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The Facts About Budget Deficits: How The Presidents Truly Rank

July 16, 2012 by Robert Asahina

James K. Glassman, Forbes During the George W. Bush years (2001-08), federal outlays averaged 19.6% of GDP, a little less than during the Clinton years (1993-2000), at 19.8%, and far below Reagan. Please forgive me. Over and over, I hear misinformation about deficits in prior administrations, and I can’t keep quiet any longer. I have to correct the record. The latest was on “Squawk Box” on Monday morning. Joe Kernan, the host, is interviewing former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, ex-candidate for president and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Kernen cites campaign comments about “bad policies” going back “decades” affecting the high rate of unemployment today. He asks, “What specific policies in the Bush Administration do you think are still being used to explain 8 percent unemployment?” Dean responds, “The biggest ones are the deficits that were run up…. The deficits were enormous." Let’s shed some factual light on the situation by turning to table B-79 of the current Economic Report of the President. Read More


Author

Robert Asahina

Robert Asahina has been a newspaper and magazine editor and writer, a book publishing executive and editor, and a data management consultant. He was editor in chief and deputy publisher of Broadway Books, president and publisher of the adult publishing group of Golden Books, and vice president and senior editor of Simon and Schuster; deputy managing editor of The New York Sun and an editor at The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, George, and The Public Interest; and a consultant at Freddie Mac. He is the author of "Just Americans" and of numerous articles and reviews for The Wall Street Journal, Harper's, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere.

 

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