The Iraq War is NOT Responsible For The Exploding Deficit

Using the Government’s own numbers compiled by the Congressional Budget Office for 2009 and later and from the U.S. Statistical Abstract for 2008 and earlier, Randall Hoven soundly demolishes the myth promulgated by Democrats that the Iraq War is responsible for exploding deficits. See the note at the end of Hoven’s article at The American Thinker for reference to the exact location in each source for the numbers represented in the following table:

Hoven quotes several Democrats and their sympathizers in the partisan media who categorically blame the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Bush Tax cuts, and the recession for “nearly the entire deficit.” Here’s just one:

“First, the facts. Nearly the entire deficit for this year and those projected into the near and medium terms are the result of three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession. The solution to our fiscal situation is: end the wars…”
– Christopher Hayes, The Nation.

The table above succinctly shows Hayes statement to be nonsense. Says Hoven:

Just for grins, use the above chart to dissect Christopher Hayes’ statement that our current and future deficits are caused by “three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession.”

Two of those three things — the wars and tax cuts — were in effect from 2003 through 2007. Do you see alarming deficits or trends from 2003 through 2007 in the above chart? No. In fact, the trend through 2007 is shrinking deficits. What you see is a significant upward tick in 2008, and then an explosion in 2009. Now, what might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009?

Democrats taking over both houses of Congress, and then the presidency, was what happened. Republicans wrote the budgets for the fiscal years through 2007. Congressional Democrats wrote the budgets for FY 2008 and on. When the Democrats also took over the White House, they immediately passed an $814-billion “stimulus.” (The $814 billion figure is from the same CBO report as the Iraq War costs. See sources at end of article.)

The sum of all the deficits from 2003 through 2010 is $4.73 trillion. Subtract the entire Iraq War cost and you still have a sum of $4.02 trillion.

On the Bush Tax cuts being responsible for any of the deficit, even the New York Times doesn’t believe that. In a story from July 9, 2006 the Times said this:

An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.

Clearly, a steep rise in tax revenues resulting from the Bush Tax cuts could not also be causing part of the rising deficit.

Hoven finds, from all this, some salient facts:

So the following are facts, based on the government’s own figures.

  • Obama’s stimulus, passed in his first month in office, will cost more than the entire Iraq War — more than $100 billion (15%) more.
  • Just the first two years of Obama’s stimulus cost more than the entire cost of the Iraq War under President Bush, or six years of that war.
  • Iraq War spending accounted for just 3.2% of all federal spending while it lasted.
  • Iraq War spending was not even one quarter of what we spent on Medicare in the same time frame
  • Iraq War spending was not even 15% of the total deficit spending in that time frame. The cumulative deficit, 2003-2010, would have been four-point-something trillion dollars with or without the Iraq War.
  • The Iraq War accounts for less than 8% of the federal debt held by the public at the end of 2010 ($9.031 trillion).
    During Bush’s Iraq years, 2003-2008, the federal government spent more on education that it did on the Iraq War. (State and local governments spent about ten times more.)
  • Read the whole thing.

    UPDATE: Obama’s failed stimulus cost more than the Iraq War.

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