By Jason Sattler

WATCH: What Led Us To The ‘Fiscal Cliff’

November 13, 2012 6:13 pm Category: Memo Pad, Politics 43 Comments A+ / A-


How did we get from nearly $6 trillion projected surpluses in 2001 to $6 trillion in new debt?

As President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress square off on the debt-cutting measures that could send us over the fiscal cliff, “it’s crucial to remember the source of our deficit and debt. The Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden explains the laws passed during the Bush administration along with the wars and the bad economy over a decade made up 86 percent of the debt we’ve accumulated since 2001. President Obama’s spending and the stimulus are responsible for only 14 percent.

Keep that in mind as Republicans demand concessions from the president and the middle class.

WATCH: What Led Us To The ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Reviewed by on . How did we get from nearly $6 trillion projected surpluses in 2001 to $6 trillion in new debt? As President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress square off How did we get from nearly $6 trillion projected surpluses in 2001 to $6 trillion in new debt? As President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress square off Rating:

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    Not much that could be considered new information, but all-in-all a very fine presentation of the numbers. Too bad those who need to watch this will never take the time to do so since it is against their world view to consider factual data.

    • William Deutschlander

      The Republican Cartel does consider FACTUAL DATA, the underlying problem is that the Republican Cartel considers the FACTUAL DATA as being WRONG !

  • bcarreiro

    if we did not have a republican party we would all be out of debt….thanks bush for nothing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    We do not have to be economic geniuses to understand that the irresponsible tax breaks that wiped out the budget surpluses that former President Bush and a GOP controlled Congress inherited in 2000 are the root cause of the fiscal malaise we have been experiencing. Those tax rate reductions, the subsequent declines in revenue, and a number of deregulation efforts, loopholes, subsidies, unfunded wars, sole source contracts and questionable accounting schemes wiped out the surpluses in one year, resulted in the resumption of deficit spending and accumulation of debt, and contributed to the ENRON, AIG, and financial debacle that brought the strongest economy in the world to its knees.
    The party of personal responsibility is actually the party of fiscal and economic irresponsibility. Their policies and deeds were soundly rejected on 11/6/12. They have no business insisting on a return to the root cause of our problems, after a plurlity of Americans expressed their opinion where it counts: at the polls. Get over it, face reality, and do what the American people expect their elected officials to do: lead and do what is best for our country, rather than what is best for your wealthy donors.

    • rabrock46

      Absolutely right, Dom…. the actual costs of the war weren’t even being reported until the economy went into free fall during the Obama/McCain presidential campaign…..you really can’t get much more fiscally irresponsible than that….Bush/Cheney Administration nearly destroyed us.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

      In Reply To Dominic Vila -

      One thing you forgot to mention is that on his last day in office, George the Second handed President Obama a budget with a whopping 1.3 TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT. Our first budget deficit to EVER exceed ONE TRILLION DOLLARs.

      The “Conservatives” like to conveniently forget this “minor” detail. In fact, they prefer to call it President Obama’s deficit.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

        They also don’t hesitate to blame Obama for the cost of the Troubled Assets Relief Plan (TARP) drafted and signed by former President Bush on 10/3/08. Since the Federal government fiscal year starts on 10/1, the appropriations for that Bill appear in the FY09 budget and are, not surprisingly, attributed toPresident Obama’s spending. The only thing he is responsible for is the stimulus package, increases in interest on the debt caused largely by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the the cost of increased unemployment payments caused by the Great Recession. Everything else was either programmatic or the result of Republican policies and decisions mad by the Bush administration. Obviously, Republicans don’t want to hear anything about Bush, I wouldn’t either if I were one of them, but most Americans are not suffering from amnesia and we remember where we were four years ago and are thankful for the policies and hard work that are finally getting us out of the hole we were in.

