Your Opinion: GOP contribute to federal debt
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The debt ceiling issue seems to be resolved through a last-minute compromise in which Democrats clearly gave more in the agreement than Republicans; the lesson learned is that childish tantrums have replaced governance as the guiding principle.
Lurking in the wings is our treasured AAA bond rating, which I sincerely hope we can preserve. On that point, I am less confident. Losing that, we will discover the cost of Speaker Boehner’s walking away from the “grand bargain” with President Obama and it will not be pretty.
So let’s look at our path here. It is politically valuable in Republican politics to lay all of this at the door of Democrats. Most Americans understand that we did not amass this overnight. In fact, Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush, accumulated $3.134 trillion outspending the Soviets in defense and defending our oil supply. President Clinton added a total of $1.609 trillion to the debt before bringing it into balance and creating a surplus. And then came President George W. Bush who added $7.485 trillion. Add it up and we had $12.228 trillion on the books before this president walked in the door. Where were the voices of rage then?
I have the distinct luxury of having been opposed to the Iraq War, the unnecessary tax cuts and the unfunded and poorly designed Medicare Part D. Deficits significantly concerned me years before the Tea Party breathed. Those policy errors contributed mightily to economic deficits we face now. But Sens. Bond and Talent had wars to fight, wealthy contributors to appease and seniors to offer a tidbit. To divorce that first $12 trillion from our present situation is ludicrous.
It amazes me that Republicans bash this president when 130 sitting members in the Republican caucus supported that $7 trillion. Yet we are supposed to believe they have found “religion.” Lest you think the Tea Party has made a difference, pay attention when they discuss defense.
There is always hedging when defense and the “War on Terror” are involved. The problem is that Republicans seem to have difficulty doing anything moderately. When those 130 cared nothing for deficits, they spent with a vengeance. When they decided the political winds demanded facing our deficits, they cut with a meat cleaver.
Americans understand this better than Vicky Hartzler and Roy Blunt think.
Protecting big oil’s tax bonuses are not on our priority list right now.