The Bush Legacy, unveiled today…
Somewhere amidst stories of Amy Winehouse’s latest medical emergency and McCain calling Obama names and Obama talking about “change” without providing specifics, there was a real, concrete piece of news that managed to escape onto the wires today. I’ll quote the first sentence from the Associated Press article:
Washington – The government’s budget deficit will surge past a half-trillion dollars next year, according to gloomy new estimates from the White House, a record flood of red ink that promises to force the winner of the presidential race to dramatically alter his economic agenda.
My first inclination was to say, “Here’s what Iraq did for us.” But actually, upon further reading, that would not be accurate. The projection does not take into account the Iraq war past 2009, nor does it consider recent Medicare legislation and the massive housing rescue package Bush will sign this week.
Let’s not even consider extra money he should be spending on developing new forms of energy, to end our dependence on oil that he’s been promising to attend to for two terms now. (Ha ha ha, I know, I know.)
So the truth, after the fudging is done, is that the deficit is actually a lot higher than the $482 billion in the “gloomy” new estimates. Once again, they’re sugar-coating it. Yes, this is the sugar-coated version, so imagine how high the numbers would be if they were straight with us. And the Republicans are supposedly the fiscally-responsible party?!? (For a great cartoon about that myth, click here. For a more serious article that sums it up well, click here.)
During the Reagan era they had “the previous administration” to blame. Every time someone pointed out that, despite claiming to “get the government off of people’s backs,” Reagan was actually increasing spending, he’d say he had to, because the previous administration had cut back on military expenditures so badly that the Russians, Sandinistas, Iranians, Lybians and a whole bunch of other boogiemen were going to be at our doorstep any day, ready to overthrow the Shining City on a Hill. But several administrations of Republicans and defense buildups have not blunted spending. Recently, Condi Rice said she was afraid of mushroom clouds coming from Iraq. Now there are whiffs about the same thing with Iran. (Interestingly, North Korea lobs four or so nuclear rockets towards Hawaii two Fourth of Julys ago and we don’t do much about that. Wouldn’t you be afraid of real North Korean weapons of mass destruction more than imaginary Iraqi and Iranian ones? I’m betting the Bushies are too, which is why they’re not beating their chests over that one but engaging in quiet diplomacy.) You can’t blame any increasing spending now on the wimpiness of “the previous administration,” yet that spending continues unchecked.
I remember when The Great Communicator first took office back in 1981, he gave a televised speech to illustrate the size of our national debt. He said that if you had a stack of $1,000 bills four inches high you would be a millionaire. A trillion dollars would be a stack of $1,000 dollar bills 67 miles high, which was the size of our national debt then. Well, now that stack would be 670 miles high, not compensating for compression due to weight of the paper (something I’m told Reagan did not account for either in his example), because the debt today is around ten trillion dollars, give or take some billion.
Those horrible times Reagan inherited from ol’ tax & spend Jimmy Carter are looking pretty damned good now! We’ve given Republicans most of the last three decades, except for some Clinton years, and look at what they’ve left us. Reagan campaigned back in 1980 by saying your children will be paying for the debt. Now your children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children will be paying for it—with more to come, much more. The Boomers have just started to retire. We get to watch all those free-market lovin,’ down-with-handouts-from-the-government types belly up to the buffet table for their slab of roast beef, served to them by the “do nothing” slacker generation.
Oh, before I go, another myth to burst, the one that says Repuglicans are good for Wall Street. We all know the stock market historically does better under Repugs because they’re so business-friendly, right? I mean, just the other day I saw an article that said a poll taken of economists revealed that most think McCain will be better for the Dow than Obama. They say this about the GOP candidate in every presidential election. And I thought they learned something at Wharton and Stanford and the Harvard Business School.
Sorry, Charlie—I mean Ann and Rush. The opposite is actually true. Dems are better, and by quite a margin, too. I guess this isn’t The Way Things Ought To Be, as ditto-heads see it.
Oh, by the way, go back to that AP article and reread the last part of the sentence. I wonder if Barack Obama, should he win, will be able to blame “the previous administration” for broken promises. Do you think the Repugs will agree to take the fall? Do pigs fly?