Sunday, March 15, 2009

I'm Spent

This blog is generally all "kumbaya" about the stuff I do with my kids, but there's something I've got to mention, and it's about them indirectly anyway.

If one more person tells me that President Obama is hurting our children's future with his spending, I may spontaneously combust. It's not that I'm for trillion dollar deficits, it's that most of our nation's 220 year debt can be attributed to two men. And I can explain it all in two short paragraphs.

From the time George Washington became President in 1789 until Jimmy Carter's Presidency ended in 1980, 39 Presidents rang up $900 billion in debt. What was it spent on? Well, to breeze through it - the Civil War, World War I and World War II, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, the Great Society, Vietnam, and putting a man on the moon. In eight short years, Ronald Reagan managed to increase the nation’s debt from $900 billion to $2.6 trillion. It took him only 8 years to nearly triple a debt that it took 39 Presidents 191 years to accumulate. Quite a nifty feat, until you consider that George W. Bush managed to double a $5 trillion debt to $10 trillion in 8 short years himself. How?

Despite being the party of fiscal responsibility, sound budgets and smaller government, the modern Reagan Republicans have no intention of cutting the size of the government. They've never shrunk the size of government, despite 28 years of telling us government is the problem. When you add tax cuts to massive increases in government spending, you get...massive debt.

Whew, 220 years in two paragraphs. I wonder if I could cut it down and Twitter this.

But, you may say, Presidents don’t make the laws, Congress does. Right. In that case, no one should be criticizing Obama. However, Presidents do set the tone, provide the vision, and have veto power to send back a bill with massive debt attached to it. Reagan and Bush set the tone for increasing federal spending while also cutting revenues (taxes) coming into the government.

So please spare me the “Obama is hurting our children’s future with all his spending” line. If I need to look at my kid’s future, I need look no further than my own past, when I was a kid, when Reagan decided that deficits don’t matter.

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