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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Inheriting Bush's Smoke and Mirrors

Steve Benen came across an interesting snippet in a Politico piece yesterday.

John Cornyn and GWBRepublicans on Capitol Hill think they've finally found Barack Obama's Achilles' heel: rising public concern about government spending and the federal deficit. [...]

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told POLITICO that GOP candidates in 2010 will almost certainly use the deficit to argue that Democrats own a Washington mess.

"This was not an inherited situation. This was a matter entirely of this administration's and this Democratic leadership's making," Cornyn said.


"Now, it's my understanding that 'an inherited situation' refers to 'situations' that are 'inherited,'" Benen writes. "In the context of presidential administrations, it refers to problems that an outgoing president leaves for his or her successor."

So if one president who, for the sake of argument, we'll call "Beorge Gush" hands off an economy in ruins, a financial system in flames, and record deficits to a following president who we'll call "Orack Bobama," then Bobama would be said to be inheriting these problems from Gush. Gush doesn't need to actually die and write in his will, "To Bobama, I bequeath everything I screwed up." It's a simple metaphor. To say the Orack didn't inherit an economy in a state that experts refer to as "royally screwed" from Beorge is just a little shy of brutally honest.





In fact, if Republicans plan to blame the economy and, specifically, the deficit on a non-hypothetical president named Obama, they've got a bit of a problem. Reality doesn't agree with them. "The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office," reported David Leonhardt in the New York Times yesterday. "The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years."

Leonhardt lists four factors that account for the present deficit -- a $2 trillion difference from the surplus Clinton bequeathed to Bush. 37% can be attributed to the business cycle and the resulting lost tax revenue from two recessions. 33% comes from legislation -- like Medicare Part D -- signed by Bush. 20% is accounted for by Bush spending that Obama continued -- examples being two wars, the Wall Street Bailout, and a portion of Bush's tax cuts.

"About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February," Leonhardt tells us. "And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas. If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits."

Yet Republicans plan to turn a little more than 10% into 100%. Mostly because honesty isn't extremely important to them and they believe you're really stupid.

Meanwhile, President Obama has a plan to reduce, although not by any stretch eliminate, the deficit.

New York Times:

Mr. Obama announced he was sending legislation to Congress to restore the 1990s-era "pay as you go" law, known as Paygo. The law, in effect from 1990 to 2002, required that tax cuts or new entitlement spending -- like the health care overhaul that Mr. Obama hopes will be a signature domestic achievement -- be paid for through budget cuts or tax increases.


Republicans, having recently become deficit hawks, responded with a big round of applause, right?

Wrong.

"President Obama and Congressional Democrats telling Americans they are committed to budget discipline is like Charles Ponzi telling people to trust him with their money," the Republican National Committee responded in a press release. Of course, that's not actually an argument for or against Paygo, so much as it is a one-liner. Nothing says you take the economy seriously so much as getting your writing staff to whip up a snappy comeback. They're confusing debate with a game of "the dozens" -- "Oh yeah? Well yo' mamma so ugly..."

See, Republicans don't actually like Paygo because they're pretty much addicted to tax cuts. And, as Bush demonstrated so well, Republicans love to pretend that their tax cuts will pay for themselves. This never works, but who cares? Tax cuts get people to vote for you and that's all that counts. The theory -- now thoroughly debunked -- is that tax cuts result in increased tax revenues. It hasn't really worked out that way. If you doubt that, I give you a $1.2 trillion deficit to ponder.

If Congress were to institute "pay as you go" accounting for tax cuts, Republicans would find tax cuts much harder to pull off. You wouldn't be able to pretend they'd pay for themselves anymore, you'd have to make cuts in programs or somehow dig up new revenue to pay for them. Following Republican reasoning, this shouldn't be a big problem; since tax cuts supposedly pay for themselves, any cuts in other spending would obviously be temporary.

But Republicans don't believe their own rhetoric now -- or, if they do, it's without a lot of conviction and faith. They've seen their "grow your way out of deficits" economic theory belly flop. The only real reason to push for tax cuts now is to buy votes and pay off big-money donors. If you're giving with one hand, while taking away with the other, that's just not going to work. To put it plainly, Obama wants to take their smoke and mirrors away.

