If you were to believe what the Democratic leaders of Congress have been telling you, the primary impetus for the crap sandwich a.k.a. economic stimulus bill has been President George Walker Bush’s spending practices. Obviously, the Republican Party controlled Congress from 1995 until the close of 2006. It is also a fact that the Democratic Party assumed control of Congress in 2007, after the Republicans were widely defeated in the 2006 mid-term elections.
During the twelve year period in which the Republicans were in control, the combined deficit was $1.2453 trillion. This includes the monies used after the September 11th attacks and hurricane Katrina.
The actual “inherited” deficit that the Democrats were left with when they took control of Congress in 2007 was $160.7 billion. This is largely due to the fact that the Republicans had instituted a program to pay down the deficit in every year from 2004 to that time.
In 2008 with both Democrats Reid and Pelosi in charge of their respective chambers of Congress, the deficit ballooned up to $454.8 billion. This was the largest nominal deficit in history.
After 2009, it will be nearly $1.5 trillion dollars. That is more than the combined deficit of the entire 12 years the Republicans controlled Congress.
As far as the success or failure of the bill, the Congressional Budget Office’s evaluation of the current Democratic spending package is somewhat bleak. According to the non-partisan CBO, the stimulus bill will increase employment in the short term but also crowd out private investment in the economy. It will also put downward pressure on the GDP and wages after 2014. Scary stuff.
The numbers listed in this story can be found on the Congressional Budget Office website.
On the political side, the Democrats are in full defense mode. Since the bill was passed nearly 100% by Democrats, the DCCC is already taking action to limit the negatives on the bill. This is obviously a difficult task with the high negatives the bill faces. The fallout from this bill has been so immense that the DCCC has sought out “stimulus spinners” to work in each district to try and make the crap sandwich easier to swallow. These are publicly named people that will work to improve the public’s reaction to the bill.