Out-of-control national debt? Don’t look at Obama and Pelosi

Here in WNC, we have been hearing much from local Republicans, conservatives and the always-charming Carolina Stompers warning us that the USA is on the road to fiscal disaster. Our conservative Democratic congressman, Heath Shuler, voted against the economic stimulus and will likely vote against health-care reform because of budgetary concerns. Most conservatives blame Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi for out-of-control spending and the national debt. Yet there are serious flaws with their logic.

It was Democratic President Bill Clinton who left office in 2000 with a budget surplus of over $559 billion. It was his Republican successor, George W. Bush, along with a Republican Congress, who ran up the largest national debt in U.S. history. Bush and the Republican Congress passed tax cuts and pushed through two costly foreign occupations without providing any means in the U.S. budget to pay for these things. When Bush left office, the national debt had reached $11 trillion. That is the very definition of fiscal irresponsibility. Yet for WNC conservatives, it is Obama and Pelosi who are to blame for our fiscal problems. Give me a break.

As a liberal, I refuse to be lectured on fiscal irresponsibility by the same conservatives who left us with this mess.

— Bert Clere
Asheville

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29 thoughts on “Out-of-control national debt? Don’t look at Obama and Pelosi

  1. Piffy!

    Unfortunately, Bert, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone blaming “Obama and Pelosi” who will admit to supporting Bush’s policies. Such is the new tactic of the amnesiac right.

  2. mmusicmm

    I guess we could blame Eve for the all the evil in the world too ??.
    Instead of hiding behind what has already been done people should look really hard at what is being done now. Spending is increasing at a rate of $3.87 BILLION a day (source:brilling.com\debt clock).
    We the people should stop expecting this government to fix anything for us!

  3. artart

    This train wreck of our economy is not about right or left, but about the self-serving corrupt politicians of both parties putting us where we are. Justifying the current administration’s wasteful practices by pointing to irresponsibility of a previous administration is just crap and invalid logic. All politicians must stop this spending. You cannot spend your way to prosperity by going deeper into debt. Oh, a by the way, corporations, however evil they may or may not be, do not pay taxes. Only people pay taxes as businesses see taxes as nothing more than another cost of doing business to be passed on to consumers just like salaries and utilities are costs of doing business. So the more corporations are taxed the more consumers end up paying.

  4. John B

    Not to mention the fact that the real problem is with the process itself. This country’s monetary policy is ludicrous. The dollar represents debt in and of itself. Check out what Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Rep. Ron Paul have planned. Either system results in a debt-free America…

  5. Asheville Dweller

    Or in such denial that Obama has out spent the last several Presidents in under a year.

    Such as always the tatic of the Amnesiac Left.

  6. Bert

    The basic underlying issue is that you cannot have low taxes and still support medicaid, social security, and foreign wars. There are only two ways we can balance the budget: cut Entitlement programs and defense spending or raise taxes. All of these people who want low taxes but shriek at any talk of cutting medicaid and social security just aren’t being realistic.

  7. John B

    And? The U.S. also has the highest debt burden of any nation on the planet. The higher the debt, the more interest you pay. If we lower the interest rate on T-Bills, then no one will buy the debt. At which point, we would have the highest tax rate in the developed world or face certain ruin.

    So how about no debt? Does that sound like a good plan?

  8. Piffy!

    i’m just saying, it’s kinda silly to whine about taxes in the US.

    no debt? sounds great. how u gonna do that?

  9. John B

    Same way Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich did in the 90’s – as the letter writer pointed out – balance the budget. Then use the surplus along with budget cuts and temporary tax increases to pay down the debt – which wasn’t done. Then pass a balanced budget amendment to ensure it never happens again.

    Of course this is only one aspect of the problem. If one takes a hard look at the monetary policy of the United States and other western governments, you’ll find that without debt there would be no money. I know this sounds odd but quite frankly it would be impossible for me to explain it in a blog post. There are many books and films on the subject you might like to check out if you’re interested.

