With all the deficit hysteria going on, I think the following quote is worth noting…
“Nixon raised the debt ceiling 9 times for a total increase of 36%.Ford raised the debt ceiling 5 times for a total increase of 41%.Reagan raised the debt ceiling 18 times for a total increase of 199%.George H.W. Bush raised the debt ceiling 9 times for a total increase of 48%.George W. Bush raised the debt ceiling 7 times for a total increase of 90%.That was Ok. They were white republicans”. ~Tiki Sparks
It’s also worth noting that, just being purely factual, the actual debt or level of debt doesn’t matter. What matters is economic growth and what the President and Congressional Republicans are missing (they’re both in this together, they’re only arguing over how much to cut) is that their austerity plans will damage the ability of the economy to continue the recovery. It may, in fact, lead back to recession and possibly depression.
What’s ironic is that in the rush to cut spending and deficits, you end up dampening economic activity and reducing revenue still further leading back to… you guessed it… deficits. Cutting is not the answer. Growing is the answer. When WWII ended, the US public debt was more than 120% of GDP. By 1980, the public debt was 33% of GDP despite the fact that the debt basically increased 200% during the intervening 35 years. While the debt grew, the economy grew faster and that’s what we need to do this time (as a side note, corporate and personal taxes we also far higher during that period than they are now).
This is the trap the President has laid for himself by feeding into the deficit hysteria. Governments don’t run like households and can’t because someone needs to be in a position to SAVE households from a declining economy. Republicans don’t want government to help the people who have paid taxes to support it. Democrats used to feel differently, though now it appears that the President has decided to embrace Hooverism and join with the Republicans in an effort to out Republican them. Ask all the statewide Democrats in Texas how well that works out.
Many of you will remember how much of a deficit hawk I was during the Bush years. I can assure you, when the economy gets back on firmer ground, unemployment is around 5% and households deleverage by cutting debt and increasing income, I’ll be back to ‘hey, y’all… let’s pay off the debt’. The 2007-2009 recession could have easily become far worse than a depression. It scared a large number of people and a result coming out of it is taking longer and requires far more assistance from the government. Unfortunately, because of a President and Congressional Republicans who care more about their political skins than the country, the economy hasn’t gotten that assistance which means we’re all in for a protracted run of suffering. At the very least, if this keeps up, we can forget about another four years of President Hoover, Jr. If there’s any justice, the turnover among Congressional Republicans up for re-elect will also be 100%.
In the meantime, the House Republicans today reissued their RyanFraud plan which is chock full of fraudulent numbers and a prescription to end Medicare. The President, rightly, ignored it and spoke instead about a ‘balanced approach’ to deficit reduction supported by Americans as revealed by a sample of uninformed voters who have heard nothing but bullshit and lies from the President, Congressional Republicans and the media. Then he started talking about the infrastructure bank, the mechanism by which public assets will be privatized at a substantial loss to the citizens of this country. That one, just FYI, has a ton of Republican support.
Don’t sweat it, kids… we’ll get the debt limit increase. But there won’t be any real relief for those looking for a stronger economy. And for those of you who keep desperately clinging to the slim hope that the President will stop imitating a Republican whose decisions turned a recession into the Great Depression, good luck with that. Not only is he not acting like a Democrat, he’s woefully ignorant of the fact that economics do not have an ideology.