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Can We Dispense With This “Inherited Deficit” Nonsense Once and For All?

Morgen on May 27, 2009 at 2:08 pm

With the news coming out today that U.S. tax receipts for the month of April dropped by 34% compared to last year, we will inevitably be hearing about revised deficit predictions for FY2009 in the coming weeks and months. (The Congressional Budget Office is currently predicting a staggering deficit of $1.7 trillion for the year, without taking into account the full magnitude of this drop.) Just as inevitably, President Obama and/or Budget Director Peter Orszag will once again be sure to remind everyone that they “inherited” this budget mess, and that their budget plan, of course, will cut the budget in half within 4 years.

Many others have pointed out that it’s completely disingenuous for President Obama to claim that he “inherited” this budget, when he in fact he voted for it as a member of the Senate last year. Not only that, a significant portion of the budget for FY2009 wasn’t finalized until earlier this year. That would be the “last year’s business” Omnibus bill that Obama signed into law back in March.

In the course of perusing the internet, I stumbled across something I haven’t seen anywhere else that will hopefully put to rest this “inherited budget” mantra once and for all. (I won’t hold my breath). Take a look at the statement released by then Senator Obama back in March 2008 after the passage of the FY2009 budget in the Senate:

“In Illinois and throughout the country, Americans share common hopes and common struggles. They are worried about keeping their jobs and being able to pay record gas prices and stay ahead of their mortgages and credit card bills and still have enough left over to make ends meet. They want to know that they’ll have health care when they get sick – not just for themselves, but for their children and elderly parents. They want to know that a quality education and a college degree are within reach for all Americans. They want to retire with security and dignity. And they want to know that our government is doing everything it can to keep our nation safe and secure.

The budget passed by the Senate tonight makes significant progress in getting our nation’s priorities back on track. After years of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, this year’s budget helps restore fiscal responsibility in Washington, and provides tax relief for the middle class and low-income families who need help most. It includes an expansion in the Child Tax Credit that I have fought for and makes marriage penalty relief permanent. And it rejects the President’s drastic cuts in important domestic programs.

We need change in this country, and this budget is an important step in helping bring it about. I commend Chairman Conrad for his extraordinary leadership in moving this resolution forward and moving America’s fiscal policies in the right direction.”

There you have it. He sure seemed pretty proud of this “mess” when it all started last year. Have I mentioned how glad I am that we are in a New Era of Accountability and Transparency?

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Category: Politics |

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