One of the most hurtful lies that Republicans hurl at President Obama is the false claim that he is responsible for the ballooning of our nation’s national debt. It is especially grating to know that couldn’t be further from the truth, since President Obama was forced to inherit George W. Bush’s colossal deficit and has made incredible strides to get it back to manageable levels. Since Obama took the presidency, he has cut our national deficit in half– and it is possible that within the next two years, he could get rid of it entirely.
Bush, the so called “fiscal conservative,” put two enormously costly and wasteful foreign wars on proverbial credit cards while the profits went to private companies like Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and slashing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, depriving our economy of millions in needed revenue. Bush managed to turn the Clinton surplus into a staggering $1.4 trillion deficit by the time Obama came into office in 2009- some 9.2% of our nation’s GDP. By September 2014, through a brutal recovery period, Obama had already cut the deficit in half:
Projections for this upcoming year have already been revised to cut a further $60 billion than what was projected in March, putting our deficit at $426 billion- a far cry from the $1.4 trillion he started with. The Congressional Budget Office reported that “this year’s deficit will be noticeably smaller than what the agency projected in March, and fiscal year 2015 will mark the sixth consecutive year in which the deficit has declined as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) since it peaked in 2009.”
At this rate, by being able to set the budget for the first year of the next president, President Obama is in a strong position to follow in the footsteps of the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and completely eliminate the federal deficit, cementing a new tradition of Democrats upholding the values of fiscal responsibility that the Republicans now pretend to uphold. Many things will need to go right for him; a big test is quickly approaching as the rebellious “Freedom” caucus of legislative terrorists, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), plan to force a shutdown standoff over Planned Parenthood funding. But President Obama has proven very able in the past at balancing the need to spend while reducing the government, and we have no doubt that he will be able to make this hope a reality.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.