New and improved US deficit visualization

| October 1, 2009

This wonderful chart, put up by Veronique de Rugy over at The American, is even better than the chart that I’ve used off and on for months to show the staggering deficit projections resulting from the Obama Administration unsustainable economic policies. As per de Rugy’s explanations, here’s what the color bars mean:

  • the orange bars (up through 2008) show the actual deficits from the last year of the Clinton Administration and the first seven years of the Bush Administration (kind of makes you wistful, doesn’t it?)
  • the purple bars show the deficit projections as of September 2008, two months prior to the Presidential election
  • the black bars show the deficit projections as of January 2009, after the bailout efforts of the outgoing Bush Administration
  • the red bars show the deficit projections as of this August, resulting entirely from the actions of the Obama Administration and the current Congress

In other words, you can’t blame Bush for anything in red. As de Rugy points out (emphasis mine):

. . . Obama is right to note that he inherited a large deficit in fiscal 2009. But as we can see here, he is responsible for growing the deficit beyond expectations in fiscal 2009 and thereafter. In fact, in its January 2009 projections, the CBO built in most of the Bush-era policy spending, including the TARP bailout (which President Obama voted for as a senator) and the takeovers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In spite of his rhetoric, President Obama bears most of the responsibility for the red part of the bar in fiscal 2009, which includes, among other things, some auto bailouts and $31 billion of additional funding for the omnibus bill, the share of the stimulus funding spent in that fiscal year.

. . . Obama’s deficits are frightening but they promise to get worse. Each month that goes by the president adds spending to the deficit. The August 2009 projections for instance, do not include any of the president’s healthcare reform spending and they assume that the “temporary” stimulus spending will not be prolonged past fiscal 2011. Finally, they also assume that the economy will recover soon and that it will grow enough to generate increasing tax revenue, in spite of the president’s plan to impose new taxes and regulations on the private sector. In other words, the deficit will likely continue to deteriorate beyond the current projections.

Good thing that the Obama Stimulus package has done so much for unemployment and the economy, eh?  ..bruce w..

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Category: Congress, Economics, Healthcare Reform, Main, Moment of Clarity, Obama Administration, Sea of deficits, Stimulus, US Politics, Visualizations

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.