And tax cuts are all they really have left. Without them, all they have is empty criticism -- which is why Obama's sliver of responsibility for the deficit becomes total responsibility for the deficit.

If you've got nothing to offer, then you just make stuff up.

-Wisco


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43 comments:

Matt said...

What's stupid is not realizing that the amount that Obama has run up in a few months versus what Bush did in 8 years!

Wisco said...

Read the article.

-"About 7 percent comes from the stimulus bill that Mr. Obama signed in February," Leonhardt tells us. "And only 3 percent comes from Mr. Obama’s agenda on health care, education, energy and other areas. If the analysis is extended further into the future, well beyond 2012, the Obama agenda accounts for only a slightly higher share of the projected deficits.".-

Nice try, though. Thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

"Mostly because honesty isn't extremely important to them and they believe you're really stupid."


YEAH MATT!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's correct the misconception: Congress dictates the spending for everything (and beyond)!
Next, to clarify, both Democrats and Republicans WERE at fault, almost equally so up until B.O.'s election. I've done the math. Therefore, spending since January was driven by Democrats, not Republicans. Nobody inherits debt from any president, only Congress!

Anonymous said...

How is it that the 37% clearly pegged to business cycles/lost tax revenue during recession gets pegged on Bush?

Similarly, the dems have controlled congress for, what, 4 years now? Isn't some blame on inherited 20% to fall on their approvals?

Sounds like you're turning 33% (over 8 years) into 90%.

Wisco, you're no better a person than the repubs in question for preying on the same ignorance of the situation.

Anonymous said...

Geesh Wisco, if you want people to play along, you're going to have to do a better job of spinning things.

First of all, Republicans were the first to vocalize criticism of Bush and his excessive spending.

Secondly, a quote from the Cato Institute (by the way a NON Republican source) "In selling his big-spending ideas for reviving the U.S. economy, President Obama has chastised “the same policies that, for the last eight years, doubled our national debt, and threw our economy into a tail spin.” We couldn’t agree more with the president. Unfortunately, he seems unaware that exploding the size of government, as he is proposing to do with this stimulus package, is a remarkably Bush-esque ideal.

And, finally, your ability to find an "economist" David Leonarhardt as a creditable source is a stretch. The math he uses as well as the assumptions Leonarhardt pontificates have been disputed by responsible intellectuals on both sides of the political spectrum. His conclusion is considered to be a joke and you might be the only person to take him seriously.

When it comes to economics, perhaps you might consider a different source; maybe one of the 300+ economists, or 3 Noble Laureates and/or one of the prominent scholars from a major university that have publicly DISAGREED with Obama and HIS position on spending. In a petition to stop "this madness".

Anonymous said...

"Similarly, the dems have controlled congress for, what, 4 years now?"

With that kind of math, no wonder we're in so much trouble. To be clear: It's been 2 and a half years since the Democrats won the majority.

And during that time, Republicans engaged in a record breaking number of filibusters, leaving Congress relatively unable to effect any change over the course of the country. That's why the Democrats have sought the filibuster proof majority so heavily.

-Me

Wisco said...

A few points where commenters are just plain wrong.

The budgeted money being spent right now, this very minute, was budgeted by Bush. As we've already established, Obama's stimulus makes up a big ol' honking 7% of the deficit.

The tax rate that you paid this year was Bush's tax rate, not Obama's. If you've got a problem with your taxes, take it up with him.

Presidents draw up the federal budget, not congress. That's a constitutional responsiblity of the executive. Obama inherited Bush's budget. That's just a fact, no matter how much it screws up your arguments.

Republicans may have complained about Bush deficits, but they didn't actually do anything about them, did they? When push came to shove, there wasn't any bipartisan rejection of Bush spending. In fact, when liberals complained, Republicans questioned their patriotism and accused them of siding with terrorists.

On the "300+ economists, or 3 Noble Laureates and/or one of the prominent scholars from a major university" who think Obama's economic ideas blow, give me a link. Meanwhile, here's a link showing that economists favored Obama's economics over McCain's in overwhelming numbers. Here's another that shows they back the stimulus. Hell, 300 ain't much -- here's 500 scientists who think evolution's a bunch of horseshit. It's not hard to dig up a bunch of cranks with sheepskins.