    But to respond to the “whine about taxes” comment, I’ll stop whining about those silly small business killing taxes when the federal government stops spending taxpayer money on silly things like war, failing school systems, prisons, and corporate subsidies just to name a few.

    As to my problems with the letter writer’s premise, I point to every other post on this thread except yours pfff.

  10. Piffy!

    So it’s agreed, then. We can’t afford to spend half a trillion a year on the Military.

  11. JWTJr

    pfff – we are where we are. Hating the past for hates’ sake just keeps you angry.

    Perhaps our lower tax rates have produced the crazy over the top, much higher standard of living than everywhere else in the world. Most other countries would not consider our poverty level as anything remotely close to theirs.

    You want to increase taxes so we can downgrade our lifestyle to match the rest of the world that wishes they could live like us? You go first .. you can pay more on your 1040 if you want. Lead by example.

  12. John B

    I can only speak for myself here but yes. The whole forward deployed “Tip of the Spear” policy that requires military spending at that level is a largely outdated model going back to the cold war which ended 20 years ago. The idea that the MIC retooled itself for the War on Terror is a deception bordering on a blatant lie.

    All they did was come up with better (read: more expensive) technology that was intergraded into the old paradigm. Meaning that military spending would increase not decrease in the interest of personnel “safety” without questioning the concept itself.

    It’s no real secret in military circles that anyone who questions the ‘Peace through Superior Firepower’ strategy or the military procurement process doesn’t have much a career ahead of them due to pressure from Congress.

    So, yes, it is agreed. Will you now agree that the Democrats are just as responsible?

  13. Mister Blister

    No one minds spending billions (or trillions) of dollars waging an illegal and unjust war. Just try to provide some sort of coherent health care and all the conservative pansies pull up their skirts and screech “we can’t afford it!”

    It is entertaining seeing conservatives rush to the defense of Medicaid though… never thought I would see that. Most of the “Tea baggers” are so stupid though with no sense of history or the past. Check out the interviews below. So comical. This is what we get with our 3rd rate educational system.

    http://tinyurl.com/n5rb5o

  14. Mister Blister

    pff
    “America has some of the lowest taxes in the developed world.”

    Please back up your statements with some facts please. Just because you say it, or your buddy or mechanic says it, doesn’t make it true. Some of our taxes might be lower but you always have to look at all taxes (income, state, local, and other fees) combined.

    Also a little fact-checking would help you from having to edit your statements annoyingly in this thread.

  15. Bert

    “Will you now agree that the Democrats are just as responsible?”

    Yes, the Dems who voted for the Bush tax cuts.

  16. John B

    Bert,
    I starting to see why everyone told this was a waste of time as any jackass will take one’s post out of context. (My first nasty response EVER. Maybe there is no cure for Left-Right paradigm… )

    Yes, D’s who voted who voted for the Bush tax cuts without first slashing the budget are in fact just as responsible for the debt as the R’s who voted for the Bush tax cuts.

    What I don’t follow is how this relates to the Military Industrial Complex manipulating the congressional process in their favor and producing more debt which is what I was talking about.

    My point being that anyone who argues one party’s moral superiority over the other in regards to debt is either a fool or a moron. Obama and Bush and who did what is beside the point as both are responsible since both use the same process to create debt. The process is the problem.

    I think I’m starting to realize why Shad Marsh mocks this process. There really is no talking sense to any of you is there? He may have just earned my vote….

  17. Bert

    I don’t argue that the Democrats are perfect by any means. What I’m pointing out is that the Republican Party, and conservatives in general, tend to be the ones who pride themselves on fiscal conservatism. Yet a conservative President and a conservative congress allowed this debt to happen from 2000-2006. You can’t cut taxes and then spend like you’re LBJ. There is a severe disconnect between the economic and fiscal rhetoric of the Republican Party and how they govern, and until they atone for George W. Bush’s fiscal disaster, I don’t think their arguments against Obama are legitimate.

