The New York Times printed an editorial on Sunday absolving President Obama of blame for the massive ongoing budget deficits. Instead, the Times argued that the cause of the deficits is “largely the Bush-era tax cuts” (which apparently somehow include tax cuts signed into law by Obama) as well as wars and the recession. The Times analysis was picked up and trumpeted by a number of liberal pundits, many of whom passed along this graph:
They are all wrong. Bush is not responsible for the deficits. John F. Kennedy is. He started with the tax cuts, reducing the top rate from 91 percent and signing an overall package about the same size as the Bush tax cuts.
The Kennedy-era tax cuts are largely responsible for today’s deficits*. If they had never been enacted, we would be sitting on trillion-dollar surpluses as far as the eye can see.
* Successive presidents, including Obama, didn’t undo them. Doesn’t matter.