Deficit confusion

At times I wonder if some right-winged letter writers to local newspapers are completely blank when it comes to basic economic understanding, or if they deliberately confuse matters in order to score cheap points with the Obama-hating crowd, – a rather popular activity ever since Obama took office.
Those writers keep on demonstrating that they don’t understand that “deficit” is a budget shortfall. If more is spent than what is coming in, then we have a deficit, which again adds to the national debt. Every year there is a deficit, the accumulated debt will increase by that amount. A budget surplus, like we had for April the last couple of years, will reduce the debt. Among those who have a basic understanding of these things, there is no argument about the fact that the deficit Obama inherited, has declined from $1.4 trillion in 2009 to $680 billion in 2013, which is more than a 50 percent reduction, or in simpler terms: cut in half.

Those confused letter writers often claim that Obama has piled up nearly twice as much national debt as all of his predecessors combined in less than six years in office, wondering how that can be if deficits are being cut, as claimed by those who understand these things. Besides exposing their failure to understand basic budgetary terms, they are also on shaky ground when it comes to facts and basic math. The reality is that the national debt more than doubled under George W. Bush, from $5.8 trillion to $11.9 trillion, while it has gone up less than 50 percent under Obama so far, an increase partly as a result of unwise tax cuts, war spending, and a toilet-headed economy his predecessor stuck him with. It isn’t all that hard to comprehend, unless you are obsessed by finding things to pin on President Obama, imaginary or misunderstood. For many, that doesn’t matter. The only important thing is to take Obama down, – that was the Republican declared policy from day 1. Just think about it: the first duly elected president since Clinton, should be defeated and obstructed any which way possible, no matter the cost, no matter the consequencies for the nation, or the world, for that matter. The Republican leadership assumed that there would be enough voters so gullible and intellectually challenged that they would gobble it all up. Leaves me wondering what it takes to educate American voters on the wrong side of both history and the welfare of the nation.