The Deficit: Obama vs Bush

In: Politics Source: Washington Post

3 Feb 2012

Ezra Klein takes a crack at comparing the cost of major policy decisions:


5 Responses to The Deficit: Obama vs Bush


Mike Liveright

February 3rd, 2012 at 11:15 am

Two comments, though I do like the look and results…

1) Since $’s are linear, I think that a 2-d graph is deceptive. It is difficult for the human, me, to see which area is two times another area. So any 2-d graph of a 1-d factor is potentially perceptually miss-leading.

2) Significant contributions to the deficit are the Automatic Tax Gains, Loses and stabilizers, due to the economic situation, and the growth in entitlements. Though these are not due to the policies of the two presidents, they do reflect the deficits and if possible should be shown in the graphics.

3) Bush was in for 8 years where as Obama only for 3 years. Thus I would perhaps make it clear that Obama still has 7 more years to change the results, though I have not idea as to how this chance will effect the final numbers if it does occur.



February 3rd, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Totally misleading. The recent spending cuts were not an Obama policy; Afghanistan was overwhelmingly supported by both parties, and Obamacare is conveniently excluded.

How about looking at how they spent money they/we/my kids don’t/won’t have:

There are more ways to tell a story than Team Red vs. Team Blue!



February 6th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Highly entertaining this, however misleading it might be–if indeed it is misleading. The problem is NOT the deficit, as if you’d want to run a surplus during a severe recession. The problem is a deficit compounded by nearly a half century of deficit spending under both parties now congealed into a sizable and worrisome national debt, a good part of which is in the hands of the “public.” See, we ran deficits when we didn’t have to–and should not have–so there was little room for manueuver when the necessity for a really big stimulus (a deficit by any other name) arose. Nobody needed a Nobel in Econ to see this coming, only an understanding of he screwed-up fiscal incentives of our political system. And we’re nowhere near the primary surplus we need to fix this mess. Go ahead, Tea Party blowhard, say something stupid–Make my Day.



May 1st, 2012 at 12:02 am

these numbers are made up, on both sides



May 1st, 2012 at 12:02 am

Mike liveright – you might want to check your math.

3 comments – not 3

Are you expecting Obama to stay in office for 10 years?


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