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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/21/09

The Myth of Republican Fiscal Responsibility

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     Since World War II, only three presidents have increased the federal deficit as a percentage of the gross domestic product: (Republicans) Ronald Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. (Historical Tables of the Budget of the United States Government, compiled by the Office of Management and Budget)


     According to Treasury Department figures (courtesy of the Daily Kos):


·        Republicans have held the presidency for 17 of the last 25 years. They have never balanced a budget and have increased total debt outstanding 11.69% in each year they have held the White House.


·        The Democrats have held the White House for 8 of the last 25 years. They have balanced the budget 3 times and increased total debt outstanding 4.2%.


     A comparison of the years 1927 and 1998 found that the stock market returned about 9 percent more a year under Democratic presidents than under Republicans (The Presidential Puzzle: Political Cycles and the Stock Market, Journal of Finance, Oct. 2003).


·        “[S]ince 1949 Democratic administrations have done better than Republican ones when it comes to unemployment (5.2% to 6.0%), job creation (-.0.4% decrease in unemployment, compared to 0.3% increase), GDP growth rate (4.2% to 2.9%), and even corporate profits as a share of GDP.”, citing Does the Party in Power Matter for Economic Performance?, University of Nevada, December 2006

     Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he was Governor of California; and as president, he raised taxes in 1982, 1983 and 1984--“including the largest peacetime tax hike in American history when measured as a percentage of the national economy.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/20/08) Why did Reagan raise taxes? Because the government needed money and that is how government is supposed to work: tax and spend--not borrow and spend as the Bush Administration did for the past eight years.

     If you examine the numbers, you will find that Democratic Administrations have been better for the U.S. economy--even for business and stock investments. The only thing Republicans do better than Democrats is LIE. It is time to call them on it.

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Mick Youther is an American citizen, an independent voter, a veteran, a parent, a Christian, a scientist, a writer, and all-around nice guy who has been aroused from a comfortable apathy by the high crimes and misdemeanors of the Bush Administration.
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