    • Kyzzyxx

      Actually, some people in this ‘we’ you talk about are not aware of this. I see Republicans, everyday, saying ‘you can’t keep blaming Bush,’ so, apparently, some of ‘us’ need at least some basic math abilities to realize just how badly Bush/Cheney screwed the U.S.

      • thetruthbetoldaboutobama

        NO.. THE ONLY ONE TO SCREW ANYONE IS OBAMA.. JUST LIKE HE SCREWED THE AMERICAN’S IN BENGHAZI..

        • http://www.facebook.com/mike.hansford.96 Mike Hansford

          AMEN

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

          Replying to thetruthbetoldaboutobama

          GEORGE THE SECOND AND HIS MASCOT DICK BLEW THROUGH 10 TRILLION DOLLARS, TRASHED THE HOUSING MARKET, LOST A MILLION JOBS PER MONTH, STARTED TWO WARS, KILLED AND MAIMED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, AND THAT’S ALL YOU GOT?

          Go crawl under your rock.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitchell-Gray/1093666488 Mitchell Gray

      No, the government spends too fucking much.

      • irishtap

        Like most of todays GOP, Mitchell gets a little testy when facts become inconvenient.

      • Johan Friedman

        Really, Mitchell? Dominic writes this well thought out paragraph naming many of the problems that actually caused this and expounding upon the idea that the people have spoken.. and your response is one sentence including an expletive?

        Do you really expect anyone to take you seriously?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

        Replying to Mitchell Gray -

        NOT ACCORDING TO DICK CHENEY!!!!!

        In case you forgot, he is the one who stated “”RONALD REAGAN TAUGHT US THAT DEFICITS DON’T MATTER.”

        Until a Democrat is in the White House.

      • MJRinPA

        The video broke the deficit down for you, they used facts and numbers. Your response lacks either.

  • Trawg

    I wish I could force feed this information to some of my more right leaning acquaintances, Clockwork Orange style. Sharing this with them is pointless as they will simply plug their fat ignorant fingers in their ears so they can maintain the belief they hold in the alternate reality they have constructed.

    Amazing how against factual information they seem to be. Wonder why that is…..

  • nobsartist

    What drove us to this point? try a jerk off whos work experience is working at macdonalds and driving the weiner mobile and 15 other useless parasites.

    Then just add the owl man and boner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/clarence.swinney Clarence Swinney

    GREAT RECORD ever see one again?
    GDP–rose from 6300 to 11,600
    NATIONAL INCOME-5,000 to 8,000 Billion–took 20 years to grow 2500B before Clinton
    JOBS CREATED–over 22 million–record by far
    AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS–$360 to $478
    AVERAGE WEEKLY HOURS WORKED–never hit 35.0–hit that  mark 4 times in 80′s
    UNEMPLOYMENT–from 7.2% down down down to 3.9%
    WELFARE TO WORK—11,533,710 on federal roll in 1996 and 3,880,321 in 2007.
    MINIMUM WAGE–$4.25 to $5.15
    MINORITIES–did exceedingly well
    HOME OWNERSHIP–hit all time high
    DEFICIT–290 Billion to whoopee a SURPLUS
    DEBT—-+28%—300% increase over prior12 years
    FEDERAL SPENDING–+28%—80% under Reagan- who da true conservative?
    DOW JONES AVERAGE–3,500 to 11,800  all it’s history to get to 3500 and Clinton zooms it
    NASDAQ–700 to 5,000—all of it’s history to get to 700 and Clinton zooms it
    VALUES INDEXES– almost all bad went down–good went up in zoom zoom zoom
    FOREIGN AFFAIRS–Peace on Earth good will toward each other—Mark of a true Christian–what has Bush done to Peace on Earth?
    POPULARITY—highest poll ratings  in history during peacetime in  AFRICA, ASIA AND EUROPE even 98.5% in Moscow–left office with highest gallup rating since it was started in 1920′s.
    STAND UP FOR JUSTICE–evil conservatives spent $110,000,000 on hearings and investigations and caught— ONE— very evil man who took a few plane rides to events.
    BOW YOUR HEADS–Thank you God for sending us a man of Bill Clinton’s character, intelligence, knowledge of governance, ability to face up to crises without whimpering and a great leader of the world.
    THANK YOU GOD FOR THE GOOD TIMES THE CLINTON YEARS.

