Saturday, April 08, 2006

Response to 'Liberal and Loving It' - Ranking the American Presidents

Re(1): 'G.W. Bush - Our Third Worst President', Liberal and Loving It, Author

I ran across this blog entry from a completely unrelated post in the Indepundit. I cannot figure out why there was a trackback to Scott's site from his/her libby site, but I just had to find out. Whoopie, check this out:

G.W. Bush is clearly third. I cannot think of another president (other than the two above) that has done anywhere near as much damage to this country. And unlike the first two, his ineptitude has damage many other countries - although that may be more a function of the global economy. (And Smoot-Hawley under Hoover did help worsen the global depression). Taking away the political differences I have with Bush and concentrating just on his competence we have:

  • He has trashed the U.S. economy. The economy has not grown because of his economic program, but in spite of it. Clinton left him the biggest surplus in history and he has turned it into a series of ever larger record deficits. He has made fixed entitlements worse with his drug plan while failing to address the biggest problems with existing entitlements (medicare & medicaid) and with social security had a proposal that would have put people more at risk while increasing cost. It's a sad day when the Democrats are the party of fiscal sanity.
Maybe he/she never thought we were at war, maybe he/she thinks we already won the war, or maybe he/she thinks the Clinton era DOD budget was just fine. Similarly, maybe he/she thinks that Social Security is running just fine and that there have to be no adjustements. Maybe he/she is happy that 12.5% of his/her salary (as viewed from his/her employers balance sheet) is earning 4% - 5% rather than the average of 10% if one invests in the S&P. Maybe he/she doesn't realize that if Bush's plan (or preferable the CATO plan) had taken effect his/her 'retirement' benefits would not fall under the control of a Senator Kennedy - or in her case Senator Santorum, whom I'm certain he/she deplores.

My response:

Some Economic Statistics from the US Treasury:

FY2001 (President Clinton’s last budget, in billions)
GDP: 10,128
Individual Income Tax: 994
Corporate Income Tax: 151
Total Revenues: 1,990
DOD Expenditures: 290
Social Security Expenditures: 489
Deficit: +127 (surplus)

FY2003 (Last Pre-Bush tax cut budget, in billions)
GDP: 10,971
Individual Income Tax: 793
Corporate Income Tax: 131
Total Revenues: 1,782
DOD Expenditures: 388
Social Security Expenditures: 524
Deficit: -374 (deficit)

FY2005 (Last Audited budget, in billions)
GDP: 12,479
Individual Income Tax: 927
Corporate Income Tax: 278
Total Revenues: 2,154
DOD Expenditures: 474
Social Security Expenditures: 578
Deficit: -318 (deficit)

FY2006 estimate (current budget, in billions)
GDP: 13,100
Individual Income Tax: 1,027
Corporate Income Tax: 352
Total Revenues: 2,375
DOD Expenditures: 512
Social Security Expenditures: 603
Deficit: -280(deficit)

If the DOD and Social Security expenditures had increased at the rate of inflation, then they would have grown from 779 Billion to 872 Billion. Because of the war the DOD expenditures grew from 290 Billion to 512 Billion. Because Social Security benefits are tied to wage increase rather than inflation they grew from 489 Billion to 602 Billion. Together, those expenditures grew from 779 Billion to 1,115 Billion. That is a difference of 243 Billion.

Thus, if there was no war and if Social Security was funded properly, we would be looking at a deficit of about 35 – 40 Billion. Or, rounding error in an economy of 13,100 Billion and tax revenues of 2,375 Billion.

Thus, are you, as a ‘Liberal and Loving It’, willing to bring the budget under control by the same means available to President Clinton (and a tactic President Clinton did use). Namely, are you willing to tax more Social Security income and cut our nations Defense budget in half?

End Reponse

Final Question: What shall our Liberal say when the budget is balanced by FY2009?


Anonymous said...

Uh - even President Bush is not claiming that the budget will be balanced by 2009.

James E. Martin said...

Comsidering the FY2006 projection for the deficit is $423 billion, your numbers are trash.