It has become an article of faith among Republicans that President Obama's polices caused the deficit to soar. As a result, they claim we need to cut federal programs that assist low and middle income families because it is immoral to leave these bills to our children.
The problem is that it is just not true that the Recovery Act is responsible for the nation's projected deficits.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the Recovery Act and even TARP (the bank bail-out) are not responsible for projected deficits. That is because these policies are short term.
It's long term policies, like the high income Bush tax cuts, that stay in the system and remain unpaid for, that drive deficits.
The Great Recession played a major role by reducing tax revenues and triggering automatic stabilizers, existing counter cyclical laws, like unemployment compensation and food stamps, that automatically increase federal spending during a downturn and then decrease spending during a recovery. Check out the chart by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) that illustrates that absent the Bush era tax cuts, the wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan and the downturn, there would be virtually no deficit.