Rachel Maddow calls the above chart “the best chart ever”. Why? Because she claims it proves the Bush tax cuts were a disaster while the Obama Health Care plan is a real boon to America’s beleaguered financial status. But do the facts bear out her claims? In reality, this is a pathetic claim based upon obvious and serious mistakes in interpreting the CBO numbers.
Here are the actual CBO numbers for the Bush years and the first year of the Obama Administration:
The obvious errors:
1. You should not compare historical data with projected data. Projections are far from factual. As we all know, Government projections are always less than what the outlays end up being. It is patently absurd to claim your guy is better based upon a projection.
Beyond this, it is well documented that the numbers provided by the Obama Administration for the Health Care Reform bill double count money taken from Medicare and do not include the so-called doctor fix.
2. Deficits are simple. They are Revenue – Outlays. Period. For some reason Maddow has chosen to simply look at deficits as though they consist only of revenues or only of outlays depending upon which makes Obama’s future, rosy projections look better and Bush’s numbers look worse. If revenues decrease while spending remains static the deficit will increase. However, if outlays increase while revenue remains static the deficit will also increase.
In fact, revenue and outlays do not remain static and a cursory look at the CBO numbers show us that the Bush deficits were primarily the result of too much spending not too little revenue.In fact, out of eight years, only one year was total Revenue lower under Bush than under Clinton. If that wasn’t enough, the historical data for the one year of the Obama administration brings deficits to a staggering new level.
We assume that Ms. Maddow knows better since she was a Rhodes Scholar so we can only assume that it was a deliberate attempt to mislead people who either didn’t know the facts or who didn’t take the time to check.
If there is still any doubt, please note this chart from CBO site:
Total Deficit or Surplus (Percentage of GDP)