Anonymous said...

We won't know if Obama spending is good or not till it all plays out. I don't care what scholars say. Where were they 3 years ago when it started getting bad or when JImmy Carter passed the fair housing act which allowed people who couldn't afford homes get homes.

Obama stimulus plan is more than the cost of entire Iraq war. That can't be good. Isn't that the kind of spending that got us in this trouble?

Wisco said...

-Obama stimulus plan is more than the cost of entire Iraq war.-

Not even remotely true. The Iraq war is projected to cost $3 trillion.

Anonymous said...

And the current national debt is over $14 trillion, so....yeah...math.

Jeremy said...

aaaand there's a huge difference between the term "deficit" and "debt".

I love how people, for some reason, feel it's more "American" or financially valid to try and rebuild the infrastructure of a country we invaded on a lie, then spend that same amount (or less) on our own country...

Anonymous said...

Can somebody just pay for my house and salary for the next 30 years for me? I have also done the math, and this would equate to much less than 1% of the current trend for debt, so it's actually not a big deal. Please let me know how to set this up, I'm tired of working.

I don't need much, just a solid gold house and a rocket car.

Anonymous said...

"It's not hard to dig up a bunch of cranks with sheepskins." And one of these cranks happens to go by the name of Wisco...

Wrong again Wishco...obama signed and pushed through the budget, not Bush. Spin it any way you want, but this current budget was put formulated under a Democratic majority and signed by obama...He DID NOT have to approve it...Learn the basics...

David Reid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Reid said...

I agree with some of the analysis: that some fraction of the current deficit is due to falling tax revenues because of the recession. Most of the analysis is factually inaccurate though. Here's why:

-Obama's "paygo" is crap: he's excluding his own spending priorities from it. Health care will not be "paygo".

-Bush's tax cuts did grow the economy, and federal revenues INCREASED after the tax cuts. See there's a difference between cutting/raising revenue, and cutting/raising taxes. As a converse example, in the past decade some states raised taxes only to see revenues fall.

-The current financial crisis is the direct consequence of the housing policy put into place by Clinton in the mid-90's. Bush and McCain tried to raise the alarm, albeit not loudly enough.

-Then there's this graph: http://tinyurl.com/lm5cw6

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the link to the economists?, man that is old news by now. In essence, it is a petition signed in the form of a paid ad published in several papers, including the NY Times, which YOU source. The subject deals with obama's efforts to bring Keynesian Economic theory to the fore. Most likely you are ignorant in this regard. Otherwise, you would be aware of the economic nightmare being created.

One other thing, before you discredit these economists, do your homework. A significant number of these "cranks" are card carrying democrats...They happen to be focused on economics, not the political blame game, wisco.

Anonymous said...

"Jeremy said...

aaaand there's a huge difference between the term "deficit" and "debt".

I love how people, for some reason, feel it's more "American" or financially valid to try and rebuild the infrastructure of a country we invaded on a lie, then spend that same amount (or less) on our own country..."

Kind of like what you just did Jeremy? US invaded Iraq to disarm them. The UN passed 18 resolutions to prevent Iraq from repeating what they did in Kuwait in 1990 and Iran in 1980 (1 million war casualties). Iraq, according to the UN, repeatedly violated 17 of the arms related resolutions. The US moved as a result. These violations had NOTHING to do with the WMDs, assuming that is where you're going.

Charles said...

"Presidents draw up the federal budget, not congress. That's a constitutional responsiblity of the executive. " - Wisco

Exactly, presidents draw the budget AND propose it to congress. Congress approves it. Look it up on wiki you dolt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_budget_process

Ralph said...

I have to disagree with Wisco on just one point. He implies the public is not stupid enough to buy the Republicans' nonsense about deficits.

Sadly, many of the comments to this post suggest that one segment of the public is ready to believe any kind of anti-Obama idiocy.

Too bad. People who can talk, think and write are more fun to be around. Eventually stupid people become boring. Wisco, maybe you should get some better commenters.

Anonymous said...

Ralph said...

" Eventually stupid people become boring. Wisco, maybe you should get some better commenters."

