Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit blog has long been using a graphic showing the deficits (and a few surpluses) of the last five administrations. Since the graphic only had the projected budget deficit for Pres. Obama’s first year, I decided to update it with more recent numbers. Taking the numbers from the Whitehouse Office of Management and Budget itself, I have updated the graphic with the announced 2009 and 2010 deficits, as well as the deficit the OMB is projecting for 2011.

Here are six variations graphing the current numbers, as of October 2010 February 2011 July 2012 [Now with updated 2013 numbers! -- CM]. Feel free to copy them and use them on your own blogs.

Obama's Deficit

I decided to call out Pres. Obama’s deficits in shades of red. You can also get this in in a much larger size (2250 x 1690 pixels).

Question: where to you get the numbers for the graph? I go to the Office of Management and Budget site and download Table 1.1. I then look at the column D (Surplus or Deficit) to get the numbers for the graph.

Question: how do you convert the surplus/deficit numbers from the table into bars on the graph? Table 1.1 comes down as an Excel file, so I continue to use Excel to convert the surplus/deficit numbers into a count of pixels for each bar. I go to a blank column, like M, and enter the following formula “=D119/8310″. That takes the contents of cell D119 (surplus or deficit for that year) and divides it by 8310, since each pixel represents $8,310,000. Since I can’t have a fraction of a pixel, I format the entire column as a Number with 0 decimal places. Excel does all the rounding up from me. I then take the number of pixels, positive or negative, and draw a bar that many pixels up or down. Once that information has been updated in my master file in Paint Shop Pro, I save out a small and large versions of the image and post them.

UPDATE (2/15/2011 12:26:09 PM): With a new revision of the OMB numbers for 2011 raising the estimated deficit to $1.645 trillion, I have updated the graphics to show the new OMB projection. I have also made two other changes based on feedback. The Bush years text now uses bars rather than arrows (h/t Irene), and I have given Pres. Bush eight years of budgets instead of nine and adjusted all the rest by one (h/t bridgeman).

If you have been using these images, please download and use the current versions. If you want to access the old ones, you may download them all as a single zip file.

UPDATE (7/26/2011 6:00:00 PM): I have updated the images with the finalized 2011 numbers (down 345 billion) and added the projected 2012 budget deficit. I changed from using .jpg to .png for smaller file size and less fuzziness. Based on feedback, I created a large version of one of the images at 2250×1690 pixels that prints better. I also added a credit to this website.

UPDATE (3/2/2013 1:00:00 PM): Since it was requested, I have updated the graphic with the current numbers from Table 1.1 from the Office of Management and Budget site. 2012 is still listed there as an estimate, so I have left it in the graph as pink. I also added the estimate for 2013 to the image. The deficit is projected to go down in 2013, not from lack of spending but from an estimated increase in taxes. We’ll see how that goes.

The image is available in regular (450px x 338px) or large (2250px x 1690px). I have removed the other versions since there has been no demand for them.

UPDATE (5/9/2013 11:07 AM): I just checked the Table 1.1 spreadsheet at the OMB site, and they have published the official 2012 numbers. I’ve updated the graphic with the new numbers and changed it from estimate pink to official red. I also added two questions with answers about where I get the data and how I make the image.

President Obama has headed off on another vacation, this time to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Of course, all presidents take time off from the rigors of office, and that’s a good thing. The U.S. would be poorly served by any president who is so beaten down by the pressures of office that he couldn’t properly do his job. Being president is a very tough job, and getting away from its demands is a nice break, even if it is for a short time.

I remember reading about the vacations President George W. Bush went on, and people pointed to his many vacations as a sign of a bad president. According to the article, he spent 487 days at Camp David, and 490 days at his Crawford ranch in Texas. And so that means he was completely cut off from his office, right? Pfft. A president isn’t ever really away from his job, not even when on vacation. In the middle of a transoceanic flight on Air Force One, the president is in constant communication with the rest of government. Camp David is just as connected as Air Force One and so was Pres. Bush’s ranch. During his time away from the White House, Pres. Bush was still getting his daily briefings of current events and threats, and Pres. Obama is undoubtedly doing the same on his vacations.

