Email letters, November 14,  2013

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Thanks to Dave Kearsley (“GOP must stop infighting, remember basic beliefs”) for reminding us of the crucial fiscal lessons of recent history.

Without revisiting the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, “it can be argued that” the most fortunate (for Democrats) result of that “regime change” was that 9/11 happened during the “failure of imagination” of Bush/Cheney rather than Gore/Lieberman.

1992 was much more instructive.  As Dave accurately remembers it, Ross Perot ran as a third-party candidate precisely because “he thought spending was out of control” – after twelve years of “Voodoo Economics”, during which Republicans Ronald Reagan’s and George Bush Sr.’s profligate deficit spending more than tripled the national debt.

During Democrat Bill Clinton’s eight years, twenty million new jobs were created and he (along with Newt Gingrich) achieved a balanced budget – leaving Republican George Bush Jr. with an annual budget surplus, which he promptly dissipated with huge tax cuts.

During the ensuing eight years, no net new jobs were created and Republicans’ profligate deficit spending – and return to “Voodoo Economics”—doubled the national debt again, bequeathing to Democratic President Obama two off-budget wars, the worst financial crisis in memory, and the largest national debt and annual budget deficits in our history – not to mention the unfunded Medicare Part D.

Since then, President Obama has halved annual deficits – even though federal revenues (as percent of GDP) are at their lowest since 1950.  While one-third of recent deficit reductions is attributable to spending cuts (including “sequestration’), two-thirds are due to the partial roll-back of the “Bush Tax Cuts” and renewed (albeit still sluggish) GDP growth.

Thus, if you still cling to the “basic [fact-free] belief” that “spending is the problem”, you’re likely a “Tea Partier”.  If you profusely proclaim to “stand up for the principals” (sic) of “fiscal conservatism” but fail to “practice what you preach”, you’re just a typical Republican.



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