HE CAN’T COUNT, EITHER…. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, on Fox News yesterday:
“They love going back to George Bush and his deficit that was inherited. Great. I’ll take George Bush’s deficit right now of a trillion dollars over the 10 trillion dollars that this administration has created in just six months.”
Even for Steele, that’s pretty awful. Nate Carlile offers the confused party chair a quick primer on reality.
…Bush inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion in 2001. Budget experts projected a $710 billion surplus for 2009 when he came into office. But the deficit soon exploded, thanks largely to the Bush tax cuts — which accounted for 42 percent of the deficit. When Bush left office, he handed President Obama a projected $1.2 trillion budget deficit for this year, the largest ever.
As for the debt, when President Bush took office, it was $5.73 trillion. When he left, it was $10.7 trillion.
I can appreciate why the RNC might find these inconvenient details embarrassing. This is the party, after all, that pretends to care about deficits, fiscal discipline, and balanced budgets. If I were the head of the RNC, I’d have a hard time defending the Republican record on this, too.
But c’mon. Obama created a $10 trillion deficit in six months? If Steele wants to be taken at all seriously, he should at least try to come close to reality.