One must engage in ample amounts of self delusion to defend Republican performance on budget issue in the last few years, but Daniel Foster at NRO’s Corner is up to the task:
Obama is right. Monthly deficits under the recent Democratic Congresses don’t exceed annual deficits under those Republican Congresses. But they come pretty darn close.
Hensarling’s comments likely emerged from a release issued by the Republican Study Committee just yesterday, showing that the total accumulated deficit from Republican-controlled budgets from FY 1996-FY 2007 (and factoring in the substantial surpluses run from 1998-2001) stands at just under $1.246 trillion. The deficit run by Democratic-controlled Congresses in just three years — starting with FY2008 and including the latest CBO projections for FY 2010 — is already $3.222 trillion.(emphasis added)
That means that over twelve years of Republican rule, there was an average annual budget deficit of about $104 billion. Compare that with an average annual deficit since 2008 of $1.074 trillion — or about $90 billion per month.
This would be a powerful argument if the budget was the responsibility of the congress alone, but the president also has a say. Foster parenthetically notes that the country ran surpluses for a time when President Clinton acted as a restraint on Republican budget-busting proclivities. After Bush assumed office in 2001, the restraining factor was gone and Republicans cut taxes while putting two wars and a big new spending program (Medicare part D) on their grandchildren’s credit card.
Of course, no absurd defense of the Republican party’s disastrous rule would be complete without the uncritical link from reliable rightwing booster, Glenn Reynolds.