Neither the President nor his supporters can complain enough about the economic and fiscal problems the Democrats inherited from the previous Republican Administration. Oftentimes, when I bring up the incumbent Administration’s spending spree these past ten months and how it has caused the federal deficit to explode, our critics (in the comments section) remind me that Obama is still operating on Bush’s budget.*
Not any more.
The federal fiscal year begins on October 1. With economic data from October 2009, the first full month of a fiscal year where the budget was set by a Democratic President and Congress since the early days of the Clinton era, just being released, we now have a measure of just how the Democrats are doing. And the picture sure ain’t pretty. We learned yesterday that the government posted 1 $176.36 billion deficit for October. Not all that long ago, this was a respectable deficit for a year:
The federal government kicked off fiscal year 2010 by posting its widest-ever October budget deficit, the Treasury Department said Thursday. . . .
The $176.36 billion gap is more than $20 billion wider than the shortfall recorded in October 2008, driven up by lower tax receipts, stimulus-related revenue reductions and consistently high government outlays. . . .
At the equivalent of 9.9% of gross domestic product, the figure is the widest U.S. deficit as a share of GDP since 1945.
Consistently high government outlays? I thought the guy who won the White House did so by promising a “net spending cut”?
*Of course, Bush’s last two budget had to first be passed by Democratic Congresses, so their party shares as much of the blame as does his for the prior fiscal situation.
FROM THE COMMENTS: One of the great things about blogging is that when you’re in haste to complete a post and leave out a fact which could strengthen your point, one of your readers supplies it for you. Thanks to ILoveCapitalism for reminding us that the situation for Democrats was even worse than I described:
In 2008, they deliberately broke tradition and held up the FY 2009 budget, so that Obama could add to it and seal it come January. So Obama has really owned his first-year budget, in a special way that previous Administrations haven’t.
UPDATE: Ed Morrissey:
What better way to kick off Barack Obama’s first full budget year as President than with a deficit that exceeded the White House’s own projections as well as analysts’ expectations?