President Obama loves to remind people that America was running a huge deficit when he became president, but we shouldn't forget that Obama was elected to the Senate in 2004.
When Obama "got here" was when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004, not when he was elected President in 2008. In 2006, he became part of the Democrat majorities that took control of Congress in the elections that year. As another brilliant economist, Thomas Sowell, recently explained in Investors Business Daily:No president of the United States can create either a budget deficit or a budget surplus. All spending bills originate in the House of Representatives, and all taxes are voted into law by Congress. Democrats controlled both houses of Congress before Barack Obama became President. The deficit he inherited was created by the Congressional Democrats, including Sen. Barack Obama, who did absolutely nothing to oppose the runaway spending. He was one of the biggest spenders.
The deficit in the last budget adopted by Republican Congressional majorities was $161 billion for fiscal 2007. That is why Rep. Jeb Hensarling was right to say to President Obama that the annual deficits under the Republicans have become the monthly deficits under the Democrats.
Also, the day the Democrat Congressional majorities took office, January 3, 2007, the unemployment rate was 4.6%, less than half the rate today. George Bush's economic policies, what Obama calls "the failed policies of the past," had set a record of 52 straight months of job creation, a record we can only dream about today. GDP in the previous quarter was 3.5%, double today's most recent growth.
Also on January 3, 2007, Barney Frank took over as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. When President Bush had proposed legislation to rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Frank led the charge to massacre it, saying he wanted to continue throwing the dice some more on housing policy. Frank, joined by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, continued to pump up the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bubble until it burst all over the U.S. and world economy. Sen. Barack Obama was an avid supporter of these policies as well.
The Democrats were the originators of the subprime mortgage, "affordable housing" policies since President Clinton saw them as a brilliantly innovative way to pass out free goodies. Vigorously supporting those policies all the way back to his ACORN days was community organizer Barack Obama. When he is carrying on about the mess he inherited, too bad he doesn't have the integrity to point the finger back at himself.
President Bush and the Republicans spent way too much money when they were in power, but they were pikers compared to the Democrats.