spending much less than this now.

"Cost" of tax cuts: $187 billion/year <--- We're still "paying" for this now. Quotes used deliberately.

Medicare Part D: $34 billion/year <-- We're still "paying" for this now. I'll also note that the democrats wanted to SPEND MORE.

What does this add up to? $157 + $187 + $34 = $378 billion a year.

No one with a straight face can look at Obama's deficits - which are more than 3x this number - and point to any of these effects. It's ridiculous.

Not only are facts stubborn things, but so are tendencies to butcher macroeconomic arguments.
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