McCain Said 'Blame It On Bush' When Obama Claimed He Inherited Deficit

CRITICAL UPDATE AT END OF POST: Obama praised the 2009 budget when the Senate passed it!

After President Obama told the nation during Wednesday's State of the Union address that he inherited the huge budget deficits befronting the country, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) turned to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and said, "Blame it on Bush."

In reality, this was one of many Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) moments last night as the President once again played fast and loose with the facts in a nationally televised address.

Sadly, media are deeply at fault here, for if they wouldn't allow the White House to repeatedly blame the nation's current fiscal problems on the previous Administration, Obama would be forced to be more truthful. As NewsBusters has regularly shown, America's so-called journalists have been aiding and abetting these falsehoods for quite some time.

But before we get there, here's what Obama said last night (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript includes McCain saying "Blame it on Bush," file photo):

PRESIDENT OBAMA: By the time I took office, we had a one year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door. 

Not exactly. 

After all, on March 14, 2008, then Sen. Obama voted in favor of the 2009 budget which authorized $3.1 trillion in federal outlays along with a projected $400 billion deficit. The 51-44 vote that morning was strongly along party lines with only two Republicans saying "Yes."

When the final conference report was presented to the House on June 5, not one Republican voted for it.

This means the 2009 budget was almost exclusively approved by Democrats, with "Yeas" coming from current President then Sen. Obama, his current Vice President then Sen. Joe Biden, his current Chief of Staff then Rep. Rahm Emanuel, and his current Secretary of State then Sen. Hillary Clinton.

How is this possibly something that happened before Obama "walked in the door" when his Party ramrodded the original budget through Congress with virtually no Republican approval -- save Bush's signature, of course -- and the highest members of the current Administration -- including the president himself!!! -- supported it when they were either in the Senate or the House?

Sadly, Obama-loving media care not to address this inconvenient truth.

But that's just the beginning, for on October 1, 2008, Obama, Biden, and Clinton voted in favor of the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program designed to prevent teetering financial institutions from completely destroying the economy. Couldn't Obama only disavow responsibility for this if he had voted no along with the other 25 Senators disapproving the measure?

And what about the $787 billion stimulus bill that passed in February 2009 with just three Republican votes? Wouldn't Obama only be blameless if he vetoed it and was later overridden?

Of course, he didn't, and, instead signed it into law on February 17. Nor did he veto the $410 billion of additional spending Congress sent to his desk three weeks later.

Add it all up, and Obama approved every penny spent in fiscal 2009 either via his votes in the Senate or his signature as President.

If the Administration wants to blame lower tax receipts on a recession it inherited, and media want to echo that, fine.

But as the fiscal 2009 budget deficit was LARGELY a function of out of control spending Obama and Company either voted for or approved, it is unconscionable the press allow it to be completely blamed on either the economy or Bush.

Yet this is exactly what they've been doing. The New York Times reported last May:

Congressional Democrats echoed the reference to the inheritance from President George W. Bush. "It took eight years for the previous administration to dig this hole. It is going to take time to climb our way out," Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said in a statement. 

Last August, ABC's George Stephanopoulos allowed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to blame the 2009 budget deficit on Bush. Just this past Sunday, ABC's Terry Moran let senior White House adviser David Axelrod AND Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) do the same thing.

Lest we not forget New York Times columnist Paul Krugman actually complained last week that the Administration hadn't done a very good job of blaming all of the country's fiscal and economic woes on Bush.

As such, what media have done is shamefully further the misnomer that the current White House is completely innocent of the spiraling budget deficits and soaring debt being created.

If they had any hint of professionalism, they'd be mouthing the same words McCain did Wednesday night every time a member of the Administration tried deflecting the blame for their own actions.

Alas, readers aren't advised to hold their breath. 

*****Update: Obama praised the 2009 budget after it was passed (h/t Verum Serum) --

March 14
Obama Statement on the Senate's Passage of the FY 2009 Budget 

Washington DC -- Sen. Obama today released a statement on the Senate's passage of the FY 2009 Federal Budget:

"In Illinois and throughout the country, Americans share common hopes and common struggles. They are worried about keeping their jobs and being able to pay record gas prices and stay ahead of their mortgages and credit card bills and still have enough left over to make ends meet. They want to know that they'll have health care when they get sick - not just for themselves, but for their children and elderly parents. They want to know that a quality education and a college degree are within reach for all Americans. They want to retire with security and dignity. And they want to know that our government is doing everything it can to keep our nation safe and secure.

"The budget passed by the Senate tonight makes significant progress in getting our nation's priorities back on track. After years of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, this year's budget helps restore fiscal responsibility in Washington, and provides tax relief for the middle class and low-income families who need help most. It includes an expansion in the Child Tax Credit that I have fought for and makes marriage penalty relief permanent. And it rejects the President's drastic cuts in important domestic programs.

"We need change in this country, and this budget is an important step in helping bring it about. I commend Chairman Conrad for his extraordinary leadership in moving this resolution forward and moving America's fiscal policies in the right direction."

Hmmm. Now two years later, he's blaming Bush for the deficit it caused!

State of the Union Budget ABC New York Times This Week Video Joe Wilson
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