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When President Clinton submitted his Budget for 2001 in February of 2000, it was his third balanced budget in a row (1998 & 1999), with the Surplus going to paying off the Debt and reimburse Social Security for all the money it loaned the Federal government. During his 2000 presidential campaign, George W Bush argued that the “$184Billion dollar Budget Surplus” was evidence that we were being “taxed too much”, telling cheering audiences, “It’s not their money! It’s YOUR money“, he exclaimed, and therefore justified his plan for cutting taxes. Then when 9/11 happened, the hit to the economy was used to justify cutting taxes again. In both good times and bad, there is NO situation in which Conservatives think you should “raise” taxes (and they are getting even MORE extreme about it, rejecting even a “10-to-1 cuts to taxes” deal during Saturday’s debate, to cheering crowds of like-minded uber-Conservative, fiscally irresponsible morons). The moment we start collecting enough money to start paying down the Debt, either through higher taxes or decreased spending, just as Candidate Bush did in 2000, Republicans would claim that a “surplus means we are being overtaxed and therefore we deserve a refund!” Can you conceive of ANY situation in which Republicans would collect enough money to start paying down the Debt? I can’t. Yet NOW they want to scream about the size of the Debt.

And let’s remember how we got here. The National Debt was less than $1 Trillion dollars when Ronald Reagan entered office in 1981. 224 years since the founding of America. Through World War I, World War II, The Civil War… stretching all the way back to the American Revolution. Even through all the Federal programs and infrastructure spending during The Great Depression: $900 Billion dollars (net). That’s it. Then Reagan decided the way to win The Cold War was to outspend the Soviet Union into oblivion. By the time he left in 1989, the National Debt had more than tripled to $2.8 Trillion dollars (ibid). After him, George HW Bush added another $1.6 Trillion (ibid) in his four years. That’s $3.5T of the total $4.4T total Debt up to that point. President Clinton added another $1.2T in his eight years and had already started paying it off (the revenue came from a tax increase in 1993 that not one single Republican voted for, claiming it would “cost jobs”. Instead, it cost Clinton the House with the “Gingrich Revolution” of 1994, but created 22 Million new jobs). Then came George W. Bush, who traded the “surplus” that was paying down that Debt in exchange for Tax Cuts for the Rich. The result? The National Debt exploded, going from $5.6T when he took office in 2001, to pushing $10 Trillion BEFORE Democrats wrested both houses of Congress away from the “spend like crazy” GOP in 2007. Another two trillion was added the last two years of Bush-43 with a Democratic Congress as we continued to pay for two wars and those “job creating” tax cuts that created a scant 3.0 million jobs in eight years (the worst record since Hoover).

Now President Obama is in office. The two wars AND the Bush Tax Cuts are still going. Add to that a $787 Billion dollar “Stimulus” that was 1/3rd tax cuts, and is it any surprise that the Debt has swollen another $2.7Trillion dollars with the same pathetic (lack of) “job growth”?

Let’s make no mistake about how we got here. “Fiscal Conservatism” of the last 30 years got us to where we are now. And as last months’ hostage-taking over the Debt Ceiling and Saturday’s GOP debate proved, they are only becoming MORE extreme and MORE ideological to the point were even common sense isn’t getting through.

Current GOP frontrunner Michele Bachmann actually said at the debate (and all the Sunday shows yesterday) that S&P’s downgrade only PROVED she “was right” and that “they didn’t question our willingness to repay our debts, only our ability to repay”. NO. In fact, the report said THE EXACT OPPOSITE, NOT questioning our “ABILITY” to pay, it SPECIFICALLY CITED Republican intransigence throwing our “WILLINGNESS” to repay our creditors into question, thus justifying the downgrade. In fact, had Congress of simply raised the DC without question… or had President Obama of simply used The 14th Amendment like so many were calling for him to do, the downgrade probably never would of happened. The S&P report is a CONDEMNATION of Ms. Bachmann, not a “commendation”. I know the words sound alike, but they’re actually OPPOSITES… you know… like “submit” doesn’t meant the same thing as “respect”. These people have yet to figure out that “Debt”… as in “Debt Ceiling”… means money WE OWE. Raising the Debt Ceiling doesn’t decide how much we “Budget” in the future, it stipulates how much we can raise to payoff PRIOR appropriations. Teanutters like Ms. Bachmann just don’t get that.

(Oh, and on the subject of “Money”, I added a new movie link to the “Free Movies” section on the left: “Money as Debt”. At only 40 minutes long, it’s an absolute must watch, and quite possibly the most frighting thing you’ll see… until the next GOP debate that includes Rick Perry.


 

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