Bush and Iraq

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Iraq War[edit]

Bush Caused Troops to Return, Not Obama[edit]

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn’t Barack Obama who caused U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. In 2008, George W. Bush signed the U.S.-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement thereby creating two deadlines for departure of U.S. troops. The first deadline in 2009 required all combat troops to leave Iraq cities, the second deadline at the end of 2011 forced all troops to leave, including those in military bases.[1] While it was the 2008 Democratic Congress that pressured Bush into taking this step, Obama has tried to dishonestly portray himself as the sole cause for troop withdrawal when it was Bush's agreement that caused U.S. troops to leave Iraq.

Obama Lie: Bringing Troops Home His First Year - He Tried to Keep Them in Iraq[edit]

Despite his earlier campaign promise to withdraw troops in his first year Obama contrarily tried to keep 10,000 troops past the Bush-set deadline, but was refused by Iraq's government.[2] Newsweek in 2011 accused Obama of a war crime for taking credit from the Bush administration for ending the Iraq War.[3] While a U.S. Senator Obama voted for ten of eleven Iraq War funding bills.[4] Ironically Obama was more pro-war than Bush and it was Bush that caused troops to return while Obama tried to keep them in Iraq.

Obama Lie: Troop Surge[edit]

Obama originally criticized the troop surge, and it was a major point of disagreement between him and McCain from 2007-08.[5] Obama even claimed "In the 18 months since the surge began, the strain on our military has increased, our troops and their families have borne an enormous burden, and American taxpayers have spent another $200 billion in Iraq."[6] Obama then sent troops back to Iraq with the same troop surge he repeatedly criticized McCain for supporting while on the campaign trail.[7]

Obama Lie: Revise the Patriot Act[edit]

In 2008 Obama campaigned on revising the Patriot Act and restricting warrantless wiretapping.[8] Obama even specifically campaigned against the national security letters used by the Patriot Act, stating,

Obama has extended and defended the wiretapping he once condemned.[10]

Obama Lie: Fast and Furious[edit]

Obama claimed Fast and Furious began under the Bush administration, but it clearly began under his administration.[12]

Obama Lie: Bush Responsible for Deficits Over Last 4 Years[edit]

For a chart of the deficit, see Cut the Deficit in Half

As pointed out by PolitiFact and the Washington Post Fact Checker, Obama voted for the same spending he attempts to blame on George W. Bush.[13] But even the fact checkers overlook that spending blamed on Bush the last two years was actually passed by a Democratic Congress (including Obama), and that the Democrats overrode Bush's vetoes on hundreds of billions of dollars in spending he didn't approve of.

In actuality, deficits were dropping under the Republicans who ran Congress until the 2008 budget, the first one passed by a Democrat Congress following their victories in the 2006 elections. The 2006 Republican Congress was in office until January 2007, and passed the 2007 budget. Similarly, the Democrat 111th Congress was in office until January 2011 and passed the 2011 budget.[14]

Under George W. Bush, the highest deficit was $458.6 billion and under a Republican Congress never more than $412.7 billion. Democrats tripled the deficit in 2009 to $1,412.7 billion. The only reason the deficit dropped in 2013 was the government shutdown resulting from Republicans who refused to write Obama the blank check he wanted.[15] Government spending has declined as the result of a government shutdown under Obama, just as it did after Republicans shut down government under Bill Clinton.

2008 Bailouts[edit]

The left’s attempts to excuse Obama’s responsibility for the so-called Bush Bailouts notwithstanding[16], it was Barack Obama back in January of 2009 who urged the Democratic Congress to pass the rest of the TARP/Bailout funds[17], spending that he has since disingenuously blamed on George W. Bush.[18] Furthermore, it was only with Obama’s urging that Bush chose to seek the remainder of the Bailout funds[19] even as Obama back in November 2008 privately urged Bush to seek more bailout funds for the auto industry.[20] In fact Barack Obama as far back as September 2008 was pressuring Congress to pass the Bailouts regardless of oversight for how the funds were spent![21]

It was a 2008 Democrat-run Congress that passed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) known as the Bailouts in the first place. Most House Republicans actually voted against the Bailouts, and the Bailouts were passed primarily by Democrats. In the House, 172 of 235 Democrats (73%) and 91 of 199 Republicans (46%) voted for the TARP, while in the Senate 41 of 51 Democrats (80%) and 34 of 49 Republicans (69%) did so.[22] On a purely Republican vote the Bailouts would never have passed at all; Democrats bear the primary responsibility for them.

Obama's attempt to blame Bush for bailout spending is dishonest given that Obama himself voted for the bailouts and urged Bush and Congress to pass them at the time. Furthermore, the bailouts were primarily designed by the Democratic Congress with most House Republicans voting against them. That spending is primarily on Democrats, not Republicans.

