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January 10, 2013
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Letter: Comparing presidents' annual deficits

Comparison of annual deficits

With all due respect to those who believe the trillion dollar deficits of President Obama are not a tragedy for our country, let me offer a few numbers and thoughts.

The average annual federal outlay under President Bush from 2002 to 2008 was $2.47 trillion. Under Obama from 2010 to 2012, that figure has risen to $3.62 trillion, an increase of 46.5 percent. (All figures come from Obama’s Office of Management and Budget, as published in the 2013 World Almanac.)

G.W. Bush’s average annual deficit during this period was $305 billion. This compares to $1,307 billion for Obama and makes Bush’s average deficits less than one-third the size of those run up by the present president.

Note that the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the Stimulus Bill, was largely written and passed by Democrats and was signed by Obama in January 2009. Therefore, to compare normalized operations, I have excluded 2009 and the extraordinary outlays of that bill from the averages.

Prior to 2009, no president had ever had a $500 billion deficit in a single year. Obama has not yet had a year where the deficit was less than double the old record.

As I understand debt, you must either pay interest on it forever or you must reduce future spending for goods and services to repay the debt. Either way, our country is piling a mountain of debt on our children and generations to come. That is both unethical and unpatriotic.

Roger Shaffer


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The News-Review Updated Feb 4, 2013 10:14AM Published Jan 10, 2013 12:24PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.