Except for Bill Clinton’s surplus (which Republicans squandered so they could give millionaires a tax cut) I do not remember a time, nor have I read of a time in which the U.S. did not run some kind of deficit. The deficits we have now would be half what they are, maybe less than half if conservatives really had a pay as you go economic policy. For as long as I have been following politics I have always found it deeply strange that Republicans run as the fiscally conservatives party, but in every modern Republican administration from Nixon to Bush 43, Republicans have maxed out the American’s people’s credit limit. On the other hand Democrats run as fiscally responsible and every modern Democratic president has run a much tighter fiscal ship than Republicans. Why Democrats do not run as better administrator’s of the nation’s balance sheet is a mystery. What’s not mysterious is the ever so grave concerns, the pious hypocritical self-righteousness and generally disgusting hand wringing over deficits expressed by Republicans over deficit spending when they’re on the back bench. Deficits and reckless minorities
That’s true, in a sense: The country largely ignores deficits in boom years and becomes very anxious about them during recessions. The pity, as any economist would tell you, is that we’ve got it backwards. We should be intolerant of deficits in boom years and tolerant during recessions. But to offer just one example, Medicare Part D, which passed in 2003 when (inflation-adjusted) GDP growth was a relatively healthy 2.5 percent, was put on the deficit. Compare that to the way the deficit dominated the conversation over the Affordable Care Act, which passed in 2010. When times are good, people worry less about deficits.
That said, Brooks walks by some of the difficult tradeoffs here without even stopping to look. Small businesspeople might be unnerved by deficits, but they’re also unnerved by GDP contraction. A small coffee shop might not like government spending in the abstract, but they really don’t like closing because there are no more construction workers around to buy coffee, and so they may quite like the effect of deficit-financed tax credits for home buyers. Consumers might not like the idea of deficits, but nor do they like hearing that their kid is in a class that’s twice as large this year, or that the construction on the road they take to work is going to simply stop for a while, while the local government waits out the recession.
The deficits we are looking at now are largely the legacy of conservative economic policy. A legacy that we can spend our way out of or set up an ample number of soup kitchens for the millions that will stay unemployed until some fairy dust rains down and makes it all better again. I tend not to have much faith in fairy dust, unlike David Brooks at the NYT or always wrong right-wing miscreant millionaires such as Bill Kristol. Conservatives claim to be as good at economic policy as they are at national security. These are the people who gave us WMD, imminent threats and the worse deficit in the nation’s history. Forget all that America, it’s not our fault its the socialists-commie-born in Kenya -Republican-lite guy in the White House.
Harry Reid’s(D-NV) opponent for the Senate, Nevada GOP Extremist Angle Tries to Hide ‘Issues’ Page
New GOP Senate candidate from Nevada Sharron Angle is apparently trying to quietly toss the online records of her extreme nativist and John Birch Society-inspired positions down the memory hole.
Sharron Angle—Tea Partier, Oath Keepers supporter, anti-fluoride crusader, and new GOP candidate for Senate from Nevada—is already demonstrating her solidarity with party luminaries like Ted Stevens, George W. Bush, and the entire House Republican caucus by staging an epic Web fail of her own. In a possible bid to play down her more right-leaning, less mainstream views—which are bound to be a liability in a general election fight with Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid—Angle’s campaign website has been scrubbed of its spiciest material. Previously, her site featured an “issues” page, where Angle champions nuclear waste while deriding the UN, the Department of Education, “Obamacare,” “illegals,” and “an unscientific hysteria over the man-caused global warming hoax.” That web page is now inaccessible.
A mini drama at best. Angle’s page displaying her loony positions is now up. Among them is her fear of fluoride, connections to Scientology and her desire to kill Social Security. Illegal immigration is a problem, but conservatives do not seem to have any solutions other than spending hundreds of billions of dollars rounding them all up. We could easily rise billions by fining right-wing pundits five dollars for every lie they tell. Some form of compromise, earning a pathway to citizenship is not a position they have embraced – the right called the Bush-McCain-Democrat compromise Shamnesty or something like that. Some kind of amnesty is certainly a cheaper alternative if, you know, you’re really concerned about spending priorities. I have rather have the money spent on keeping teachers and police employed – spending Republicans are blocking and some Democrats are afraid of.
The Big Dog didn’t finish cleaning up the mess/legacy of the Reagan-Bush 41 presidencys until the last year of his second term. In many ways Clinton’s presidency was as much about making progress as it was about undoing the calamitous damage of his predecessors. So when Republicans incessantly whine about when we’re going to stop blaming Bush 43 and six years of Republicans control of all three branches of government Speaker Pelosi earns a trip to the bonus round with the correct answer,
MSNBC’s First Thoughts quoted from an interview NBC conducted with Nancy Pelosi yesterday in which the Speaker pegged the current financial and environmental crises to the Bush administration’s “lack of supervision, of regulation, of discipline.” Asked how long the Democrats could continue to blame Bush, Pelosi replied, “Well, it burns out when the problems go away.”
In many ways – like the deregulation bandwagon that lead to the Wall St meltdown and the BP Gulf spill – we’re still paying for the Reagan years, so Bush will be taking his lumps for the next fifty years. Except for those that like their history revised and sugar-coated.