2008 Stimulus[edit]

Despite being regularly labeled the "Bush Stimulus" the stimulus was actually designed primarily by the Democrats who ran Congress, not Republicans, and its original sponsor was Nancy Pelosi.[23] Although the stimulus was passed bipartisanly, far more Republicans voted against it then Democrats. In the House 93% of Democrats (215 Yes, 6 No, 11 Not Voting) and 83% of Republicans (165 Yes, 28 No, 5 Not Voting) voted for the stimulus.[24] In the Senate 94% of Democrats (47 Yes, 0 No, 3 Not Voting) and 67% of Republicans (32 Yes, 16 No, 0 Not Voting) voted for the Stimulus.[25]

Democrats Overrode Bush's Vetoes[edit]

President Bush at the time actually vetoed a number of spending bills which Democrats passed over his vetoes, spending which now gets blamed upon Republicans.[27]

Specifically, in November 2007, the Democrat-run Congress passed the Water Resources Development Act, a $61 billion piece of environmental legislation replete with hundreds of earmarks, over George W. Bush’s veto.[28] In May 2008, the 2007 Farm Bill titled the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act costing $307 billion, mostly on welfare spending (and potentially far more since it waived conventional ‘Pay-As-You-Go’ guidelines) was passed over Bush’s veto, but due to a clerical error it was sent back to Congress, and passed over Bush’s veto a second time in June 2008.[29]

In July 2008 the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act was likewise passed over Bush’s veto, implementing changes to Medicare spending that George W. Bush warned would result in spiraling, out-of-control healthcare spending.[30] Ultimately four of Bush’s vetoes were overridden by the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress, the most of any president since Ronald Reagan, and hundreds of billions of dollars of spending is blamed on Republicans that was vetoed by George W. Bush.[31]

2009 Obama Stimulus[edit]

Obama's massive $831 billion so-called jobs bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act better known as the Stimulus, has proven a debacle. Despite the trillions of dollars of stimulus spending from 2008-10 student homelessness is at an all-time high,[32] the labor force participation rate remains at a 30-year low,[33] and the number of long-term unemployed has increased so much that Obama is calling for further extension of unemployment benefits for those unemployed so long they are no longer eligible.[34] There are at least 13 million more people on food stamps than when Obama took office.[35]

At the time of its passage in January 2009 the Wall Street Journal reported on how much of the Stimulus bill's spending in the name of job creation was actually being used for pork, special interest earmarks benefiting every major liberal agenda of the past 40 years. Wall Street Journal analysis determined that only 12 cents of every dollar was spent on actual job creation:

As Republican Senator Tom Coburn pointed out, “This is about spending money we don't have for things we don't need.” Wasteful spending included $650 million in subsidies to switch television signals to digital, $335 million for STD research, $70 million for non-smoking programs, $50 million for the arts, and $25 million for ATV trails.[37] Despite the bill's original projections that unemployment would stay below 8% if the Stimulus was passed the unemployment rate went above 10%.[38]

According to page 4 of Obama's 2009 report, The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, “As Figure 1 shows, even with the large prototypical package, the unemployment rate in 2010Q4 is predicted to be approximately 7.0%, which is well below the approximately 8.8% that would result in the absence of a plan.” The chart then showed unemployment remaining below 8% if the Stimulus was passed, a claim that has failed to bear out in reality.[39]

The Stimulus ended up on 2009 CBO projections before Obama took office only because Obama pressured Congress to pass the bill before he took office.[40] Democrats have since used this fact to dishonestly claim that Obama reduced the deficit, when the 2009 Stimulus spending was clearly his own handiwork. Mitch McConnell aptly summed up the situation in April 2009: “A way of looking at it is we have spent more in the first 23 or 24 days of this administration, in other words, charged more, than it cost post-9/11 for the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and the response to Katrina already.”[41]

2009 Omnibus[edit]

The $410 billion bill was filled with pork; over 9,000 of the earmarks Obama campaigned against.[42] Backtracking on his previous criticism of earmarks, Obama when signing the Omnibus defended earmarks when they're "done right."[43] According to Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill at the time, Obama's rhetoric against earmarks at the time was received in Congress with "a roar of laughter -- because there were earmarks."[44] Furthermore, some of the earmarks included were ones that Obama and members of his administration (including Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden) had sponsored before Obama became president.[45] Only 24 Republicans, 16 in the House and 8 in the Senate, ended up voting for the corrupt and wasteful bill; it was passed primarily by the heavily Democratic Congress at the time.[46]

2010 Obamacare[edit]

Obamacare is predicted by the Congressional Budget Office to cost $1.76 trillion over an 11-year period.[47] Obama of course repeatedly called for the then-fully-Democrat Congress to pass Obamacare.[48] That spending is entirely on him and Democrats, not Republicans.

Sources[edit]

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