Agreed...Ralph you epitomize your own statment. Boring and stupid!

Is that the best argument you can formulate. No challenge with you guys...

Anonymous said...

Look around you, people will believe whatever they're told to believe.

Anonymous said...

I own a small chain of businesses. Since Obama has promised to "spread the wealth around," and I can't be sure just how much will be left over, I have put on hold all my plans to expand. I employ over 60 US citizens, and would like to employ more, but since my business sense is being second guessed by The One, I just can't see taking on the risk.

I am, however, considering expanding into Canada, Mexico, or elsewhere overseas.

Anonymous said...

www.viism.com

Hmm thats very interesting. Maybe you would like to take it to www.viism.com debate there theres a great section for it.

Wisco said...

This one has to take the prize for the dumbest statement yet -- and it's a highly competitive field.

-Wrong again Wishco...obama signed and pushed through the budget, not Bush. Spin it any way you want, but this current budget was put formulated under a Democratic majority and signed by obama...He DID NOT have to approve it...Learn the basics...-

Boy, you sure told me, genius. I guess PRESIDENT BUSH’S FY 2009 BUDGET must be a typo, because -- clearly -- I don't know the basics.

Anonymous said...

This article is dishonest and a load of bull! You really have to be comatose to actually believe this.

Barak Obama has spent 4 times more than Bush. He makes Bush look like a miser. Health care alone is going to cost American 1.84 trillion this year alone.

Bush never spent this much. When its all said and done BO will spend up to 3 trillion dollars and the economy will get worse.

Oil price are up. The dollar is down and unemploymet is near 10%.

BO insisted that if we didnt sign the stimulus bill we would have 10% unemployment.

Well lookey here, we have the stimulus bill and and unemployment is still highand will go past 10% before year end.

BO is a marxist and he will destroy this country and make Bush look like a choir boy.

Most people forget that we had 2 economic crises under Bush and we came out of them with out all this massive spending that BO is doing.

I mean half of the almost 800 billion dollars of the stimulus is wasteful spending on pet project. Which will not stimulate the economy one bit!

Anonymous said...

"Barak Obama has spent 4 times more than Bush."

Proof? Numbers? Don't have any? Big shock.

-Me

M said...

"What's stupid is not realizing that the amount that Obama has run up in a few months versus what Bush did in 8 years!"

America's good for it as long as we're displaying to our creditors our willingness to address our fiscal situation honestly and earnestly, and with investments in innovation and science and people-- the REAL movers of tangible and sustainable economic growth.

Bush and the republicans, like Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner & Roy Blunt, Trent Lott, Bill Frist, et cetera, controlled congress like belligerent pricks. They silenced the minority, even literally turning out the lights during House debates over the massive expansion of government championed by those same small government deficit hawk frauds under Bush.

And not to be outdone by an estimated $3 trillion dollar action in Iraq where plastic wrapped billons were handed out on a Baghdad tarmac like mob hijackers who just boosted a truck load full of King Size Kents, or the negligent non-accounting of war expenditures in Bush's budgets, essentially burying the true cost of the war in emergency war budgets, or the massive transference of wealth into the trust of Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Blackwater(on and fucking on)in a dramatic display of REAL fascism with Rupert Murdoch and corporate media leading the propaganda surge, the $2 trillion Rumsfeld and the Pentagon couldn't account for less than a week before 9/11, A republican controlled congress was responsible for inserting the Phil Gramm amendment that repealed key elements of Glass/Steagall, directly leading to the predatory derivative shell game we're currently trying to recover from.

Man, that shit made Alan Greenspan change his deregulation religion. But not for the CATO "thinkers," who still believe LESS regulation, or deregulation, the same deregulation McCain endorsed, along with his nutty spending freeze, are the keys to sustainablity and prosperity.

They're wrong. The proof is in the results we see today.

On the plus side, Corporations are just now beginning to expand, on their own, mind you, into green job technology, which creates new markets where the free market miserably failed under the money burning party's of Reagan and Bush. New markets=new revenues=employment=new revenue streams while adjusting to changes in public demand as they expand into a sustainable growth model of responsible and ethical business practice.

Obama's model has yet to be realized. You're negligently pre-mature in your analysis of the current fiscal outlook.

