A Little History of the Reagan Deficits

There is usually a lot of talk about the budget deficits of the Reagan and first Bush years that the presidents were not to blame, but were caused by out of control congressional spending.  Wrong.  Fully 80% of the deficits in the Reagan/Bush periods were programmed and asked for by the Presidents, and the balance, 20%, came from the Congress.

The overwhelming proportion of the deficits of the last decade [i.e., the 1980s] were already proposed in President Reagan’s and President Bush’s original budget submission. There was no explosion of federal spending over and above what the presidents had asked for. More than four-fifths of the 1980s deficits were “presidential.” Less than one-fifth were “congressional.”

via Origins of the Reagan Deficits: Hoisted from the Archives – Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality with a Prehensile Tail.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
Resident of the City of Coral Gables

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