Both Camp David and Pres. Bush’s ranch in Texas were excellent places for some a little presidential R-and-R. Both have been set up to support a president and his needs without completely disrupting the people around. But when a president or his family goes someplace else, the visit is a huge disruption to the locals. You can see a clear demonstration of this disruption during Mrs. Obama’s vacation in Spain. As her group went around, security had to clear out buildings, check for suspicious people, and cordon off beaches just for the First Lady’s use. I certainly understand the need for security, and to a lesser extent privacy, but the end result still remains: a visiting president and family is a major disruption. Just ask the people stuck for hours in bumper-to-bumper L.A. traffic because Pres. Obama made a short visit there.

Frankly, I’m glad Pres. Obama is taking his vacations, even if it means causing a ruckus around the States. Each vacation means he is able to blow off some of the pressure of office, and hopefully that means we will have a better president.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Here is the fourth of my posts inspired by an editorial cartoon this week. Today’s was drawn by Lisa Benson.

Bush's tax cuts expiring

The tax cuts that President Bush pushed for are slated to expire January 1st, 2011. And for many Americans, it means a tax hike. You can calculate and see if that’s the case using this handy form from the Tax Foundation. I did a quick test and found out that I’ll be coughing up almost $2,500 more if the tax cuts go away. I don’t know about you, but $2,500 is a bunch of money!

But there is something else worth considering. Bush’s tax cuts have and will affect the overall economy. The tax cut law was signed by President Bush on May 28, 2003, and the effect was quickly seen. The GDP growth for the second quarter of 2003 was 1.10%, but in the third quarter, with the tax cuts in effect, the GDP growth was 2.25%. GDP growth more than doubled, thanks to cutting the top rates people had to pay. Also interesting is the growth of private investment before and after the tax cuts. The private investment rate two quarters before the tax cuts kicked in were 0.61% and 0.42% while the two quarters afterwards were 3.96% and 4.50%. When people realized they could keep more of their hard-earned money, they were willing to invest it in the economy. Since the tax cuts had been heavily debated for a while before their passage, it’s very possible that many businesses and investors held off purchases and big spending until after the tax cuts kicked in.

Let’s take a look at where we are now. We are almost a mirror opposite of 2003. Instead of anticipating tax cuts and postponing activities, businesses are anticipating tax increases and hurrying to do what they can to earn before the taxes go up. As I see it, the rush by businesses and investors to get while the getting is good is boosting this weak economy. Once President Bush’s tax cuts expire, there won’t be nearly as much effort to work for less. I see a deeper recession if the tax cuts expire, and I’m not the only one seeing it.

“In a worst-case scenario, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire and failing to fix the AMT could result in (1.5 percent) of fiscal drag in 2011 on top of the 1 percent fiscal drag we expect to occur as the Obama fiscal stimulus package unwinds,” Deutsche said in a note to clients. “If the recovery remains soft/tentative through early next year, this additional drag could be enough to push the economy to a stalling point.”

The opinion runs counter to that of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who said earlier this week that allowing the cuts to expire would not cause the economy to re-enter recession. The administration has proposed letting most of the tax cuts stand, but eliminating the ones for the top-tier earners.

Deutsche compared the situation to Japan in the 1990s, when the government let tax cuts expire and cut stimulus, leading to another leg down in the recession and ensuring the nation’s “lost decade” of no economic growth.

Our Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says that letting the tax cuts expire wouldn’t cause the economy to re-enter a recession. And government said that the multi-billion dollar stimulus would hold unemployment at 8%, but we are sitting at 9.5%. The administration doesn’t have a good record when it comes to foreseeing the results of their actions. Heck, our Treasury Secretary has a hard enough time just paying his own taxes.

