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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Post 9/11: Faces Of Debt


President George W. Bush along with the GOP majorities misguided in part by the dime-store economics of Congressman Paul Ryan literally drove our economy into the ground. Immediately following 9/11, Americans pulled together and were willing to make any sacrifice to punish the perpetrators behind the murderous attack. Who in their right mind would have said "no" to a tax increase at that time to pay for the effort? No one. Instead, Bush told Americans to go out and spend, go shopping and get down to Disney World. Buy a new house, get a new car.

Bush then proceeded to begin a very expensive military offensive and hinted it would be global in scope and likely to last decades, but made absolutely no plans to pay for it. He cut taxes and Ryan agreed. Believe it or not, Ryan actually wanted a larger tax cut "stimulus" than Bush initially proposed. A tax cut that he claimed would lessen surpluses projected by the CBO at that time.

Later on, the GOP majority pushed through Medicare Part D and by cutting taxes again in 2003, they said, "don't worry, we don’t have to pay for any of it because we're fiscal conservatives." In the meantime, Bush kept asking for "one-time" emergency appropriations for the wars over and over again. Ryan and the GOP majority gave it to him without ever increasing taxes to pay for it, over and over again.

In 2010, Ryan refused to support unemployment compensation as a stand alone bill and said the assistance was becoming a hammock for the unemployed. He said simply that America could not afford the $38 billion cost, but immediately reversed that position once the extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy was thrown into the mix, eventually adding another $858 billion in future debt! Apparently, we STILL don't have to pay for anything.

The bottom line is; Bush and Ryan spent a ton of money without giving a second thought to how and when we'd pay for it. Instead of asking for sacrifices, they offered tax cuts.

Democrats made two attempts to extend the Bush-era rates for middle income families while letting the top rates sunset. Republicans said no. Slice it and dice it any way you like but the Bush-era deficits, including debt he deferred well into the future, were created without ever thinking about how we'll pay for any of it – and that skewed fiscal mindset continues into today.

So, will Ryan or his fellow Republicans now finally raise taxes to help post at least a minimum down payment? Not a chance! They signed a pledge promising to never vote for a tax revenue increase for any reason. With that pledge, Ryan and Republicans have abdicated their fiscal duty to country and are deliberately kicking the can down the road even further than ever before.

Not only that, but all of the current GOP presidential candidates want to lower tax rates from they are today and send our country careening towards immeasurable deficits. As can be expected, the wrong-headed Ryan also is predictably pushing for larger tax cuts yet again, this time claiming they will help lessen CBO-projected deficits! Sound familiar? They want to kick the "not paying for anything" method of budgeting insanity into overdrive. THAT’S the real entitlement mentality.

Ryan and most Republicans now blame the Big 3 safety nets as the cause and root to our nation's debt.

Of course! What else could they possibly say caused the mess we are in today? Certainly none of the above.

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