ANDREW LAWRENCE: MEDIA Matters April 25, 2013 2:42 PM EDT
Fox News ignored economic history to forward the absurd claim that former President George W. Bush exercised “fiscal discipline.”
On the April 25 edition of Fox & Friends, former Bush White House Chief of Staff Andy Card claimed that President Bush “probably has the best track record of any modern president in terms of fiscal discipline,” a statement that went unchallenged by the Fox & Friends co-hosts:
But facts undermine Card’s claim. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the drivers of current and future public debt are policies from the Bush presidency:
A recent study from Harvard researcher Linda J. Bilmes found that the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will ultimately cost taxpayers between $4 trillion and $6 trillion, that the Bush-era tax cuts added $2.6 trillion to public debt from 2001-2010, and as Foxnews.com noted in September 2011, the Bush-era Medicare drug benefit came with unfunded costs of $7 trillion.
Furthermore, according to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Office of Management and Budget data, the Bush era saw the second largest annualized growth in federal spending since the Eisenhower presidency:
According to former President Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett, when Bush took office, the CBO projected a $3.5 trillion surplus through 2008. Instead, Bush delivered a $5.5 trillion deficit over his two terms.