    George Bush Sr. should receive as much credit as Clinton for the balanced budget, because he bucked his own Party and raised taxes. But that kind of principled Yankee Republican no longer exists in today’s GOP. Limbaugh and Sarah Palin have run all of the centrists out of the Party, which is why Republicans can no longer win outside of Utah and the Deep South.

  18. Piffy!

    [b]pfff – we are where we are. Hating the past for hates’ sake just keeps you angry.

    Perhaps our lower tax rates have produced the crazy over the top, much higher standard of living than everywhere else in the world. Most other countries would not consider our poverty level as anything remotely close to theirs.

    You want to increase taxes so we can downgrade our lifestyle to match the rest of the world that wishes they could live like us? You go first .. you can pay more on your 1040 if you want. Lead by example. [/b]

    I don’t see how wanting to decrease the Trillions we spend on a bloated military budget is wanting to raise taxes.

  19. Piffy!

    [b]pff
    “America has some of the lowest taxes in the developed world.”

    Please back up your statements with some facts please. Just because you say it, or your buddy or mechanic says it, doesn’t make it true. Some of our taxes might be lower but you always have to look at all taxes (income, state, local, and other fees) combined.
    \ [/b]

    Sure. Took me three minutes to search Google.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Income_Taxes_By_Country.svg

    http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Taxes/P148855.asp

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_rates_around_the_world

    Want me to show you how to use Google?

  20. John B

    Bert,

    I gave $250 to Obama because he was my generation’s John Kennedy. I was told he was supposed to end the war, repeal the patriot act, close GITMO, take lobbyists out of the picture and generally utilize a broad minded governing style among other reasons. I helped elect him to get more war, bankers calling the shots and Tom Vilsak as Sec. of Agriculture. What?

    You understand of course my generation has to pay for all this right? Check out gold, unemployment, or the price of Yen lately? Say much for the Dollar?

    You’re argument is that neoconservative Republicans are worse? You’re going to have to do a lot more convincing than that. You’re telling me to ignore Obama’s choices involving governance of America’s monetary supply because he’s a nice guy? We should “trust” him?

    I already did with my vote and look what I got.

  21. John B

    Bert,

    I gave $250 to Obama because he was my generation’s John Kennedy. I was told he was supposed to end the war, repeal the patriot act, close GITMO, take lobbyists out of the picture and generally utilize a broad minded governing style among other reasons. I helped elect him to get more war, bankers calling the shots and Tom Vilsak as Sec. of Agriculture. What?

    You understand of course my generation has to pay for all this right? Check out gold, unemployment, or the price of Yen lately? Say much for the Dollar?

    You’re argument is that neoconservative Republicans are worse? You’re going to have to do a lot more convincing than that. You’re telling me to ignore Obama’s choices involving governance of America’s monetary supply because he’s a nice guy? We should “trust” him?

    I already did with my vote and look what I got.

  22. Piffy!

    Scrutiny-If you are truly that disappointed with Obama, who would you choose for 2012?

  23. John B

    I already stated it. Rep. Dennis Kucinich or Rep. Ron Paul. Preferable against each other. While radically different in base philosophy, both point to the root cause of the problem.

  24. Bert

    Scrutiny,

    I share your frustration. I’m hopeful we will start to see a draw down in troops within the first term and a repeal of DADT among other things. If not, then Obama should certainly be called to account. But I think it’s also important to remember that changes don’t happen overnight. There are a good deal of entrenched interests in DC.

    And rather than blaming the politicians, I think it is time we started looking to ourselves for the people we elect. Voters in the Democratic and Republican primaries had the opportunity to vote for Kucinich and Ron Paul and they didn’t. That means pure and simple, that Kucinich and Paul didn’t make a convincing enough case for their platform.

    In a Democracy, we deserve the government we get.

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