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Deficit pig.Few things in this world demonstrate the stark difference between Democrats and clueless, fiscally-insane Republicans than the issue of The National Debt. Of course, if you live in Republican BizzaroWorld, it’s the Democrats that are the fiscally irresponsible ones while it’s Republicans fighting the good fight to return us to fiscal sanity. Republicans are busy trying to LOOK like they’re bringing the budget under control, but they forget that THEY are the reason we’re here in the first place. Like a small dog, Republicans only live in the present. They have no clue ‘how we got here’ or ‘the consequences of their actions’. And they are using this crisis as an excuse to push their anti-government, “privatize everything” agenda, pushing to defund hundreds of popular, necessary, even critical public programs.

Is it just me, or do you also sometimes wish you could reach through the TV screen and strangle some of these Rightwing idiots every time they whine about the size of the “Deficit” (notice how they never say “National Debt”, because they know they don’t have a leg to stand on.) A lot of things bug me about partisan politics, but NOTHING angers me more than “hypocrisy” (except maybe being called a “hypocrite” by a Republican hypocrite). Some of the GOP’s loudest critics of The Deficit and “the size of the Democrats budget” were all members of Congress when President Bush raised the Debt Ceiling five times in eight years before leaving office in 2009. Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul “S#it-eating-grin” Ryan was elected to the House in 1998. Current House Majority Leader Eric “Thurston Howell IV” Cantor (who always sounds like he just stepped off his yacht at the boat club) was elected to the House in 2000 along with Mike “Cut it or Shut it” Pence. Speaker of the House John “Cryin’ Man” Boehner was elected to the House all the way back in 1990. Certainly not the only Republicans whining about the size of the Deficit, but definitely the most vocal and high-profile; Ryan, Cantor and Pence all making the rounds on the Sunday shows yesterday to blast Democrats for their fiscal irresponsibility.

Now, you probably remember as well as I do that the National Debt was just under $4.2Trillion dollars when President Clinton entered office in 1993, and just over $5.7Trillion” (and falling) when Bush took over in 2001. By the time President Bush left office eight years later, he had nearly doubled 225 years of Debt to $10.6Trillion dollars (and rising) adding more than the two previous record holders, Reagan and his father Bush-41 combined. It didn’t happen magically on its own. The Republican controlled Congress voted in near lockstep to help him do it.

Barely a year in office, after slashing corporate and upper income taxes on the grounds “we had a surplus”, President Bush was telling his Republican Congress that the Treasury Department would have to resort to “extraordinary steps” to avoid a government default on payment to bondholders if the debt ceiling were not raised by June 28th, 2002. The measure was so insignificant to House Republicans at the time, raising the debt ceiling didn’t even merit its own bill (part of “HR 462”), tacking “S.2578” onto a military construction appropriations bill. On June 27th, Reps. Ryan, Cantor, Pence and Boehner all voted “Yea” to raising the Debt Ceiling (pdf) to $6.4Trillion dollars.

On April 27, 2003, the debt ceiling was raised again from $6.4Trillion to $7.384Trillion. Just 12 Republicans and every Democrat but one (Ralph Hall of Texas) voted “No” on H.Con.Res 95. And yes, Ryan, Cantor, Pence & Boehner all voted to raise the debt ceiling once again.

One year later, after failing to pass a budget altogether for 2004 (I’m looking at you Mr. Cantor, who chastised Democrats on “Meet the Press” yesterday for “failing to pass a budget last year”), President Bush again called on Congress to raise the Debt Ceiling for the third time in less than four years. HR 586 was passed with a simple voice vote, evenly split along Party lines, with Democrats strongly opposed.

On April 28, 2006, the House passed the Senate bill to to raise the Debt Ceiling once again from $8.184Trillion to $8.965Trillion (H.J. Res.47). Once again, in response to harsh criticism by Democrats, the House voted “by special rule” that prevented any recording of who voted and how, but not a single Democrat voted to raise the Debt Ceiling for the fourth time in five years.

And finally, in 2007, once Democrats regained control of both houses of Congress, the next time President Bush told Congress to raise the Debt Ceiling, suddenly House Republicans became “fiscal Conservatives”, agreeing to abide by whatever the Senate agreed to (so they wouldn’t be on-the-record as having voted for their fifth increase in five years). “House J.R. 43” passed the Senate with more than half of the 48 Republican senators voting to raise the Debt Ceiling once again.

That’s five increases in eight years, four of them when Republicans controlled Congress. And now, suddenly, the size of our Deficit is a cataclysm waiting to happen:

“The debt ceiling is going to be Armageddon” – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)

“We’re headed for a debt-fueled economic crisis.” – Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Fox News Sunday yesterday.

On ABC’s “This Week” yesterday, Rep. Mike Pence claimed, “I’ve battled runaway spending on both sides.” We don’t know how he voted in 2006, and the House didn’t vote in 2007, but I’m not sure when Pence “battled runaway spending” in between “Yea” votes to repeatedly raise the Debt Ceiling under George W. Bush.

Ask any Republican why it was okay to repeatedly raise the Debt Ceiling when a Republican was in the White House, and they’ll blame “9/11” and “two wars”. The fact that we are STILL (last time I checked) fighting those two wars (and maybe a third) hasn’t changed simply because Bush left the White House. And I’m not sure how “9/11” as a justification for (literally) everything when Bush was in office was somehow no longer a factor on January 20th, 2009.

Wanna know why Democrats are now suddenly voting to raise the Debt Ceiling after years of voting against it under Bush? Republicans stuck the country with two wars, a deep economic recession, and no way to pay for any of it thanks to massive, unjustifiable, outrageous tax cuts for the so-called “job creators” that aren’t creating any new jobs (meaning no tax revenue). Unable to raise taxes because of Republican obstruction, the only way left to pay for all that is to borrow. Exxon/Mobil, for example, has cut its workforce by over 1,000 employees every year for seven years. And in exchange, not only do they pay NO taxes, but we pay them… the most profitable corporation in the history of the planet… enormous subsidies, while we’re stuck paying almost $4/gal for gas, sucking Billions of dollars out of an economy that desperately needs it. Heaven forbid we actually place conditions on those “job-creating” tax-cuts, like… Idunno… only if they actually create jobs?

If I may quote radio’s Mike Malloy: “Have I mentioned lately how much I hate these people?”
 


 
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