How could we get out of our current recession? I have a plan that would do so in just three easy steps. But Congress would never do it because it means reducing their power. And they can’t have that.

For years now, I’ve heard President George W. Bush called “Bush Jr.,” but he’s not really a Junior. After all, his name is George Walker Bush, and his father is George Herbert Walker Bush. The proper term to differentiate President Bush from his presidential father is “the younger.” That’s the term that has been used to distinguish Pliny, Seneca, and William Pitt from their same-name elders.

But we all know that people have and continue to use “Bush Jr.” to diminish him. It’s an easy way to mock him as somehow not being as good or as worthy as his father, and the vast majority of times I have read or heard “Bush Jr.,” it has been done by some liberal actively disparaging the president. Yes, his family gave him the nickname of Junior, but are you so close with the former president that you are on a nickname basis with him? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

An election later, and now we have a real junior in the White House. President Obama’s full name is Barack Hussein Obama II. His father is Barack Hussein Obama I. The roman numeral at the end of the name is just another way of indicating Senior and Junior.

So if you want to be correct in addressing the President as Junior, President Obama is the real Junior, not President Bush. Besides, as I watch the lack of experience in the Oval Office, I am reminded that Obama Junior is a neophyte when it comes to being an executive. He could get away with voting “present” most of the time when he was a state senator, but he is far out of his depths as President of the United States.

I’ve been thinking about race and racism for the past few weeks, and I have come to the conclusion that at its root, racism is the result of viewing people as groups rather than as individuals. For example, it is racist to believe that purple people are lazy, and green people are smart just because they are purple or green. But it’s not racist if you think Joe is lazy because he never does anything, or Jane is smart because she’s both a brain surgeon and a rocket scientist.

Here’s my working definition of racism: the belief that a person’s race is important in judging the superiority or inferiority of that person; also viewing everything through the filter of race. The idea that purple people are better than green people is a racist idea because it judges the groups based on their race classification only. And a professor of Green Studies who sees every real or imagined insult as an attack on him personally because of his Green color is likewise a racist.

The sad news is that we have not gotten past race and racism as a nation yet. As proof, I offer President Obama. He is often referred to as our nation’s first black President, but is he really? OK, ignoring the claim that President Clinton was our first black President, President Obama’s mother was white and his father was black. That makes Obama a half-and-half mixture of the two races. To identify him as black implies that the 50% of him that is black is more important than the 50% that is white. Another example is Tiger Woods. As Wikipedia puts it, he is “one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai, one-quarter African American, one-eighth Native American, and one-eighth Dutch.” But every time he is called black or credited as the “first African American to win a men’s major golf championship,” a value judgment has been made stating that the 25% of him that is black is of greater worth and mention than the other 75% of his ethnic makeup. That is a value judgment based on his race, and to my mind that is racist.

I don’t care about the President’s family background; I care about his stated goals and policies. I disagree with his plans for government control over more and more aspects of Americans’ lives.

Is this attitude racist? How could it be racist if my disapproval of Obama has nothing to do with his race and everything to do with his far-left policies? But people on the left are crying “racist!” when people criticize or lampoon our Dear Leader. Don’t believe me? The left is now worried that calling Obama and his supporters “socialists” is now code for much nastier racial epithets. Here is MSNBC host Carlos Watson, making this claim:

The second half rambles off onto immigration, but here’s the part that shocked me. Watson is paraphrasing David Brooks:

More credible conservatives have to stand up and say that there is a line that has to be drawn, that there is a line of responsibility that’s important, and that extends to the words that we chose. Including how we use even legitimate words like socialist.

Words mean things, and it is quite accurate to label Obama and other Democrats as socialists as they are trying to take over the nation’s economy, but it is also accurate to identify his plans for government control of businesses, like banking and auto industries, as fascism. Are either of these words racist? If you say that they are, I have to ask you to point out how they target a specific race. I am left to believe that they may be considered racist words solely because they are used to target Obama. Consider the two images below.

