Yet Another Analysis Demonstrating the Fraud of Fiscal Conservatism

Seriously, any idiot who pretends that the Republicans or the Ryan plan are “serious” or fiscally conservative after reading this should just stop commenting about politics:

The biggest culprit, by far, has been an erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts. Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt. Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.

Big-ticket spending initiated by the Bush administration accounts for 12 percent of the shift. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have added $1.3 trillion in new borrowing. A new prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients contributed another $272 billion. The Troubled Assets Relief Program bank bailout, which infuriated voters and led to the defeat of several legislators in 2010, added just $16 billion — and TARP may eventually cost nothing as financial institutions repay the Treasury.

Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus, a favorite target of Republicans who blame Democrats for the mounting debt, has added $719 billion — 6 percent of the total shift, according to the new analysis of CBO data by the nonprofit Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative. All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt, according to a separate Washington Post analysis of CBO data over the past decade. Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate.

As Congress prepares this week to launch a high-stakes battle over whether to raise the legal limit on borrowing, the analyses offer a clearer view of the drivers of the debt — and of the difficulty of re-balancing the budget without new tax revenue.

TL;DR version: Tax cuts for Jesus while fighting multiple wars and giving away trillions in drugs is a recipe for financial disaster. HOOCOODANODE.

23 replies
  1. 1
    Gozer says:

    Fraug? Me thinks yer still hungover Senor Cole.

  2. 2
    Kevin says:

    What’s a Fraug? :-)

  3. 3
    licensed to kill time says:

    If ya put the fraug of fiscal conservatism in a pot of water and slowly heat it up…

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    You all must be new to this site if a typo is a big deal, because believe me, they happen ALL THE TIME.

  5. 5
    BGinCHI says:

    I don’t care how many times the pundits at the WaPo and elsewhere kiss this fraug, it’s still not gonna turn into a prince.

  6. 6
    licensed to kill time says:

    @John Cole:

    Au contraire, Mr. Cole, it is just that they are so fun to jump on and make the snark in lieu of substantial commentary, because believe me, THAT happens all the time, too! ;)

  7. 7
    Peter J says:

    Facts have a liberal bias.

  8. 8
    lacp says:

    Slightly OT, but how ’bout a little something for our libertarian friends from Yves Smith?

  9. 9
    jacy says:

    Just in case you haven’t had your fill of stupid yet today, let Michele Bachmann tell you how taxes are like the Holocaust.

    No, really.

  10. 10
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    The real problem is that taxes haven’t been cut enough. How are corporations like GE supposed to thrive and grow the economy when their tax liability is all of -$3.2 billion? I mean, what business can survive with a measly gift of $3.2 billion from the taxpayers? It’s outrageous!

  11. 11
    Cliff in NH says:

    I’m glad I’m (very) Short this week.

  12. 12
    kdaug says:

    Read this this morning. Amazing how eventually the things some of us have been saying for years (and been ignored/denied) eventually sink through.

    The answer is simple. The political will isn’t.

  13. 13
    BGinCHI says:

    @jacy: That Forum she spoke at should have been called “Weep the People,” given the stupidity in evidence.

    What a fucking idiot that woman is.

  14. 14

    Over the past decades people have managed to forget that the tax code isn’t just about producing revenue for the government; it is also about serving economic and social goals. A high top marginal rate is about more than filling the coffers, it is also a method of pushing money downstream – there is little point in grabbing the last millions when you get so little of it in the end run. Things like the housing mortgage intrest deduction do have a social purpose – despite stupid misapplication of it.

    The argument has devolved into “fairness” and “job creators” which in itself is stupid and based on lies. The job creators in this country do NOT make the kind of money we’re talking about. “Fairness” is ludicrous in the face of the economic statistics of the last three decades and assertions that capitalism in itself has spit to do with fairness is… well hell.

    That “fraug” has long been cooked.

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    ….after reading this should just stop commenting about politics

    Too bad we can’t make that ‘should’ a ‘must’ instead.

    @lacp: How many comments before a liberturd pipes up over there with “but taxes are theft!” I say 4.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @lacp: I like how the libertarians say that they wouldn’t have private armies if the gubbmint did its job and beat up strikers for them.

  17. 17
    lacp says:

    @PeakVT: I gather that this post was partly her expression of frustration with the number of liberwurster wankers she gets in comments.

  18. 18
    pj says:

    That article needs a correction. It is discussing debt, right? The 262 billion dollar figure for Medicare Part D is per year. The current total unfunded liability for Medicare Part D is 7.2 trillion dollars.

  19. 19


    let Michele Bachmann tell you

    If you have the stomach to read much of the comments to this you’ll find exactly what I referred to, though some of the rightards do manage to note the social aspects … rather negatively…

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jacy: I was going to be snarky. I had a death and taxes joked teed up, but then I thought better of it. What a dumbfuck comment by a dumbfuck.

  21. 21
    jonas says:

    Don’t forget too that the main reason the prescription drug benefit cost so damn much is that the GOP fought like hell to make sure that the government paid the pharmaceutical companies top dollar for their pills and wasn’t allowed to negotiate lower prices.

    It was never about making sure seniors could afford medications; it was about transferring hundreds of billions in taxpayer funds to the drug companies. Democrats need to insist on revisiting this in any budget negotiations.

  22. 22


    Democrats need to insist


  23. 23
    JimC says:

    It really doesn’t require ANOTHER analysis!

    For 20 of the 28 years between 1981 and 2009 supply side economics was tried with some variation of the promise that cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations would empower the economy and create jobs.

    It didn’t work. Not once. At the beginning of this run the deficit was just under $1 Trillion. At the end of this run it stood at well over $11 Trillion.

    At what point do we call this approach “faith-based” economics, since there’s no proof that it has EVER worked?

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