Senate Democrats

Fact Check: President’s Budget

For the second time in two weeks, President Bush touted his Administration’s record on the budget. After presiding over a nearly 50 percent increase in spending, a $3 trillion increase in the national debt and the largest deficits in history, Bush is talking tough and threatening to veto spending bills from Congress. But a look at his record shows that he has little credibility on this issue.

Fiction: Last Week Bush Claimed His Fiscal Policies Have Been Successful.  “[Administration budget policies] have produced a clear and measurable record of success.” [President Bush, 7/11/07]

FACT: President Bush Increased Federal Spending Nearly 50 Percent.  Federal outlays in Fiscal Year 2001 totaled $1.86 trillion.  The Administration now estimates that outlays in Fiscal Year 2007 will total $2.78 trillion.  This amounts to an increase of more than 49 percent. [Mid-Session Review, Office of Management and Budget, July 2007]

FACT: Bush Has Increased Debt by More Than $3 Trillion and Doubled Foreign-Held Debt.  It took 42 presidents 224 years to build up the same level of foreign debt. [Senate Budget Committee] 

Fiction: Today Bush Said That If We Continue to Have Fiscal Sanity, We Will Reach Surplus by 2012. “We project if we can continue to have fiscal sanity in Washington, D.C. that we we’ll be in surplus by the year 2012.” “President Bush vetoed the Iraq-war spending bill this evening, calling it a blueprint for failure and defeat and intensifying a showdown with the Democratic-controlled Congress.” [President Bush, 7/19/07; New York Times, 5/1/07]

FACT: On President Bush’s Watch, Record Surpluses Turned into Record Deficits. President Bush inherited a unified budget surplus of $236 billion from President Clinton, the largest surplus in American history.  When President Bush took office in 2001, budget surpluses were expected to continue for at least another ten years, and were projected to total $5.6 trillion between Fiscal Years 2002 and 2011.  Despite this, President Bush and his administration took these surpluses, and turned them into the three largest deficits in US history: [President Bush’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2002, A Blueprint for New Beginnings, 2/28/01; Office of Management and Budget] 

* $378 Billion in 2003 (2nd largest deficit in U.S. History)
* $413 Billion in 2004 (Largest deficit in US History)
* $318 Billion in 2005 (3rd largest deficit in US History)

Morever, it is worth noting that President Bush did not issue a single veto of an appropriations bill under Republican Control of Congress:

“Pushing back against the Democratic-led Congress, Bush plans to veto a bill Wednesday that would have eased restraints on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said…This will be the third veto of Bush’s presidency. His first occurred last year when he rejected legislation to allow funding of additional lines of embryonic stem cells — a measure that passed over the objections of Republicans then in control. The second legislation he vetoed would have set timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq.”  [Associated Press, 6/20/07]