The year 2009, in politics, could easily be called the Year of Hypocrisy although I do not know if it was worse than any other. We may remember the year by the improprieties of Tiger Woods or David Letterman. They certainly deserve some scorn for their behavior, but neither of them preached a chaste life. The public will probably forget the Larry Craig's, Elliot Spitzer's, Mark Sanford's and Jon Edwards' scandals. Sex scandals generally don't bother me so much because it is usually someone's personal life and that is none of my business. But if we are talking about someone like Idaho Senator Larry Craig ... it really is our business. The man was outspoken against gays while meeting gay prostitutes in airport men's rooms around the country. Again, the hypocrisy is maddening.
These are just sex scandals. When the hypocrisy involves a much bigger issue ... like the federal deficit ... it is more than maddening. It is something that obsesses me a little. Like I want to reach out and choke someone. If you turn on Fox "News" (I put in quotes because they are really not a news channel) you would think that the deficit spending that President Obama is doing is out of control. I agree the amount of spending his administration is doing is concerning but compared to the previous administration's flippant spending, I am not too concerned.
Here is a good article from the New York Times that puts it in perspective. It was published about a half year ago so I am sure some of this has changed some. It puts the current deficit in four categories of causes:
- Recessions or the business cycle (37%);
- Policies enacted by President Bush (33%);
- Policies enacted by President Bush and supported or extended by President Obama (20%); and
- New policies from President Obama (10%).
Here is the hypocrisy, Bush spent in the following manner and came up with no way of paying for these:
- the war in Iraq
- the war in Afghanistan
- the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003
Here is a great graph I stole from Wikipedia (thank you). It shows the growth of the deficit. Notice how Bush inherited a surplus from Clinton. He also inherited a thriving economy. But come 2009, Obama inherits two very expensive wars which have never been paid for but also an economy in the tank.
You can take each of the things that Bush spent our money on and debate their virtues or lack thereof, but whatever a President spends money on ... shouldn't they also come up with a way of paying for it? If they can't come up with a way of paying for it ... like your household budget ... shouldn't the President just not do it. If it was an emergency, like stimulating an economy on the way to a depression, I can understand. If Roosevelt can do this during WW II shouldn't Bush have been able to do it.
I am not a huge fan of the Democrats. I mainly vote for Democrats because the Republican alternative is just not acceptable. Their hypocrisies don't cost me as much money.