Where We Would be Without the Bush Years

by Ben Cohen

Paul Krugman does a rough (and very conservative) estimation of where the United States would be fiscally if Bush had not been President:

There were two big-ticket Bush policies. One was the tax cuts, which cost around $1.8 trillion

in revenue; add in interest costs, and we’re presumably talking about

more than $2 trillion in debt. The other was the Iraq War, which has cost at least $700 billion, and will cost more before we finally extract ourselves.

Without these gratuitous drains on the budget, it seems fair to

assert that we’d be coming into this economic crisis with a federal

debt around 20 percent of GDP ($2.8 trillion) smaller than we are. And

that, in turn, means that we’d be looking at projected net debt in 2019

of around 50 percent of GDP, not 70.

That type of debt would be large, but ‘not scary’, as Krugman says. But we are now faced with a monumental economic crisis that requires the Federal government to pump trillions of dollars into the economy to rescue it, with an already unsustainable amount of debt accrued by the Bush Administration. That is why the Republicans have absolutely no right to talk about fiscal prudence. They can hammer the President all they want on abortion and gay rights (those are a matter of opinion), but when it comes to the economy their opinions are no longer relevant.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.