I have been reading some of the comments generated from participants in today's tea parties:
"We're very concerned about the debt that is accumulating for our children and grandchildren."
"We are just not in agreement with what is going on [with Government Spending]."
"People are growing increasingly frustrated with the level of taxation."
All of the above are valid concerns which I share, and are rightly expressed. The problem with this Republican Revolution, aside from their inability to generate an original idea (they hijacked the tea party idea from the Ron Paul originators), is the placing of blame for the state of our finances on either 1) an assumed "liberal agenda" of redistributing wealth, or 2) Barack Obama.
Yes that's right, the federal deficit and government spending is the fault of the Democrats.
Really? Not the way I remember it, because during his time in office, Democrat Bill Clinton succeeded in reversing the *Reagan* Administration's irresponsible fiscal agenda by raising taxes on the wealthy, and lowering them for the working and middle classes.
This, if you will recall, produced the longest sustained economic expansion in American history.
It also produced a surplus which allowed us to begin paying down the crippling debt accumulated under Reagan. In 2000, Clinton's surplus amounted to $236 billion. The forecasted ten-year surplus stood at $5.6 trillion.
This surplus was the last black ink we would see or hear about, or even hope for, for several years, and maybe ever. Now of course, we are not so concerned with being in the black--we are instead trying to avoid utter financial and economic destruction. But I digress.
Timeline continued; exit Bill Clinton, enter George W. Bush. You know, the guy who immediately reversed Clinton's policies in order to shower an embargo of riches on the richest, least-deserving of his political base? He managed to dole out $630 billion in tax cuts to the top 1% of income earners.
In true Republican fashion, the lucky recipients then responded by investing over $200 million in campaign funds to ensure Bush's re-election. Even had he not been re-elected, Bush had already wreaked fiscal havoc by effectively spending his way through Clinton's surplus in his first year.
It gets worse. Hundreds of billions from the Social Security trust fund have also been diverted in true Republican shell-game fashion, in order to make the shortfall look smaller. Also, the hundreds of billions it costs to finance the Iraq war were separated and not included in those numbers.
Today, we are increasing in our debt by almost 4 billion dollars each day, and we are staring down the barrel of an 11 trillion dollar deficit. Eleven trillion is an "11" followed by a comma and 12 zeros. It was hard to wrap my brain around, so I googled it.
This is what we've come to, and this is what the new Obama Administration has inherited. Without even starting to talk about the banking failures, CEO bonuses, and defunct auto makers" just focusing on the deficit here." The stimulus package presented by President Obama is necessary to stimulate spending in the private sector, so that we can have an income in the form of taxes to correct the ridiculous tax cuts for the rich, irresponsible spending, and blatant cronyism which was promoted during the Bush Administration.
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