"When Senator John McCain was asked here this afternoon how he plans to balance the budget, he said that he hoped to do so by stimulating economic growth - and approvingly cited the example of President Ronald Reagan," the New York Times reports.
And the buzzer goes 'BZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' See, as much as facts don't matter to Republicans, I pretty sure that holding up Ronald Reagan for his deficit cutting is not a good plan:
For Tea Baggers supposedly concerned that "deficit spending is out of hand," history apparently began only on January 20, 2009. Because while President Obama rightly resorted to massive deficit spending to rescue the American economy from calamity, it was Ronald Reagan who ushered in the now-standard Republican practice of "spending our children's inheritance."
As Steve Benen rightly noted, it was not Reagan but President Obama whose stimulus plan delivered the largest two-year tax cut in history. And as it turns out, what Saint Ronnie giveth, he also taketh away.
As predicted, Reagan's massive $749 billion supply-side tax cuts in 1981 quickly produced even more massive annual budget deficits. Combined with his rapid increase in defense spending, Reagan delivered not the balanced budgets he promised, but record-settings deficits. Ultimately, Reagan was forced to raise taxes twice to avert financial catastrophe (a fact John McCain learned the hard way from Tom Brokaw last October). By the time he left office in 1989, Ronald Reagan nonetheless more than equaled the entire debt burden produced by the previous 200 years of American history.
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If nothing else, the debt ceiling crisis provided what Barack Obama is so fond of calling a "teachable moment." Hopefully, that extends to the President himself. After seeing his nominees blocked, his Read more...