President Bush saw the record surpluses created after Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994 quickly become deficits as the country sank deeper into the recession that began during the last quarter of the Clinton presidency caused by the dot.com collapse in 2000. Then, just half a year after his inauguration, the economy suffered further from the effects of 9/11.
After these twin blows to the economy, the Bush tax cuts began to power the economy back to life, and even now, after Katrina and three years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the improvement continues strongly.
According to the Associated Press, which only grudgingly reports good news for President Bush:
Tax collections are running 8.2 percent higher than a year ago while government spending is up by just 0.7 percent from a year ago. Last year's spending totals were boosted by significant payments to help the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes.
The Treasury said for December, the government actually ran a surplus of $44.5 billion, the largest surplus ever recorded in December and a gain that reflected a big jump in quarterly corporate tax payments.
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