Politics & Current Events

Deficit: Bush kept the cost of two wars off budget

Since the debt and deficit are being discussed so much now, I wanted to post what can make the rise in the deficit look like it happened more abruptly than it did.  I don't agree with everything Obama does (especially in education), but his attempt to make the budget reflect what was really being spent has made some blame him for what looks like a big hike. 

Obama: No More War Spending Tricks

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/02/weighing-the-ir/

In his address last night on the economic crisis, President Barack Obama made it official: No more budgetary sleight-of-hand at the Pentagon.

As we have noted here before, the U.S. military has largely paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through emergency spending measures, in effect keeping wartime costs off the books. In addition to masking skyrocketing budget growth at the Department of Defense, this process has allowed the services to treat budget supplementals as a piggy bank for new procurement. Members of Congress may have grumbled about poor oversight, but they have largely acquiesced.

Obama?s message? Not anymore.

"That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules ? and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said. "For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price."

This is the first real move toward belt-tightening at the Pentagon; we?ll see if the new Defense Department budget reflects it, and Obama?s pledge to stop "paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don?t use."

Meanwhile, the president is weighing the options for a withdrawal from Iraq. In his speech, Obama said he would "soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war."

What that means is that combat troops could likely be out of Iraq by the end of next summer. The Washington Post quotes anonymous officials as saying Obama will announce a withdrawal plan later this week that would have U.S. forces out by August 2010. A substantial force may stay on, however, to train and advise the Iraq military and conduct limited counterterrorism missions. As the New York Times notes, one of Obama?s national security advisers said during the campaign that that the force could number between 30,000 to 55,000 troops.

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Re: Deficit: Bush kept the cost of two wars off budget

  • I just don't trust poilitcians enough to believe it when they say they won't hide anything from us, financially speaking.

    Ain't.gonna.happen.

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  • image pedantic_wench:

    I just don't trust poilitcians enough to believe it when they say they won't hide anything from us, financially speaking.

    Ain't.gonna.happen.

    But this is one instance of someone doing something that will look bad in numbers but is more honest.  I think it is important because many people look at the budget of Bush compared to Obama's, and there is a big difference if the wars are deleted.  I could show you my budget and leave off the house payment and it wouldn't be indicative of what was really happening.

     

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  • image fallbride_2004:
    image pedantic_wench:

    I just don't trust poilitcians enough to believe it when they say they won't hide anything from us, financially speaking.

    Ain't.gonna.happen.

    But this is one instance of someone doing something that will look bad in numbers but is more honest.  I think it is important because many people look at the budget of Bush compared to Obama's, and there is a big difference if the wars are deleted.  I could show you my budget and leave off the house payment and it wouldn't be indicative of what was really happening.

     

    But who's to say that Obama won't cook the books if he gets re-elected? Take off something or put it under another category to make his policies look good?

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  • image pedantic_wench:
    image fallbride_2004:
    image pedantic_wench:

    I just don't trust poilitcians enough to believe it when they say they won't hide anything from us, financially speaking.

    Ain't.gonna.happen.

    But this is one instance of someone doing something that will look bad in numbers but is more honest.  I think it is important because many people look at the budget of Bush compared to Obama's, and there is a big difference if the wars are deleted.  I could show you my budget and leave off the house payment and it wouldn't be indicative of what was really happening.

     

    But who's to say that Obama won't cook the books if he gets re-elected? Take off something or put it under another category to make his policies look good?

    But everyone knew Bush wasn't putting the way spending in the budget. It's not some dirty secret that was only revealed when he left office. If Obama took something else out of the budget, well, feel free to call him out on it.

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  • You mean like the 500B savings from Medicare in the ObamaCare bill (D's can call those cuts)  that are double counted in their total savings?
  • You mean like the 500B savings from Medicare in the ObamaCare bill (D's can call those cuts)  that are double counted in the bill's totall savings?
  • So in other words President Obama is gearing up for Election 2012 Campaign: Continue To Blame Bush.  Too bad he can't recycle Hope, Change or Transparency in government.
  • image msmerymac:
    image pedantic_wench:
    image fallbride_2004:
    image pedantic_wench:

    I just don't trust poilitcians enough to believe it when they say they won't hide anything from us, financially speaking.

    Ain't.gonna.happen.

    But this is one instance of someone doing something that will look bad in numbers but is more honest.  I think it is important because many people look at the budget of Bush compared to Obama's, and there is a big difference if the wars are deleted.  I could show you my budget and leave off the house payment and it wouldn't be indicative of what was really happening.

     

    But who's to say that Obama won't cook the books if he gets re-elected? Take off something or put it under another category to make his policies look good?

    But everyone knew Bush wasn't putting the way spending in the budget. It's not some dirty secret that was only revealed when he left office. If Obama took something else out of the budget, well, feel free to call him out on it.

    Thank you. It really is no secret. Just like, say, the funny accounting shifts being performed by Geithner to prolong the debt ceiling issue.
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  • image KateAggie:
    So in other words President Obama is gearing up for Election 2012 Campaign: Continue To Blame Bush.  Too bad he can't recycle Hope, Change or Transparency in government.

    I swear to God if he dares to utter the word transparency this go round, I will stab myself in the ear drum. And only because I'm scared of the secret service.

    Non-snarky question: Was war spending usually counted in the budget before Bush? And by war spending are we referring to thinks above and beyond a usual standing military or are we including all of that too?



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  • image hindsight's_a_biotch:

    Non-snarky question: Was war spending usually counted in the budget before Bush? And by war spending are we referring to thinks above and beyond a usual standing military or are we including all of that too?

    I am trying to find, but it appears not exactly.  For Clinton, he used the emergency supplemental appropriations for things like Kosovo, Somalia, etc.  Roosevelt used this budget for the New Deal and to fund WW II and the need for more personnel.  Bush I for Gulf War.  Bush II, though, seemed to go for a much higher rate.

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