If Americans need an example of true fiscal responsibility, they can look at the state of the economy under a fiscally responsible Democrat, President Barack Obama.
However, it is not just that the actual dollar amount is the lowest since before the Republican-created Great Recession and economic catastrophe. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), “the Federal deficit is now lower than the average going back to 1965” when it is measured, as it typically is, as a portion of the size of the nation’s entire economy.
When measured as a percentage of the overall economy, for fiscal 2015 the federal deficit was 2.5 percent of GDP; the historical 50-year average stands at 2.7 percent. That figure is more than noteworthy, but particularly so because every Republican, deficit hawk, and conservative economist claims that President Obama is like every Democrat; “an out-of-control spending machine” driving the nation into catastrophic and unsustainable debt. What Republicans will never say is that when it comes to fiscal responsibility, Barack Obama is setting the standard Republicans could never achieve.
The falling budget deficit is all the more impressive because when Barack Obama entered the White House, the shrub left him a $1.3 trillion budget deficit for fiscal year 2009. That number represented 10 percent of the nation’s GDP revealing that President Obama’s “turnaround” is over seven points. Real fiscal responsibility is cutting a huge deficit by over three-quarters within six years. All while saving the nation’s economy from certain catastrophe, paying for the shrub’s two unfunded wars and tax cuts for the rich, creating millions upon millions of jobs, and enacting health care insurance reform for millions of Americans.
The last fiscally responsible president, Bill Clinton, had a very typical and respectable Democratic “turnaround” after Republican debt creation, but as remarkable as it was, President Obama’s is better. Bill Clinton inherited another Republican’s budget deficit that was “roughly 4 percent of GDP” that he turned into a 2 percent of GDP surplus in eight years. But President Obama can boast a 7 point turnaround in six years while suffering through four years of an extremely hostile Congress and six years of Republican malfeasance designed to destroy any chance of economic recovery.
Under successive Republican juntas and legislatures all promoting their economic agenda and policies as epitomizing “fiscal conservatism and responsibility,” California fell so deeply in debt its credit was considered “junk” and Republicans borrowed the state into near-bankruptcy. All the while, none of the borrowed money went to the people in the form of government programs because it barely covered the tax cuts for the wealthy. Today, after a Democratic governor and legislature brought real fiscal responsibility to bear on Republican economic insanity, the state is thriving with a budget surplus, the Republicans’ debt are being erased, and the people’s services are being restored.
After hearing Republican pretender candidates continually boast that only a Republican can reduce debt and deficits by being fiscally responsible, it was refreshing to see the Treasury’s report that no administration, especially no Republican junta, has been more fiscally disciplined or responsible over the past 50 years than President Obama. Republicans definitely need a lesson in what it means to truly be fiscally responsible, but until they abandon their “precious fiscal conservatism” gospel that entails out-of-control spending and increasing budget deficits, they will just have to dream of being as fiscally responsible as Barack Obama; a point the mainstream media will never report.