Two Jokers

Both Presidents are being compared to the Joker character as portrayed by Heath Ledger in the recent Batman movie, “The Dark Knight.” But people are calling the poster on the left racist, while there was no outcry when the same thing was done to President Bush. The same treatment was given to both Presidents, but it’s virulent racism when done to Obama and mere good humor when done to Bush. I am led to believe that to the left, any criticism directed at President Obama is racist because it is directed at President Obama. That reminds me of something the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus:

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15

If someone sees everything through the lens of race, that person is a racist and nothing is pure to him. I look forward to the day, as did Martin Luther King, Jr., when we will not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character. On that day we will have put racism behind us.

President Bush has had a rocky eight years as President, but who ever promised that job would be a cakewalk? The job of President is a demanding job, and stress often ages the President prematurely. Both President Bush and his predecessor, President Clinton, left office looking significantly more aged than the eight years they had spent at the White House.

Contrary to what you may hear from your liberal friends and relatives, President Bush will not go down in history as our worst President. I do believe that he has been the most hated of our Presidents in the past 30 years. I have often been surprised at the burning, visceral hate the left has harbored for him.

Over time, I believe that President Bush will be appreciated more and more, and eventually he will be acknowledged as a good President, though not a great one. History will someday openly give President Bush the credit for replacing two murderous tyrannies with fledgling democracies and freeing 50 million people. We have to look back to the Presidencies of FDR and Truman for any acts of similar magnitude.

President Bush may also be credited with preventing another attack on American soil after September 11th, 2001. Al Qaeda, after having attacked America and Americans for years with relative impunity, is reduced to a scattered handful of fighters huddling in secret and dying of the plague in caves. And for the last seven years, the War on Terror has seen fewer of our servicemen and women die than in previous conflicts. Our military has accomplished more while suffering fewer casualties than at other times of war. Credit may be given to President Bush and the military leaders under him, and the technology we employ, but mostly to the fine men and women of our armed forces.

I can point to two areas where I believe President Bush failed. First, he failed to rein in the growth of government spending. The $700 billion bailout is just the coda of two terms of rampant spending. Yes, I know that it is the House’s responsibility to draft any spending bills, but President Bush could have chosen to sound the clarion call for fiscal responsibility. He did not.

Second, President Bush failed to communicate his message effectively. He isn’t a smooth talker like previous Presidents, but he should have spent more time making sure that his administrative vision was passed on to the people. He should have passed the responsibility of passing on his vision to people who were gifted with the ability to communicate. He also failed to realize just how much the mainstream media loathed him. When he was attacked unfairly, he should have responded to the critics in self-defense, or let his people do it for him.

But with the passing of the Presidency to President Obama, President Bush’s second term in office has come to a close. And this grateful American just has to say it, even if the mainstream media won’t –

Thank you, President Bush, for your service to our country!

For my friend who told me that President Bush wouldn’t hand over the Presidency today, I point out the blindingly obvious: he did. It’s what we do in the United States of America, as opposed to some third-world tin-pot dictatorship. Heaven help us if we ever fall into that category.

But as President Obama took the oath of office, he became the President of my country. No, I didn’t vote for him, and I will probably disagree with much of his agenda, but he will remain my President even while I disagree wholeheartedly with him.

That’s the difference between a mature conservative like myself and the hordes of immature liberals who spent the past eight years crying, “Bush ain’t my President!”

There is an old saying that children should be seen and not heard. I’m guessing it comes from the Victorian era, but I would love to see it apply to American ex-Presidents, especially Democrats since they seem to have an especially hard time keeping their yaps shut. To prove the point, here is a comment made by one-term President Jimmy Carter while overseas:

Former President Jimmy Carter said on Friday the “atrocious economic policies” of the Bush administration had caused the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Carter told reporters on a stopover in Brussels that “profligate spending,” massive borrowing and dramatic tax cuts since President George W. Bush took office in 2001 were behind the market turmoil and economic crisis.

