People are not going to like what any president does. Many people are not going to like the person, as is the case with Barack Obama and to a greater extent than to George W. Bush. Conservatives revere the Bush presidency, especially its tax cuts and its waging wars. They despise Obama for trying to undo both of those situations as if it’s personal. They seem to hate peace and prosperity.
The GOP controlled Congress from 2001 to 2006 and President Bush never asked for sacrifices from anyone, except those in our nation's military and their families. According to Forbes columnist Bruce Bartlett, a former Treasury Department economist in the Bush administration, “American people's support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has always been paper thin. Asking them to sacrifice through higher taxes, domestic spending cuts or reinstatement of the draft would surely have led to massive protests akin to those during the Vietnam era or to political defeat in 2004.” So the Bush administration chose deficits to finance the wars.
What’s more, in the middle of that period -- February 4, 2003, to be exact -- White House budget chief Mitch Daniels conceded that the budget would remain in deficit for the next decade. According to Slate, “a Feb. 3 White House fact sheet lays down the Bush line: The budget would be in double digit deficit if had there never been a tax cut in 2001.” Republicans blame run-away spending, now.
The elephant in the living room is the deficit financing of two wars. End the wars and we apply a tourniquet to the deficit spending that requires raising the debt ceiling. Since March 1962, that ceiling has been raised 74 times and ten of those times have occurred since 2001. If President Obama is to be despised for anything, it must be for attempting peace and prosperity. It’s nothing personal.
Article first published as Peace and Prosperity: Nothing Personal on Blogcritics.