GOP shouldn’t look so surprised
Folks are in quite a tizzy over President Barack Obama’s effort to raise the debt ceiling.
This guy is killing us!
We’ll be in debt for the rest of our lives, as well as the lives of our children and our children’s children.
What is this guy thinking?
On a very regular basis, GOP representatives and senators in Washington stand ashen-faced in front of TV cameras and warn ominously about the coming end of the world.
It’s all this Democratic tax and spend stuff doncha know?
Except that ...
As usual, there’s nothing new under the sun.
Here, as they say, is the rest of the story, (and then only a part of it.)
When it comes to raising the debt ceiling, Republicans know what they’re talking about when they slam the present administration.
That’s ‘cause they’re pros at raising debt ceilings.
This debt ceiling issue is not something new. Even President Ronald Reagan raised the debt ceiling — THREE TIMES!
And he did so rather enthusiastically.
Back in 1983, he begged for help in raising the debt ceiling from then Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker of Tennessee.
Reagan basically told Baker in a letter that if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised, the world as we know it would come to an end.
“The full consequences of a default – or even the serious prospect of default – by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate.” wrote Reagan. “Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.”
In 1981, while in a budget battle with Congress, Saint Ronald, (despite his undeserved reputation as a fiscal conservative), signed off on a bump in the debt ceiling which sent it over the $1 trillion for the first time in history. And, by the way, the national deficit continued to skyrocket, with few if any cuts on the expenditure side of the budget.
Then, Reagan increased the debt ceiling in 1985 and 1987 — again without any agreements on spending controls or fiscal responsibility.
The Reagan administration’s huge supply side tax cuts opened the door for an almost immediate creation of monstrous budget deficits.
True. Reagan produced balanced budgets, but he also created incredible and record setting debt.
The GOP kinda conveniently forgets this stuff when they trot out their doom and gloom responses to the present problem.
They promise to be the tax cutting party, but forget that even their hero - Pres. Reagan — raised taxes 11 times.
During Reagan’s time in office, the national debt tripled, (that’s times three.)
But hey, it’s all good.
So, here we are.
Just in the last 15 years or so, the debt ceiling has been raised 11 times.
President George Bush the Younger took office when the federal budget was in the black and there actually was a surplus.
At the time, the Congressional Budget Office suggested there would continue to be a surplus of well over $5.5 trillion for 10 years to come.
But, following the highly vaunted Bush tax cuts, and by the time things really started going south in the national economic scene, Bush had created a $4 trillion increase in debt — more than a 70 percent jump.
By the end of his presidency, Bush was being forced to increase the debt ceiling to $11. 3 trillion.
And here’s the interesting thing ...
I wrote a column about it back then — about the danger of raising the debt ceiling — and there wasn’t one word of response.
Just me. The bleeding heart liberal slamming the president once again.
But today, it’s all Obama’s fault.
What a bunch of bullwash.
During the Bush administration, Republicans voted seven times, (that’s 7), to increase the debt ceiling.
Today, they stand there with drawn faces and preach fiscal responsibility.
Back in the day, Vice President Dick Cheney famously sneered at the press saying:
“Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”
I guess not — as long as there’s a Republican in the White House.
If there’s a Democrat, it’s a whole different story.
Then deficits are simply more proof of the Democrats irresponsible way with the pocket book.
Look, despite their protestations today, both Senate leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner voted to increase debt ceilings to support budgets being crushed by poorly planned Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, the disastrous war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and adjustments to the Medicare prescription drug program.
I wish these guys would tell the whole story, and even part of the truth.