After June’s $70 billion budget surplus, you’d think that the right would be ecstatic that the deficit has been reduced so much. Heck, the CBO says the entire deficit for 2014 will “only” be $492 billion. That’s down from the over the $1.4 trillion deficit Bush left when Obama took office in 2009.
But no one’s talking about it. Liberals who pay attention to the economics of it all are not happy because cutting spending during an economic downturn is the last thing you want to do. Every president in my lifetime, including all the Republicans, increased spending during a recession because it was the best way to goose the economy. Republicans, of course, know this but are absolutely committed to sabotaging the recovery for purely political reasons. Or did you think it was a coincidence that the majority of state and local public sector jobs lost since the Tea Party completely took over a bunch of states in 2010? Firing millions of government workers and then cutting their unemployment is a great way to hurt the economy. And Obama went along with it by not massively expanding the federal government payroll to pick up the slack. Yes, Republicans would have screamed bloody murder, but they did that anyway so who cares? Unemployment would be much lower and GDP growth would be strong and steady.
On the other hand, not increasing spending kind of worked in a purely political sense. Conservatives are pissed off because liberals being “fiscally irresponsible” is one of their all time favorite talking points and they can’t even mention the deficit anymore. To complain about it would require acknowledging what the deficit was and where it is now. Sure, some of them try to pin the 2008 $1.4 trillion deficit on Obama but no one takes them seriously. It’s more like a lame “I know you are but what am I?” defense than an actual belief.
If Clinton wins and is able to reverse Obama’s tepid spending, the economy will ramp up VERY quickly. That would piss off Republicans to no end because that’s what THEY plan on doing if they take the White House. More likely, the GOP will continue its unprecedented obstruction in the hopes the country will finally give in to their hostage demands and put them back in charge. The danger with that strategy is that the economy is still recovering despite Republican sabotage. If they are still the minority party when it finally clicks back into full gear, they will get NONE of the credit. After years of proudly stated that they’re the Party of No, even the most die hard Fox News viewer is going to be hard pressed to convince themselves that Republicans doing nothing somehow made the economy magically improve.
I guess we’ll find out.