President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have been criticized harshly for recent fiscal proposals to boost the short-term economy and military spending. They were accused of inflating government spending and blowing through budget caps.
In early February, congressional leaders struck a deal to add $300 billion in federal debt to boost military and domestic spending. The president’s tax cut proposal would add more than $1 trillion of debt to the national budget over the next 10 years. This will leave the 2019 budget with a deficit of nearly $1 trillion.
As can be expected, liberals are praising former President Barack Obama as a fiscal hero. They are saying that he helped lower the national deficit and clean up the budget. The problem with this stance is that it’s entirely untrue.
According to liberal fact-checking group Politifact, on the day of President Obama’s inauguration, the debt was $10.6 trillion. It rose to almost $20 trillion during the former president’s term. Politifact also reported that the debt as a percentage of the gross national product was highest under Obama in comparison to the previous five presidents before him.
In 2010, while Obama was in office, the debt ratio was 22 percent. The next-highest percentage ratio was 14.9, which occurred while Ronald Reagan was in office. The Washington Post reported that the federal budget increased every year from 2009 to 2012 under Obama. Every single year, former president Obama proposed more in spending than Congress approved. Because of these facts, we can conclude that former president Obama had the worst fiscal record of any of the modern presidents before him. Conservative site Townhall points out that no one would consider this to be successful fiscal management. As an example, they likened it to losing weight — if you weigh 200 lbs and then ballooned to 400 lbs after dieting, your diet would not be considered a success.
Much of the fiscal problems during Obama’s two terms in office result from the $800 billion fiscal stimulus bill. This bill did not create even one single new job. The past administration even admitted this. The number of jobs was lower than what they would have been if the fiscal stimulus bill had not even been passed. It was basically a waste of $800 billion.
So, when was the last time that the budget was balanced? The only time that the budget was balanced in the last fifty years was in the late 1990s. During this time, Democrat Bill Clinton was president, however, Republicans had control of Congress. With conservatives keeping Clinton in check, the United States had budget surpluses four years in a row from 1998 to 2001. The economy was booming during this time, as well.
When Trump entered the office, many people predicted that we would be headed straight into a recession. The Independent warned that “Trump will wreck the economy” and a 24/7 Wall St. headline screamed, “Welcome to the Trump Recession.” In November 2016, right after Trump’s victory, Money reported that leading economists were warning the United States to prepare for “a global recession, with no end in sight.”
New York Times columnist and Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman predicted that the United States might suffer an unprecedented economic fallout once Trump took office. The famed economist also said that the Trump administration would be too ignorant of economic policy to make the budget work. Nordea Chief economist Helge Peterson also predicted a recession under President Trump. Over a year later, this still has not happened. When Trump entered office, he had been left with an economy that was crawling at just over 1.6 percent. In spite of coming into this mess, Trump and the current administration have helped the economy rally to the current state that it is in today.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta projects a growth of 3.2 percent for the first quarter of this year. Last year, fiscal growth measured an average of 3 percent. Since Obama left office, the economy has grown at nearly twice the percentage. The rate of unemployment claims has fallen to its lowest level in almost a half of a century. Additionally, Americans ended 2017 with a level of consumer confidence that hasn’t been seen in 17 years — back when Bill Clinton was president.
~ Liberty Planet