The 2017 fiscal year has just come to a close and the numbers are in. The deficit grew to a whopping $666 billion. This is not as high as the trillion dollar deficits during the first half of the Obama Administration resulting from the phony “stimulus,” but it is larger than it has been over the last few years. So who is to blame?
As I read the Washington Times, they seem to suggest that the fault lies with Presidents Obama and Trump since each were President during the 2017 fiscal year.
They write as follows:
The federal government posted a $666 billion deficit in the just-completed fiscal year 2017, the Treasury Department announced Friday, marking another year of deteriorating finances as the government slinks back toward the trillion-dollar mark.
It’s a black eye for both President Trump and former President Barack Obama, who split responsibility for the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2016, and ran through Sept. 30.
The deficit is the worst since 2013.
Certainly, Obama and Trump do bear some responsibility, since budgets and spending bills cannot become law unless signed by the President (leaving aside congressional overrides of presidential vetoes.) However, the primary responsibility lies with Congress. Under our Constitution, it is Congress who writes the law. It is Congress who establishes the layers upon layers of entitlements and welfare programs which are the main drivers of our increasingly unsustainable debt. Yes, presidents push for legislation politically, but they have no authority whatsoever to pass a single budget or spending bill. Make no mistake, we are saddled with a $20 trillion debt because of Congress. Presidents may have signed the bills, but such bills were only presented to them as written because of Congress.
Of course, most informed people understand this. Certainly, most of my readers do. The reason I raise this point is that the blame needs to be placed upon those who are responsible. We tend to give all the credit and all the blame to presidents for everything that happens during their administrations. This is both unfair and inaccurate. Presidents do not deserve the blame for things that are not their fault, and they should not get the credit for things with which they had nothing to do. More important, however, than the issue of fairness is the concept of accountability. We must accurately identify the people responsible for both the good and the bad so that we hold the right people accountable.
The 2017 fiscal operating debt of $666 billion is the fault of Congress. The Republicans have controlled Congress since 2011. They have done virtually nothing to reform government. They have done virtually nothing to curtail spending. They have done nothing to address entitlement programs which will eventually collapse this country financially if not restructured. And of course, they still have not repealed Obamacare. Do not misunderstand, this is not an argument in favor of electing Democrats. The situation would be at least as bad, and probably far worse if Congress was under Democrat control. No, these facts suggest that a great many of the current Republican congressmen and senators need to be defeated and replaced with actual conservatives. We need to stop supporting incumbent Republicans just because we are more familiar with their names or because the Establishment RINOs feed us the same old lie that they are more “electable.” If we are to fix our problems we must elect new people to Congress, not reelect the ones who caused, or failed to address them. We must put the blame where it belongs and hold these people accountable.