Is a myth.
Here’s some information about how we created our long-term debt problem.
This one has the score at Bush $5.07 trillion to Obama $1.44 trillion:
This one puts Bush at $7 trillion and Obama at $1.4 trillion:
The difference, of course, is that Pres. Bush inherited budget surpluses and an economy that drifted into recession in March 2001, whereas Pres. Obama inherited a once-in-a-generation-or-two financial crisis.
In 2001, Republicans professed the need for Keynesian stimulus even though the recession was mild enough that most economists thought monetary policy alone was sufficient. But in 2008-2010, when we actually needed fiscal policy to help us get out of a liquidity trap, we got this:
The bulk of the recent increase in spending has been due to automatic spending, eg, unemployment and food stamps, policies that make sense and precede Obama or Bush:
As we go forward, the Bush policies continue to exacerbate the debt problem:
Everyone in the GOP leadership, like Boehner, Ryan, McConnell, and Cantor, was on board for all of this– Medicare Part D, occupying Iraq, Bush fiscal policies, etc. Republicans don’t care about the deficit. When they believe it to be a useful talking point, they talk about it. When they want to blow up the deficit, they say, like VP Dick Cheney did, that “deficits don’t matter.”
The GOP party line today is that “Bush wasn’t a real conservative.” But when Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett said that Bush and the GOP Congress weren’t real conservatives, in 2005, because of their fiscal unseriousness, he was excommunicated from the Republican Party. This is unsurprising; highbrow conservatives churned out book after book extolling Bush’s genius, and, as Bush left office, he earned a 28 percent approval rating from independents, and 75 percent approval from Republicans.
Bush was the truest conservative of all time. That’s why he added so much to the deficit.