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