“I think it’s because of the atrocious economic policies of the Bush administration,” said the 84-year-old Democrat, who served in the White House from 1977-1981 during a period of high inflation and energy crisis.

First, former American presidents are just that: former. Think “has been” or “old news” to get the full picture.

Second, the current turmoil comes from housing problems, not spending, borrowing or tax cuts. To lay the blame at President Bush’s feet is naive at best, and utterly dishonest at worst.

Third, the housing problems we are currently experiencing can be traced to the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, signed into law by *drumroll* President Jimmy Carter himself. Granted, it took another Democrat president (*cough* President Clinton *cough*) to really get it rolling in 1995, with the added bonus of Democrat mismanagement in Congress to upgrade the housing problem from the “meh” level to its current status of “HOLY #$%@ COW!”

Finally, it is clear from President Carter’s comments that he doesn’t adhere to the standard that internal politics end at the nation’s shores. We can argue all we want at home, but once we go abroad, we close ranks and stand united as Americans. Seems he’s more than willing to score political points in a foreign land by repeating Democrat lying talking points.

So I’m for amending the old saying — children, and has-been Presidents, should be seen and not heard.

Here is a lovely gem of a press release from the Democrat Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi:

“The President knows, as his own Administration has stated, that the impact of any new drilling will be insignificant – promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road. Americans know that thanks to the two oilmen in the White House, consumers are now paying $4 a gallon for gas. But what Americans should realize is that what the President is calling for is drilling as close as three miles off of America’s pristine beaches and in other protected areas.

“The President has failed in his economic policy, and now he wants to say, ‘but for drilling in protected areas offshore, our economy would be thriving and the price of gas would be lower.’ That hoax is unworthy of the serious debate we must have to relieve the pain of consumers at the pump and to promote energy independence.

“Today, the New Direction Congress will vote on legislation to bring down gas prices by taking crucial steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market. The President himself could lower prices by drawing down a small portion of our government oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The New Direction Congress will continue to bring forth responsible proposals to increase supply, reduce prices, protect consumers, and transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future.”

Let’s take a look at Her Speakership’s wisdom.

“[T]he impact of any new drilling will be insignificant – promising savings of only pennies per gallon many years down the road.” The impact of new drilling will be more oil. That can’t be insignificant, based on her later comments. Besides, I thought long-term planning was a good thing.

“[T]hanks to the two oilmen in the White House, consumers are now paying $4 a gallon for gas.” Nice dig there. “Bush and Cheney are oilmen! Evil! EVIL!” *cue the ominous roll of thunder* If they really had such a huge influence over the oil industry, don’t you think President Bush and Vice President Cheney would have pulled every string they had to get Evil Big Oil to reduce the consumer price of oil and gas?

“[W]hat the President is calling for is drilling as close as three miles off of America’s pristine beaches and in other protected areas.” I’ve been to some of those “pristine” beaches, and they ain’t all that pristine. Besides, would you rather pump oil from areas close to the U.S., or ship it via monstrously huge supertankers like the Exxon Valdez? A broken pipeline can be shut down much faster than a supertanker run aground can be fixed. But Speaker Pelosi really doesn’t care about protected areas like the Arctic National Mosquito Refuge in Alaska as much as she cares about catering to her “Drill Nothing Never” constituents.

“The President has failed in his economic policy, and now he wants to say, ‘but for drilling in protected areas offshore, our economy would be thriving and the price of gas would be lower.’” Democrats often complain that drilling will take 10 years or more before producing any oil. The unspoken ending to that phrase is, “so why bother drilling?” Well, if we had started drilling in ANWR back in 1998, we’d have ANWR oil bringing down gas prices right now. If everyone had the same short-sighted mindset, why would people bother to work on a college degree, which takes years before producing any work benefits? Why have children, when it will take decades before they become self-sufficient? But here’s what’s interesting: liberals are more than happy to hold off doing anything with proven oil technology that will take a known quantity of time to obtain–the “decade” they keep chanting about–but they are willing to wait indefinitely for some new, unproven energy alternative to sweep us off our feet and carry us into a glorious future. I like to daydream about swan-diving into Scrooge McDuck’s bank vault, too, but then I wake up and go to work. My daydream won’t pay today’s bills or put food on the table.