And to boot, we're seeing his foreign policy approach opening up international markets with countries that hate arrogant pricks who believe sanctions, war, and mass murder equate to viable prosperity, rather than free and fair trade that has been systematically closed, in direct confrontation with free market capitalism in a global economy.

And this year's budget is Bush's baby, fuctards.

M said...

"I have put on hold all my plans to expand."

Obama's not your problem.

Either you're stubborn and stupid like the GM boycott club, or you have no demand for what you're selling or servicing.

Hiring new employees without a market driven increase in demand is ridiculous and a loser.

Demand dictates employment.

Now, if demand is growing, and you're still not hiring, then you're obviously seeing and increase in productivity, which also has it's plus/negative results.

And if demand is growing, and you're still not hiring, you're using petty politics to determine your stubborn stagnant growth and you're a poor business owner who puts politics ahead of growth in supply.

There's been reports of unneccessary "house cleaning" using the recession as cause for trimming the fat.

You seem like the sort of a-hole that would do something like that.

"Spreading the wealth around..."

What's it called when the wealth is being spread to Halliburton(KBR)?

M said...

"US invaded Iraq to disarm them. The UN passed 18 resolutions to prevent Iraq from repeating what they did in Kuwait in 1990 and Iran in 1980 (1 million war casualties). Iraq, according to the UN, repeatedly violated 17 of the arms related resolutions. The US moved as a result. These violations had NOTHING to do with the WMDs, assuming that is where you're going."

That's some wonderful revisionist history and hypocrisy, for you.

Too stupid to debunk point by point. You do realize it's not fucking 2003 anymore and we know the reasons and history as it relates, right?

Keith said...

I blame the Republicrats. There, easy. Were going to hell and all we can do is argue about who is driving the bus. My non-partisan secular position is that the government is a business just like any other, always trying to sell you one thing or another. No surprise most people love their representative and loathe congress. What did you expect? The only thing that makes government different from any other business is that under the social contract we give the government the unlimited authorisation of violence in the course of its legal action. It is no wonder that as 'legal' has become an epistemological blur that that the governments morally justified monopolistic use of violence has just become a cost of getting the job done.

The most revealing is how easy it is to be accused of ideolatery to even attempt to reference the Constitution as a reason why congress shouldn't do something. People seem to think "Well, if it's a good idea, why shouldn't Congress have the power to make it happen?" Well, even throwing out the entire idea limited government proposed by the founders as having been too long ago to matter today, can't we see plenty of examples as necessary outside the US to see that only creates trouble?

If you think "Well, were better cause this is AMERICA!", then fine, but then why in such a freaking hurry to change it?

I am proud of Mr. Obama and his ambition for the nation, and his ability to get people to rally together for a cause, and to cross many political lines to get people to work together in new and creative ways. But without going into the specifics of the thing that he has said or done that I support or criticise, if there is anybody with the slightest bit of respect for him, you need to stand up and explain to him the half he has TOTALLY WRONG.

How's this? Does Michelle Obama look like a sheep that just lies there and says "yes sir", or more like the kind of woman willing to get into a good healthy adrenaline fueled debate with the man when they disagree? What do you think makes that relationship work?

I find it sickeningly ironic that in that respect conservatives have a better relationship with Obama than his own party. I guess it is just sad then that there is no real conservative party to represent the position,but I guess it just goes to show that great Americans will always be the individual.

M said...

"Health care alone is going to cost American 1.84 trillion this year alone."

Health care costs the US over $2 trillion anually as it is right now.

Nobody asked how we were going to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan, but we are.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, this wisco fella has to be a joke, he can't be this dumb. Take five minutes and read an overview of the budget process...

wisko, what a dumb f.....

The following is an overview of the federal budget process, including:

* the President’s annual budget request, which kicks off the budget process;
* the congressional budget resolution — how it is developed and what it contains;
* how the terms of the budget resolution are enforced in the House and Senate; and
* budget “reconciliation,” a special procedure used in some years to facilitate the passage of spending and tax legislation.

and be sure and read the federal code relative to the year in which their is a change in administration

Anonymous said...

How long did it take you to figure out that wisco is an ignorant naive sheep...

