Congress inches toward 
budget, debt solutions

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Kudos to the Sentinel for editorially (“Congress inches toward budget, debt solutions”) and graphically (“At issue is increasing the debt limit”) providing its readers with the objective facts underlying the still-unresolved “shutdown” and debt limit crises.

As the front-page graph shows, the twelve years of “VooDoo Economics” pursued by Republican “conservatives” Reagan and Bush, Sr. produced deficits every year (tripling the national debt), which then began falling during Democratic President Clinton’s tenure – producing surpluses throughout Clinton’s second term.

Republican “Compassionate Conservative” Bush, Jr. ran-up even larger deficits (which prompted Democrats – including then-Senator Obama—to object in 2006), doubling the national debt and bequeathing to Democratic President Obama the largest single-year deficit in our history. Thereafter, annual budget deficits have fallen throughout Obama’s presidency.  Thus, true “conservatives” and “independents” should have no doubts about which party is more fiscally responsible.

Of course, even our recently declining deficits are unsustainably massive – but isolating effective counter-measures first requires a non-ideological examination of the causes of the Bush deficits and recent reductions.

The best estimates are that President Obama’s own policies (including “ObamaCare”) are responsible for only 10% of current deficits, while Bush policies and the post-2008 near-Depression account for 90%.  Likewise, only 1/3 of recent deficit reduction is attributable to spending cuts (including the “sequester”), while 2/3 results from increasing revenues generated by the recovering economy and the partial roll-back of the “Bush Tax Cuts”.

Logically, those premises should lead to the conclusion that the most effective way to attack future deficits is to promote economic growth while raising revenues from those most able to pay – and continuing to control federal spending that does not contribute to sustained growth.  That is precisely the medicine President Obama has been prescribing and Republicans are obstructing—offering only more spending austerity and tax cuts.



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