  • http://twitter.com/JoshfromRaleigh Josh from Raleigh

    My only problem with this video… where are the estimates or the percentages of the debt that Obama has continued over from the military spending? It didn’t stop when he took office.

    You can’t just saying “Bush increased spending because of two wars!” and ignore the fact that Obama has continued, and in some cases increased, the military spending for the last 4 years.

    Regardless of your political affiliation I think, of that 40% of war spending, Obama should be responsible for some of it in this video. It’s not like that spending went away in 2008 and Obama has clean hands.

    Obama’s real percentage should be around 50% since 2008. And that is being generous if 40% spending is for the two Wars. It could potentially be 60% if we had exact numbers on his bloating in the war in afghanistan. If Obama would have immediately stopped both wars in 2008 and brought the troops home in the first year of his term.. then we could only attribute 14% to his name… but that didn’t happen. And we all know it.

    Can somebody address this? It’s a little misleading.

    Yes, Bush started the wars, but Obama continued them and didn’t start drawing down until last year.

    • bruskis1

      If he would have started drawing down right away, then the GOP would want to investigate the horrendous results from the wars, and being soft on terror. No winner in this situation. Drawing them to a close as soon as he got into office would have been a disaster for these countries that we have been ocupying, and would have hurt us worldwide.

  • http://twitter.com/liberalpapa Liberal Papa

    That’s not what I heard on Fox News. According to them, it’s all Obama’s fault and his socialist policies.

    Seriously, this is what I’m hearing from my GOP-voting friends on Twitter and Facebook

    • http://twitter.com/DutchessPDX Dutchess

      I’ve tried telling this to my right leaning friends and family and yet they refuse to believe me. I also said if tax cuts work why did we move into the greatest recession since the great depression. I also mention that Canada has reduced taxes to the level Gov. Romney suggested with zero results and they will have none of it.

  • http://twitter.com/R0BR0LL Rob Roll

    Idiots. Presidential candidacies should not be measured by the elected individuals ability to incur deficit. If anything, it should be the other way around.

  • Bob Williams

    I guess that the problems continue because we have a Community Organizer who has never had a real job running the ship, instead of a proven businessman. How many of you could take a job and continue to blame your predecessor four years later for the problems you inherited?

    Me neither.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

      Replying to Bob Williams -

      GEORGE THE SECOND WAS A BUSINESS MAN WHO RAN EVERY BUSINESS HE TOUCHED INTO THE GROUND. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF HIS BALL TEAM. AND, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THAT HIS BACKERS WARNED HIM NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING OR THEY WOULD PULL THE PLUG.

      GEORGE THE SECOND, WHO TOOK 8 YEARS TO INFLICT NEARLY 10 TRILLION DOLLARS OF DEBT ON OUR NATION.

      You are like so many of the Extremists on the Right.

      YOU CAUSED THE TRAIN WRECK, THEN BLAMED THE FIRST RESPONDERS FOR NOT CLEANING IT UP FAST ENOUGH..

      And holding the first responders back at every chance, just so you could limit them to one term.

      GROW A PAIR AND MAN UP!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/J47F4I4PCTNSX44W5BJGGBPQWM joseph

    So without Obama we would be 28% better?

    What does George Bush have to do with anything now. Whats done is done its how you fix it that matters and the president hasent made things better.

