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As we are witnessing, the Beltway media are pushing the theme of that we need to cut, cut, cut, so that our national debt can be lowered. They call this "shared sacrifice" -- though it's clear that they won't be sharing in the sacrifice. The rest of us will.
This is a common assumption that news pundits are weaving into their narratives every day. The Democrats and President Obama have also embraced this idea and shifted the goal posts to the right of center. Austerity rules, even though it's proved to be anything but effective. If we look at what's happening in the UK now, and remember what happened under FDR when the deficit hawks stepped in to curtail the federal government, it's clear that this nonsensical approach to budget writing just makes economic recovery regress.
To many of us watching the wealthy thrive in this economy while the working class struggles is very frustrating. I'm starting to finally hear some pundits question the wisdom of why Republicans refuse tax increases and instead push for more tax breaks for the rich at this time when they are already wealthy. Bob Schieffer asked Paul Ryan that yesterday on FTN.
There is one thing certain, though: The Bush budgets, and especially the tax cuts that accompanied them, caused catastrophic harm to our country and to the world. Paul Ryan wants to continue the work that Bush, Cheney and Rove started. Well, here's a flashback to what George Bush told America in 2001.
Via Think Progress:
Indeed, the nation’s $14 trillion debt is largely a result of “the cost of two wars, a runaway defense budget, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, taxes on the richest Americans being the lowest in a generation, and a recession caused by the lack of regulation of Wall Street.” The Bush administration followed wars with huge regressive tax cuts and an unpaid for prescription drug benefit.
But in his first major address to Congress, President George W. Bush promised that his “responsible” budget would pay off the national debt in ten years:
My budget has funded a responsible increase in our ongoing operations. It has funded our Nation’s important priorities. It has protected Social Security and Medicare. And our surpluses are big enough that there is still money left over.
Many of you have talked about the need to pay down our national debt. I listened, and I agree. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to act now, and I hope you will join me to pay down $2 trillion in debt during the next 10 years. At the end of those 10 years, we will have paid down all the debt that is available to retire. That is more debt repaid more quickly than has ever been repaid by any nation at any time in history.
Of course, the opposite occurred, with debt held by the public increasing from $3.5 trillion to nearly $6 trillion and gross federal debt going from $5.6 trillion to nearly $10 trillion. In fact, conservatives argued in 2001 that the very existence of a budget surplus was a valid reason to enact large, regressive tax cuts. But this is precisely what happens when you have an administration that believes “deficits don’t matter.”
So here we are. Nothing that Bush said came true in 2001 -- except the opposite. Bush's name is never mentioned by the MSM because the Beltway thinks it's not cool to blame him any longer. When you destroy a house and start from scratch you have to know why your house was destroyed in the first place and take precautions to never so it doesn't happen again. Apparently reminding the American people that conservative policies led us into ruin is not newsworthy anymore.