The September 7 edition of Time magazine features a brief article up front on “A Brief History of the U.S. Deficit.” Writer Claire Suddath claims that the quadrupling of the deficit under Obama is somehow a good news/bad news story:
But the “brief history” really goes off the tracks when Suddath recycles every liberal Time magazine myth about fiscal policy in the last two decades of the 20th century:
In the Reagan-Bush years, liberal reporters constantly suggested a partisan spin over fiscal fact: they claimed deficits were caused solely by Republican tax cuts and defense hikes – and completely omitted out the large domestic-spending increases coming from the Democratic spenders in the House majority. When the budget goes into balance in the Clinton years, Time makes no mention of the Republican balanced-budget pushers in the House majority. Fiscal policy is caused by presidents alone in their history book.
The online version of the Suddath article sounds a little less partisan — the print version is different — but it still strains the facts:
But when Suddath claims deficits averaged $206 billion from 1983 to 1992, she neglects to mention that Reagan’s last three budgets had lower deficit numbers ($149.8 billion in fiscal 1987, $155.2 in fiscal 1988, and $152.5 in fiscal 1989) than after the supposedly deficit-cutting Bush budget deal of 1990 (deficits went up to $269.5 in fiscal 1991, and $290.2 in fiscal 1992.) Federal outlays went up faster than tax revenues.
To put all that in perspective, Reagan’s last three annual budgets had lower deficits than some of the monthly deficits in fiscal 2009.
Posted on September 4, 2009 by pnaction