  • irishtap

    What is it that drives the unmitigated gall of the GOP? These people trashed our economy in reckless fashion to the point it seemed deliberate. Two stolen elections kept our country hostage to Bush/Cheney evil doing, which include their willful incompetence leading to 911. The executive branch conveniently turn their ineptitude into bullying us into two unfunded wars. Iraq became a hideous and profound example of moral terpitude by Secretary Rumsfeld manufacturing evidence for justification for conflict that took the lives and maimed thousands of patriotic service people and worse: murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. As the months went by Afghanistan was ignored, Bush all but admitted he had no interest in capturing Bin Laden. Our CEO vice president let his ‘conservative pedigree’ shine by proclaiming “deficits don’t matter”, during a cabinet meeting. They passed a Medicare prescription drug plan sans common sense provision to allow the federal government (us) to negotiate prices. The administration said the bill would cost in the neigborhood of 350 billion, later the CBO said the cost would be nearly double that figure. A rather significant accounting error from the ‘MBA president’. The Bush economic team, desperate to show job creation increases, attempt to categorize the ‘assembly of a Big Mac as a production job’. Things weren’t going so well, better do some tax relief for the wealthy, of course with no offsets, we’ll just put those on the credit card along with the wars and tell people to go shopping. The republican dream team of Bush-Cheney MBA/CEO clearly are not clear on the concept of fiscal responsibility. After they stole the second election Bush struts like a peacock and proclaims he intends to spend his “political capital” by attempting to privatize Social Security (in order to save it of course).
    Ultimately republican ideology and government management delivered us to the worst economic crises since the great depression. But what is perhaps the key point of substantiation of GOP sociopathic neuroses is their brutish petulance toward accepting one ounce of responsibility for the hellish consequences of their imbecilic actions.
    I will NEVER forget nor EVER forgive the actions and lies of these UN-patriotic – irrational S.O.B.’s.

  • jannieoakley

    Obama inherited a big economic problem 4 years ago. But, things are not better. The biggest part of the debt is a decrease in revenue due to unemployment with the recession. I think Obama knows how to hand out but he doesn’t know how to stimulate revenue. We (everyone) are headed for higher taxes with Obamacare and that will not stimulate our economy. All I heard today from Obama is that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class but only those making more than $250,000. OK, fine. Let’s do that BUT what else? How is he going to get companies excited about starting business in the US? I have heard nothing about that. We need jobs and we need to stop hand outs. Yesterday, I met a manager of a carwash who was drying cars and working the register. He told me that two employees quit because the job was too hard and it was easier to stay at home collecting unemployment. I believe this approach is taking away incentives on both ends the ever-hated wealthy and the unemployed.

    • northroader1775

      WAKE THE HELL UP THINGS ARE WAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY FRIGGGGGGEN BETTER.

      SHUT OFF THE FAKE NEWS..

      HOW ARE YOU STILL SPOUTING ALL THE SAME CRAP AFTER YOU JUST GOT SLAPPED IN THE FACE WITH THE TRUTH.

      Look it should be obvious by now but here you go one more time, FOX NEWS IS LYING TO YOU!! remember only a few days ago when they told you ALLLL indications point to a Romney landslide…it was only 8 days ago…remember…it wasn’t fraud…it wasn’t the takers…..it was AMERICA…they proved FOX is full of shit…real math told the story very clearly, but you never hear that on FOX they are allergic to truth, facts and math. That’s why you still believe the BS about are you better off now than 4 years ago…the answer is a resounding YES WE ARE ALLLL BETTER BY FAR THAN WE WERE 4 YEARS AGO.

      • jannieoakley

        Is the Department of Labor lying to me to? Jobless numbers last week increased to 439,000 unemployment! Unemployment rate in 2008 averaged around 6% 2012 it is averaging 8%. How is that WAAAAAYYYY FRIGGGGGEN BETTER?

        Yes, I did get slapped in the face but with a bunch of lies and northroader, you are the one who is misinformed and seemingly very angry. Why so angry? Things are going your way?

