The truth about Reagan and Bush Republicans
The American political debate has become more and more vicious, and in all the noise it is the message that tends to get lost. Others may have more slyness, more aggressiveness, more experience, and more skill as bullies. I have less of these things than Pat Robertson or Rush Limbaugh. What I have on the matters discussed is the truth.
In 1980, before Ronald Reagan came to power, America's federal debt was $1 trillion. At the end of his second administration, it was $3 trillion. His Republican successor George Bush Sr. added another $1.5 trillion to the debt.
In 1993, President Clinton passed the deficit reduction package, and every consequent year the deficit declined until in 1999 and 2000 America ran a surplus. For this good act the Democrats were severely punished and lost the control of Congress in 1994. Over the next eight years, American economy added 23 million new jobs in the greatest peacetime economic expansion in American history. The surplus in year 2000 stood at $236 billion.
When Bush Jr. took over American government - first by spreading lies about his Republican opponent John McCain during the Republican primary, then by using fraud and corruption in Florida to manufacture a false electoral majority when in fact minority voted for him both in Florida and in the rest of America - his first major act in power was cutting the taxes on highest incomes. The results were immediate. The budget recorded a tiny surplus in 2001 and, for the next seven years, ran vast deficits. All in all, Bush administration added $5 trillion to American debt. Meanwhile job growth stood at zero before collapsing in 2008 in the worst economic crisis America has had since the Great Depression.
The federal debt is therefore a creation of the Reagan and Bush Republicans. It is not, as they like to claim, a result of "spending" by "liberal government"; it is a direct result of choices made by Reagan and Bush administrations. The only President who actually successfully overhauled government to make it more efficient, more competent and less wasteful was President Clinton. Under Bush Jr, the annual government budget grew by over $1 trillion from $1.8 trillion in 2000 to $2.9 trillion in 2008.
Of course the Republicans did not cut down the government spending - neither Reagan with split Congress nor Bush with the fully Republican Congress. What they did is replace tax-and-spend with far more irresponsible borrow-and-spend and bequeathed to their children and grandchildren a $10 trillion debt. All the public sentiment against "spending" by "liberal" government is nothing more than a way to hide tracks and misplace blame. The government existed with tax-and-spend; it continues to exist with borrow-and-spend. Only now, the younger generations are $10 trillion in the hole thanks to the borrow-and-spend policies of Republican administrations.
To the people who want to do away with the government, is needed a dose of reality. The biggest government bureaucracy of all is the military, which vastly grew under Bush to cost $700 billion in 2008 and which is the most wasteful branch of the government, throwing away perfectly good tools after a week in use, buying $600 toilets, and spending billions of dollars on weapon systems that never get used. Another wasteful government bureaucracy is the prisons, whose population quadrupled since 1980 as people were being put away for victimless crimes thanks to Reagan's War on Drugs and which population remains vast as the Republican-initiated, Republican-maintained War on Drugs keeps dragging on. These prisons have now become America's fastest growth of recruitment into Islam, and at taxpayer expense is being created a vast threat to internal security, as people who are already dangerous, lawless and have a grudge against the system are being turned into militant Islamists. In both cases, it has been the policies of Reagan and Bush Republicans that saw the vast growth in these bureaucracies even as they were promising to get the government off people's backs.
Other areas of government spending that are not there as a result of the Reagan and Bush policies - the roads and the Interstate that are the backbone of America's commerce; the science that is at the root of all products sold by American businesses; schools that make people employable; and of course the Internet that has made possible vast expansion of business and commerce as much as it makes possible for anti-government groups to spread their propaganda - produce vast benefits for American economy, and without them American people would have very little of what they have now. So the problem is not with "spending" and it is certainly not with "liberals". The problem is with the borrow-and-spend Republicans who keep dangling before people the promise of smaller government while dragging them deeper and deeper into debt.
With government, as with all things, it's not the matter of pay or not pay. It is the matter of pay now or pay later. It should be perhaps not surprising that the people who expect an end of the world in our lifetime would not care about the future; but this stance comes at a vast price. And since these people claim to have family values as they force this vast debt on their children; since they claim American patriotism as they bankrupt their country and put it at mercy of such creditors as People's Republic of China; and since they claim responsibility as they act in such a grossly myopic manner; it is time that these people be scrutinized not only to the extent to which they fail to embody these virtues they claim to possess, but also as to their extremely low levels of honesty and integrity and fitness to rule America or to take credit therefor.
So that while the Clinton administration had been hounded, attacked and falsely accused of all kinds of abuses, it was the only administration in recent history that created a budget surplus and a working government, and was the author of the biggest peaceful prosperity in the history of the United States. As for Reagan and Bush Republicans, their most obvious legacy to their children is a $10 trillion debt. And then the people who have done this claim moral superiority of themselves and moral inferiority of the Democrats when they are in fact the most deceitful political force in the United States.
Not only have the Reagan and Bush Republicans bequeathed to their children a $10 trillion debt, but they've bequeathed to them also a ruined planet. Scientists knew what was happening as early as early 80s; the Reagan government would hear none of it, and Republican conmen from Paul Wyerich to Pat Robertson to Rush Limbaugh claimed that scientists were fools and sinners, so who cares what they think. The stance of denial of global warming has prevented real solutions from being put in place while the situation was still easily correctable. Now, the solutions will be more difficult and more expensive, and irreversible damage has been done already and is becoming worse every year. And as Maldives and Kiribati are sinking into the sea, oceans are turning to acid, Jakarta is being flooded, and disastrous climate events are costing more and more lives, remember that it has been the Reagan and Bush Republicans that have given this to you. And know from this what is their character and what is the validity of the lies that they want you to believe.
From perspective of sustainability and benefit toward the future, it means nothing whether clean energy technologies are put into place by government or by business, for as long as it's done. And from perspective of sustainability and continuity, it means very little to what extent the hole in the budget is fixed by cuts in spending or by tax rises, likewise for as long as it's done. What is not acceptable is that either problem is denied or is blamed on people who have had nothing to do with it. And since this is the direction of Republican approach to these matters, it is likewise rightful that they lose all credibility and their power to make people believe destructive fictions that keep these great wrongs going on.