posted on Jan, 5 2006 @ 08:11 PM
It's certain that Dubya did not start the myth that we had a budget surplus. That assertion is clearly irrational. What on Earth
would Dubya possibly gain by claiming that we actually had a surplus when Clinton was in office? That is the myth that's being discussed here, and
there's absolutely nothing that Dubya could possibly gain by promulgating that myth.
What Dubya did was to dishonestly claim that his tax cuts would be compensated for by the same projected surplus that is at the heart of all of
this confusion. He had to have known then, as any rational person did, that there wasn't going to be any budget surplus.
Here's a quick history of the projected surplus:
In 1997, Congress approved a balanced budget plan that was based on spending caps for all discretionary programs. In 1999, it was announced that
projections showed that there would be a budget surplus by the year 2006. This surplus depended on two things happening-- the economy had to continue
growing at the same pace, bringing the government more tax revenue, and Congress had to obey the budget caps. However, it was already apparent in
1999 that neither of these things was going to happen. The stock market was already in free fall, and Congress had already made it clear that
they weren't going to abide by the FY 2000 budget caps, which were set at higher levels than those for the following years. They were already
planning on spending more money than the budget caps allowed-- in the first year.
So when Bush claimed that the surplus would make up for his tax cuts, that was clearly a lie. He (or at least his handlers) had to have known, as any
rational person did, that the surplus just wasn't going to happen.
However, since his election, more and more people have come to say, as was said on this thread and as introduced this topic, that under Clinton we
had a surplus, and that now we don't. That's the myth that's under investigation here, and, as I said, there's clearly nothing that Bush
might've gained by starting that myth.
Personally, I don't believe that it's a deliberate bit of propaganda. I think it's a misconception that's taken on a life of its own. I think
that the source of this myth is democratic partisans who were honestly confused (and jubilant) in 1999 by the talk about a surplus (as they were no
doubt meant to be) and believed that it already existed, rather than that it was only projected. They heard something about a surplus then, and they
believed that it already existed. They've simply continued to believe ever since that there was at one time a real surplus, and have never
understood that the only surplus there ever was was a projected one.
[edit on 5-1-2006 by Bob LaoTse]