“the New Direction Congress” Oops, looks like the website got that wrong. She really meant to say “the No Drilling Congress.” There, that’s fixed.

“Today, the No Drilling Congress will vote on legislation to bring down gas prices by taking crucial steps to curb excessive speculation in the energy futures market.” Oil futures are already heavily regulated. There is no need to regulate the market further, but as always with liberals, capitalism makes a good scapegoat to beat while chanting the “Drill Nothing Never” mantra.

“The President himself could lower prices by drawing down a small portion of our government oil stockpile, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” Here’s a clue for Madam Speaker: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is for emergencies like making sure there is sufficient oil for the military and critical operations if a war or natural disaster were to disrupt supplies. By the way, did you notice the logical inconsistency here? Speaker Pelosi claims that a small draw-down of oil from the SPR would result in a drop in consumer oil prices, while at the same time maintaining that drilling for oil won’t do so. She can’t have it both ways. But she, and the rest of the Democrats in Congress, are doing whatever they can to keep the price of oil high, primarily by blocking any attempt to increase domestic oil supply, in the hopes that the people will begin to clamor for the magic pixie dust of unknown and unproven energy technology. A one-time pump of a few million barrels of oil from the SPR might temporarily lower the price of gas, but that doesn’t compare to having oil fields consistently pumping out millions of barrels of oil each and every day.

“The No Drilling Congress will continue to bring forth responsible proposals to increase supply…” Really? How about letting America drill for its own oil? Oh, right, the key word is “responsible” proposals, and that means only what she considers responsible. In other words, no oil men need apply, only those with daydream technology.

“… reduce prices …” You can reduce prices by increasing supplies, reducing demand, or doing both. Apparently the strategy of increasing supplies is off the table to Madam “Ain’t Drilling Here” Speaker.

“… protect consumers …” Protect consumers from what? Higher oil and gas prices? *snort* Liberals love being the Nanny State, telling the childish voters what they can and can’t do.

“… transition America to a clean, renewable energy independent future.” These are inspiring-sounding words and they probably felt great rolling off Speaker Pelosi’s tongue, but until that magic “renewable” energy moment happens, how about we drill like crazy to get all the energy we need from our current resources? We could be successful in reaching a “clean, energy independent future” if we had enough energy to power the technology that will presumably make renewable energy possible.

Speaker Pelosi wants the high price of oil to cut both ways. She denies that drilling for a consistent source of oil would bring down prices, but she calls for a one-time release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to, um, bring down prices. Of course, the real reason why Democrats are so adamant about not allowing Americans to use their own energy reserves is that they believe Americans will only act to find cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy when the high price of gas has them so mired down that they can’t function any more. When that happens, of course, they’ll look to the Democrats to save them from themselves–and the Democrats, as always, will act in their best interests. OK, my tongue’s out of my cheek now. I have to assume Speaker Pelosi doesn’t expect to see a major change in the oil futures market with a one-time pull of oil from the SPR, but she can point to the temporarily lowered price of gas and say to the voters, “Look, the Democrats made that happen.” Then she can use that leverage to push her own plan of championing “clean” and “responsible” energy ideas, as the price of oil is pushed steadily upward again.

I’d like to have Speaker Pelosi come water my front yard, and then see what she would do when I deliberately put a kink in the hose. I imagine she’d demand that I stop deliberately shutting off the water so she could finish the job. Then I’d lecture at her that water is a precious, limited resource, and even if I unkinked the hose it would take a good long while for the water to reach her. Instead we should work together to find some better, cleaner, more responsible way to get the job done. Think she’d buy it?