Debt and Taxes Part IV
By Raymond Freeman 02/20/2014
Here’s a chart of national debt as a percentage of gross domestic product from www.zfacts.com. Notice the huge jump in America’s red ink from President Reagan onward. It exposes Republicans as deceitful, incompetent hypocrites. Their Lordships of the GOP have invented a cover story to feed to the peasants.
They say it’s a logical fallacy to argue that Reagan caused it. The fact that B happens after A doesn’t prove that A caused B. The cock’s crowing doesn’t cause the sun to rise. But who wanted huge tax cuts and huge increases in defense spending? Who said that “supply-side economics” would be the “rising tide” that would “lift all boats?” Ronald Reagan did.
All three organs of government (House, Senate, President) must concur to pass legislation. Finance bills originate in the House. This was controlled by Democrats under Reagan, so Republicans say they’re to blame. Oh dear, oh dear! How quickly we forget. Reagan was the “Great Communicator,” remember?
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the president was admired and respected, not loathed and despised. House Democrats were good sports and got along with Reagan. They gave him his huge tax cuts and huge increases in defense spending. Americans want everyone in Washington to get along over some bourbon and make our clunky Constitution work.
Second, look at the graph. The debt/GDP ratio fell under Republican presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. What changed when Reagan took over? #Absolutely nothing#. The Democrats in Congress stayed basically the same. Republicans blatantly obscure the big picture. Suppose Reagan and the Bushes had continued previous policies? Look at the lower line. All debt would have been paid off by 2001. (The line shoots up again after the 2008 Great Crash, caused by Republicans, as we’ve seen already.)
Third, the cover story ignores the procedure. The budget comes from the president. Reagan and Bush Senior got almost all the funding they requested in each of their 12 budgets. Reagan got the huge tax cuts he wanted. Debt shot up immediately, as we see. Remember, even Republican Bush Senior described supply-side economics as “voodoo economics.”
Fourth, Republicans say they forced President Clinton to reduce national debt. But Clinton’s welfare reforms aren’t even a blip on this graph. The debt/GDP ratio dropped because the economy — and tax revenues — grew under Clinton. Stockbrokers agree that the economy and the stock market do better under Democratic presidents.
Fifth, under Bush Junior, enormous tax cuts for the super-rich were blasted past a Democratic House by “reconciliation.” This means that contentious legislation is stuck into a “must-pass” finance bill, though it lapses after 10 years. For Bush’s middle four budgets, the Congress was solidly Republican, so he could act like a drunken sailor. He did, too. Nobody cared. “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter” (V.P. Dick Cheney).
Overall, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for only EIGHT out of these TWENTY Reagan/Bush years. It is a Big Fat Lie to say Democrats are responsible for the massive growth of national debt. Republicans are to blame. They drove the agenda … and still do, 30 years later. Reagan and the Bushes are responsible for around $12 trillion of today’s $17 trillion debt (zfacts.com). That’s quite a conversation-stopper. That’s why Republicans never have that conversation.
Don’t let Republicans get away with their bogus cover story. Ask them why Bush Senior described Reagan’s supply-side economics as “voodoo economics” and why Cheney said, “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” They’ll ignore you. Stand your ground! Demand answers.
The assistance of Ventura County Democratic Party Chairman David Atkins is acknowledged with thanks.