        Why are you assuming that I am listening to FOX news? I think mainstream media is the one that needs an adjustment. Please educate me, what should I listen to? Teach me your wisdom and tell me, what are we doing about unemployment? Removing the Bush tax cuts from those making more than $250,000 will barely touch the deficit–on by 1/7th. Tell me, you don’t think everyone’s taxes are going up? They will, especially with Obamacare. Our gov’t is subsidizing health insurance for those making more than 400% poverty–that is for a family of 4, income of about 90,000. How, please tell me, how will that be paid for? Medicare’s pockets are only so deep.

        Our problem is unemployment–more people working means more revenue generated and less $$ spent by our federal gov’t on unemployment. Let’s stop hating the job creators as they are the path out of this mess.

  • jetch

    it’s really sad to see so many people with blinders on. “it’s all bush’s fault and here’s why”… do you really worship obama soooooo much that you believe he can do no wrong??

    someone please tell me what he’s done in the past 4 years to get the budget under control! what’s he proposing now to get the budget under control. he tells you it’s because of the wars, well as CnC he could stop them in 1 day if he wanted and he hasn’t. he tells you this and that, and you just buy it, hook, line and sinker.

    i’m not defending bush or republicans, i can honestly say its both republicans AND democrats faults. to lay it all on bush and the republicans is to not address the corruption of the democrats.

    power corrupts! that used to be a liberal philosphy, why did you all forget it???

  • rebl stevn

    So the Senate and the House have no responsibility for creating laws or funding wars? Tax the rich without eliminating loop holes and you will not make a difference. Try taxing imports. The United States used to fund itself with tariffs.

  • thetruthbetoldaboutobama

    What a load of crap.. obama lover liar.. we see who is spending the money so quit blaming in on bush.. it’s time for the truth.

    • northroader1775

      yes history is soooooo inconvenient…like facts in general, only good if they agree with you but if they have been making an absolute fool of you for years and years as is the case with the GOP….then you grow to hate them, facts that is…go launder your “truthiness” to the morons who are buying your line of crap.

      Obama is a damn good president and is bordering on greatness, if we can get citizens united overturned and a real healthcare package in place with a single payer system just like the systems that work all over the world…then in my book he wil have achieved greatness.

      BTW your book is closed and nobody gives a damn what you think about OUR PRESIDENT… yours AND mine Barak Obama, duely elected and serving a second term wether you like it or not. If you can’t be an american and accept the way it is you can go anywhere in the world that will accept an addle brained delusional moron as an immigrant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1060534570 Michael Ahlum

    So Mike, Lori and Brad. Is this all wrong? I like to hear you tell me about how are Republican congress has helped also.

  • http://twitter.com/NCAAinsidrGOLUM RONDMONN

    You stupid SOB.

    I only read your last line and realized you are a brainwashed moron socialist bastard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gary.graves.18062 Gary Graves

    What got us there? we know.

  • marciano3rd

    All Americans should be reminded of these. Otherwise, you will all suffer from Romnesia!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Flounderm Alex McDonough

    Wait… What? I’m not trying to partisan in one way or another but we’re in $16 trillion in debt… not $6 trillion. This video just showed the extent of Bush’s term and a tiny portion of Obama’s.

  • http://twitter.com/LostAnarchist S-3

    It’s sad there are still scum like this in power, especially in the South – pray for these troubled people; they need it to fight against the scum clearly oppressing them with their lack of education and essential benefits…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/C22AJV5GXSF4QE3YJY5IGBTULU TSB

    Tax rates need to reflect the amount of revenue that will adequately keep our nation solvent and viable. A rate of 25% over the cost of living, $20,000 per individual for instance, should work. Why don’t the people elect a legislative body that will enable the President to move forward on the changes needed to grow the country, building the infrastucture and training the illiterate unskilled a trade? The talk is always about college, and we need skilled workers to fill the jobs available or we’ll get them elsewhere, leaving the people unemployed and unhappy.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JMT6C3LHLJDD4RX4NB4KY5ICAE gargray

    The Bush era didn’t hae any responsability. They forgot to pay for anything.

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