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CBPP CHART: Bush Policies Dominant Cause Of National Debt

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated and refined a widely cited chart, laying out the origins of the country’s current fiscal trajectory. And as before, the lion’s share of the problem comes from ongoing George W. Bush-era policies — particularly deficit-financed tax cuts, which eliminated Clinton-era surpluses and left the Treasury poised for a huge hit when the financial crisis and economic downturn further eroded federal revenues.

By the end of the decade, CBPP projects that, on the current trajectory, the Bush tax cuts, exacerbated by the economic downturn, combined with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for the significant majority of public debt as a share of GDP.

Without those factors, and without the need for stimulus measures under President Obama, CBPP projects that the debt-to-GDP ratio would have dropped under both Presidents Bush and Obama.


  1. an obvious lie. climategate exposed all charts showing anything bad by conservatives to be a complete fraud by world-government-socialists who want to kill big business to aid all their big business friends. when will you liberals wisen up and relaize that the only way to balance the budget is to stop taxing altogether, and put everyone who earns less than $100,000/yr on a treadmill to generate electricity to sell to poor people to fund the war? you are demonic. elect michele bachmann!! cut taxes and fire people to make more jobs!! look at world war ii–tax rates were under 10% for everyone and we creamed hitler without raising an extra dime!

  2. The article glosses over this little tidbit, “exacerbated by the economic downturn” and the fact that government spending has increased significantly for 2009-2010, and it does so by using percentages rather than showing the actual numbers. You have been purposely misled.

    Tax receipts for 2009-2010 were $800 billion less than for 2007-2008, while the U.S. government spent $1.2 trillion more in 2009-2010 than it spent in 2007-2008. So, a $2 Trillion increase in debt directly related to the economic downturn and increased government spending for 2009-2010.

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