One of the popular themes you’ll hear from liberals these days is how the “Bush tax cuts” and the spending on the war in Iraq/Afghanistan have driven us into this recession. Aside from the fact that this is clearly wrong as we’ve pointed out the causation of the recession and the massive national debt were not these but rather other events, some of which were set in motion decades ago.
But a quick reply to your liberal friend should include the following:
1. Really? So which arm of the federal government controls the federal spending? The president? Nope. Congress. We’ve looked at this before. The president proposes a budget as little more than a starting point for Congress. From there, it’s all in Congress’ hands until the very end when the president can veto the final budget bill. So recommend that your friend look at the controlling party in Congress and the federal deficit/debt by year. Here, we’ll help:
2. If the democrats were serious about the debt and deficit, then why hasn’t the democrat-controlled Senate passed a budget since April 29, 2009. Almost THREE YEARS. By law, they should be doing this annually. They have failed repeatedly for almost THREE YEARS and yet, they still have jobs. How many of us can punt on a core part of our job for THREE YEARS and still be employed?
3. If one wants to look at the presidents and wants to tag the tax cuts on Bush, let’s see how the democrats in Congress reacted. In 2003, the bill enacting the tax cuts passed the House 222-203 and the Senate 50-50 with VP Cheney breaking the tie. These were set to expire in 2010.When it came to a vote under a democrat president and a democrat-led Congress, it passed the House 277 to 148 and 81 to 19 in the Senate. Wait a minute, that is a load of democrats on board with extending the tax cuts. In fact, if you look at the 277 number in the House, 139 democrats voted for it and 138 republicans. Maybe the dems should tout that rather than continue the bashing.
4. Finally, if we are to look at the Presidents and maybe we should in the sense that they are the head of the executive branch, then one should keep in mind that President Obama’s FY2012 and FY2013 budgets have received ZERO votes. Not one senator – democrat or republican – were willing to support the president’s proposed budget as a starting place for the federal budget process. Not one. What does that say? Are his budgets that bad? Likely. Is he taking his budget rhetoric serious? Not likely.
So democrats, feel free to try to blame the Bush and the republicans for the tax cuts for the deficits and debt, but be careful, you might be facing some hard pushback.