U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Misleads On Debt To Attack Sen. Boxer

September 30, 2010 11:47 am ET

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a new attack ad that absurdly blames Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for blowing up the national debt, causing "record deficits," and raising taxes. In reality, the "record deficits" are largely the result of the Bush-era policies, including tax breaks for the rich that Sen. Boxer opposed, and the Iraq War. Additionally, the Democratic tax plan would extend the tax cuts for approximately 97 percent of Americans, while saving the country $700 billion by ending tax cuts for the rich.

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: "28 Years"

Barbara Boxer. She's been in Washington for 28 years. 28 years voting to add trillions to the national debt. Piling up record deficits. Raising our taxes. 28 years making America less competitive and driving away California jobs. 28 years of Barbara Boxer and America is going broke. Tell Barbara Boxer Californians need jobs, not bigger deficits.

The Debt Grew Because Of Bush-Era Republican Policies

Before Obama Took Office, The FY 2009 Deficit Was Projected At $1.2 Trillion.  As reported by the Washington Times: "The Congressional Budget Office announced a projected fiscal 2009 deficit of $1.2 trillion even if Congress doesn't enact any new programs. [...] About the only person who was silent on the deficit projection was Mr. Bush, who took office facing a surplus but who saw spending balloon and the country notch the highest deficits on record." [Washington Times1/8/09, emphasis added]

CBPP: "Tax Cuts Have Been The Single Largest Contributor To The Reemergence Of Substantial Budget Deficits In Recent Years." According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Congressional Budget Office data show that the tax cuts have been the single largest contributor to the reemergence of substantial budget deficits in recent years.  Legislation enacted since 2001 added about $3.0 trillion to deficits between 2001 and 2007, with nearly half of this deterioration in the budget due to the tax cuts (about a third was due to increases in security spending, and about a sixth to increases in domestic spending)." [CBPP, accessed 1/31/10]

The Bush Tax Cuts Are The Primary Driver Of Federal Budget Deficits Over The Next Decade. Below is a chart from CBPP showing the deficit impacts of war spending, financial recovery spending, the recession itself, and the Bush tax cuts:


[CBPP.org, 6/28/10]

Cost Of Iraq War Through 2010 Is $709 Billion

CBO: Cost Of Operations For Iraq War Through 2010 Is $709 Billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the cost of operations for the Iraq War through 2010 is $709 billion. [CBO, 8/10]

In October 2009, CBO Estimated That Continued Operations Would Add $156 Billion To The Deficit Between 2010 And 2014. According to the Congressional Budget Office: "CBO estimates that costs over the period from 2009 to 2014 would be $156 billion under the Administration's plan but $50 billion to $54 billion less if troops began to withdraw in October 2009, as they would under Option 1 or Option 2 (see Table 1)." [CBO, 10/7/09]

Krugman: Iraq War "Has Cost At Least $700 Billion." Writing on his New York Times blog, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman stated: "There were two big-ticket Bush policies. One was the tax cuts, which cost around $1.8 trillion in revenue; add in interest costs, and we're presumably talking about more than $2 trillion in debt. The other was the Iraq War, which has cost at least $700 billion, and will cost more before we finally extract ourselves." [New York Times, 8/27/09]

Boxer Voted Against the Bush Tax Cuts And The Iraq War

2001: Boxer Voted AGAINST The Economic Growth And Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2001. Sen. Barbara Boxer voted against the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. The bill passed 62-38. [H.R. 1836, Vote #165, 5/23/01]

2002: Boxer Voted AGAINST The Authorization For Use Of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution Of 2002. Sen. Boxer voted against the joint resolution to authorize the use of United States military force against Iraq. The joint resolution passed 77-23. [H.J.Res. 114, Vote #237, 10/11/2002]

2003: Boxer Voted AGAINST The Jobs And Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Of 2003. Sen. Boxer voted against the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act. The conference report passed 51-50, with Vice President Dick Cheney casting the deciding vote. [H.R. 2, Vote #196, 5/23/03]

Most Americans Would See Continued Tax Relief Under The Democratic Plan...

Reuters: "Two To Three Percent Of Americans" Are Affected By Democrats' Proposals. According to Reuters: "Lawmakers are mulling the renewal of tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 under former president George W. Bush that expire at the end of this year. President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress want to extend the lower rates for individuals earning less than $200,000 or couples making less than $250,000. About two to three percent of Americans fit into the upper income categories." [Reuters7/21/10]

...And Ending Tax Breaks For The Rich Will Save $700 Billion

New York Times: Extending Tax Cuts For The Rich Would Cost $700 Billion. According to the New York Times: "Most of the tax cuts that were a signature domestic initiative of George W. Bush's presidency carried an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2010, to limit the potential revenue losses; supporters assumed that they would be extended when the time came. Extending them for the next 10 years would add about $3.8 trillion to a growing national debt that is already the largest since World War II. About $700 billion of that reflects the projected costs of tax cuts for those in the top 2 percent of income-earners." [New York Times8/10/10]