Bush Legacy: US Awash in Ugly Red Ink

President came in with budget surplus, will leave massive debt
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 23, 2008 5:30 PM CST
US President George W. Bush, center, views a handwritten copy of the Koran as he tours Al Murabba Palace and Natural History Museum, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al Murabba is the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Washington’s sea of red ink is getting deeper as President Bush plans tax cuts and spending bumps to stimulate a foundering economy. Bush's policies have created a fiscal morass that puts his successor, Democrat or Republican, in a deep fiscal hole, and makes delivering on campaign promises difficult, Bloomberg reports. “History will treat him harshly,” one expert said.

The deficit Bush leaves to his successor could eclipse the record $413 billion of 2004, especially if a recession further trims tax revenues. Critics say Bush cut taxes too deeply upon taking office and blew a chance to shore up Social Security. Supporters say Bush kick-started the economy in 2001 and had to increase military spending after the '01 terror attacks.