He just makes up stuff and posts it to defend his position, or rather the position he is told to take...I'm sure he bends over a lot...

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable to me how people can be so certain on subjects they are so ignorant about.

U.S. Government Fiscal Year: October 1 - September 30

The United States is currently in FY09, as such, it is operating on Bush's FY09 budget. Obama's budget proposal is for FY10, which starts on October 1, 2009.

The TARP funds that were dispersed by Obama were approved by the Bush administration. The only "new spending" that Obama has introduced was the stimulus package which everyone universally agreed was needed, the argument was about the implementation.

Of course. in an economic climate where jobs are being shed in mind boggling numbers, the Republicans wanted pixie dust (i.e. tax cuts). Guess what, they won't work because the axiom of lower taxes = more revenue is only feasible during an economic growth cycle. During a recession, you would be reducing taxes on a drastically reduced tax base (i.e. unemployment rising).

Therefore, a lower tax rate on a diminishing tax base will get you exponential drops in revenue.

Good grief how can you Rush and Hannity zombies be so stupid, but yet so arrogant with said stupidity?

Then again Bush is your hero...

Anonymous said...

Oh. My....Holy-UnderRoos!

$3.55 trillion in 2010!

That's gotta be a brazillion more than Bush's budget this year?!

Oh wait.

$3.1 trillion FY09.

It's also worth noting we include costs for Iraq and Afghanistan in the budget now.

Anonymous said...

You morons that don't get how the federal budget process works are a real bore. First of all the President recommends the budget. Then it is up to congress to make changes - a check an balance if you will - then send back to the president to execute. Who recommended the '09 budget?, Bush. Who reviewed, adjusted and reviewed the fiscal '09 budget? the democraptic controlled congress. Whose signature went on it to execute the budget? obama. Now, did obama have to sign off?, hell no.

Now, the point your missing. The conservative Republicans were in an uproar over Bush's actions. The fiscal conservatives felt betrayed. This is not what they voted for...

The point any objective, logical thinker does not understand is how both the dems and repubs can keep fabricating numbers to have these bar room type squabbles. The reality is we are nearing bankruptcy. This administration is out of control. So was the prior. To argue that obama ain't as bad as bush does not make senses. You've been sucked in and are being played, Just like the republicans were by their boys. It don't feel good do it. Yet, you resort to calling names.

Well, guess what, it is now the democrats turn to be duped and betrayed by the man they put in office. Defend all you want, but lay off the name calling, Wisco, you stupid F____ !

Anonymous said...

Hey Wisco,

Included is a link to a different group of economists trying to draw attention to the financial travesty obama is creating. This group of economists, different from the 300 sited by a previous commentator, numbers 535...Compare names from the lists...

By the way, most have personal websites and though you probably are incapable of understanding them (based on your failure to grasp the simplicity of the federal budget process), they offer their explanation of their economic position.

http://www.volnation.com/forum/politics/56908-hundreds-economists-sign-letter-opposing-obamas.html

Clearly, Obama doesn't need to fool rational thinking intellectuals to gain power and momentum. He can easily blow smoke up the a*** of the mass ignorant's...(psst, that would include you wisco)

Jeff said...

Congress spends the money, not the president. Thanks for playing!

M said...

"Congress spends the money, not the president. Thanks for playing!"

Ha ha ha. Yeah, you keep playing your home version of the semantics game.

The budget is indicative of the President's priorities and agenda, which he sets.

Stop playing with yourself.

Jeff said...

I think the democrats have been in control of congress....... Doesn't congress initiate all spending bills?

M said...

"This group of economists, different from the 300 sited by a previous commentator, numbers 535"

Only 535....?!

In a country with millions of economists and aspiring economists?

Millions of these people believed the "fundamentals of the economy were strong" when it obviously wasn't.

Come back to this thread in about 2011-2013.

Marty said...

There are serious misconceptions about taxcuts and their effects from some people in the comment section.
Here's why:

The tax cut contributed only MILDLY to the economic growth from 2002-2007.
The MAIN REASON were the exceptionally low interest rates and fueling of the realestate bubble. Please conservatives and libertarians!!! Update yourself in economic theory.

Austrian school of economics does not work in this situation nor do tax cuts.