President Obama took office four years ago talking not just about short-term stimulus, but also about the need to face up to the challenge of the long-term U.S. fiscal deficit. As he put it in a January 15, 2009 interview with the Washington Post, the then President-elect said he wanted to make "sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."
The past four years were not exactly a new era of fiscal responsibility. Spending surged, the Medicare drug benefit was made more generous, and a new health insurance entitlement was added with funding that is likely to prove illusory (steep payment cuts to hospitals and other medical providers, along with tax hikes that are supposed to hit on the next President's watch; neither measure seems likely to happen). Deficits and the national debt skyrocketed.
To be sure, fiscal support for a weak economy made sense early on. But many of the particulars of the Obama spending binge were wasteful, and it would have been better in the first place to mate a near-term stimulus to a credible program to tackle the fiscal deficit over time. This means moving forward with changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the entitlement programs that drive the long-term U.S. deficit. Instead, Mr. Obama dismissed the suggestions of his own fiscal commission.
It all depends on who writes the "history" and how honest it is. We certainly have a lot of "revision" on those "excellent" POTUS JFK, LBJ, and FDR as well as Bubba! All were a lot less than the hype about them and even some of the "positives", like Bubba's "surplus" which ignores the tech bubble and a GOP congress that actually produced the budgets and spending bills Bubba signed, are blatant exaggerations.