Stephanopoulos Blames Budget Deficit On Bush

On Monday, President Obama announced that 2011's budget deficit is going to be an all-time high $1.65 trillion.

In an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly later in the day, ABC's George Stephanopoulos predictably blamed the red ink on former President George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Now, it's funny because you, when you were with Clinton, you guys actually balanced the budget back then. It wasn't that long ago, all right? And so the -- the government was actually spending what it took in. How in a period of, what, 13, 14 years did it get so wildly out of control? Was it the war on terror that did it?

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC: Well, I said, well, you're going to disagree with this, I think it was the tax cuts passed in 2001 combined with the war on terror. And that's -- that -- that's what did it. And that's where -- what is going to be a problem for the Republican Party going forward.

Yes, you do need to cut Medicare and -- and get control of Medicare and get control of social security to get control of the debt in the long run. But you also need to do something on the tax side whether it's tax reform or some other kinds of proposal.

O'REILLY: Well, I mean, if they raise taxes, they risk strangling the economy and the reason that taxes were cut by Bush in the first place was to get out of the recession that happened after 9/11 which -- which happened.

But --

(CROSS TALK)

STEPHANOPOULOS: Although he was arguing for those before the -- the recession.

First off, George W. Bush began calling for tax cuts in December 2000 right after the Florida Recount debacle ended as he wisely predicted the economy was going to recede as a result of the bursting of the tech stock bubble.

This turned out to be rather prescient as the recession officially began in March 2001.

As for those tax cuts being responsible for today's deficit, Stephanopoulos like so many of his fellow shills in the media completely ignores the fact that the last budget under Bush and a Republican-controlled Congress in 2007 produced a deficit of only $160 billion. The largest deficit during that period was 2004's $413 billion.

This means that Bush's worst deficit under a Republican-controlled was one quarter the size of 2011's.

A chart posted by Jim Hoft Monday demonstrates this point (h/t The Captain’s Comments):

As NewsBusters reported Monday, the cumulative deficits of $5 trillion created by a Democrat-controlled Congress in those four years was greater than all of the nation's previous 220 budgets combined.

Taking this further, the final Republican budget in 2007 called for spending of $2.7 trillion. The last one authored by Democrats called for $3.8 trillion in outlays in 2011.

Exactly how did Bush tax cuts in the previous decade cause a rise in spending by $1.1 trillion or 41 percent?

Ironically, on the very same day Stephanopoulos was making this pathetic claim, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman asked his readers, "How can voters be so ill informed [sic]?"

As I wrote concerning this question later that day, it's because people like Krugman and Stephanopoulos are the ones doing the informing.

For the time being, I rest my case.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.