Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Republicans Are Not Fiscal Conservatives

If you are worried about the country’s debt and deficit you should return Democrats to power in 2014 and 2016.

Yes, that’s right.

If you are worried about the country’s debt and deficit you should return Democrats to power in 2014 and 2016.

Our country has long lived under the false premise that Republicans are the tight fisted fiscal conservatives and Democrats are the freewheeling big spenders. That simply is not the case. Debt and deficits INCREASE when Republicans hold power and DECREASE when Democrats are in charge. This is not our personal opinion…it is a historic fact. One need only look to the Clinton and Bush 43 administrations for proof.

Bill Clinton balanced the budget and left a surplus on the books when he road into the sunset. George W. Bush said “that surplus isn’t the government’s money…it’s your money…and I’m gonna’ give it back to you.” Bush cut taxes…and then took the country into two wars without paying for them and passed the largest government funded social program in our country’s history…Medicare Part D. When 43 left office he had turned Clinton’s surplus into a $5 trillion dollar deficit.

“But Obama has taken the Bush debt and tripled it” you say. Yes he did. When Obama took office he inherited two wars, a banking crisis, auto industry crisis and a failing economy that was hemorrhaging 750,000 jobs per month. Obama took the necessary steps to end both wars, save the banking industry, save the auto industry, and resurrect a crashing economy. Last month the country produced 255,000 private sector jobs. Those corrective measures cost money. Now that the country has turned the corner we see that the debt and deficit is shrinking. In fact the deficit under the Obama administration is shrinking at a rate not seen since WWII.

Last night Rachel Maddow made the same case on the state level citing mounting budget deficits in Republican controlled state legislatures. Maddow specifically notes the great job Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey.

You all know Chris Christie. The straight talking Republican governor and presidential hopeful is lauded by Republicans for his success in a very blue state. Christie, like Bush cut taxes. He also took on the teachers’ union where he cut teachers’ salaries and legacy costs, much to the delight of his party and the private sector. Conservatives sang his praises.

But the tax cuts left a huge gap in the state’s cash flow. A lot more money was going out the door than coming in. The state deficit skyrocketed. Christie was forced to borrow to make ends meet. The bond rating bureaus didn’t like what they were seeing. They reduced the state’s bond rating five times during Christie’s term in office. Now Christie is forced to borrow at even higher interest rates to keep his government running. The state deficit continues to grow.

The same scenario is playing out in Republican run states across the country. Maddow cites Kansas and North Carolina as two more examples where Republican leadership has turned a surplus into a deficit.

Selling tax cuts to the American voter is easy. “That surplus isn’t the government’s money it’s your money…and I’m gonna’ to give it back to you.” Hell ya!

The problem comes when you try to cut services to make up for the revenue you lost when you cut those taxes. Most Americans would like to give as little of their hard earned dollars to the government as possible. Americans also like well paved roads, free public school education, safe neighborhoods and clean air and water. These things cost money.

Democrats understand that government plays an important role in our society. They understand that government costs money and that you can’t simply cut tax revenue and figure the rest out later.

Republicans have yet to grasp that concept.

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