I recently posted this to Facebook and wanted to share it here as well ...
To my Republican friends and those who are concerned about the debt and deficit ...
A friend commented yesterday that one of his biggest concerns was the debt which is growing at $4 Billion per day. This was one of his reasons for supporting Romney, the belief that he would be more fiscally responsible than Obama. There are several aspects to this that I invite you to consider.
1 - Federal spending under President Obama has grown at its slowest rate since the end of The Korean War in the 1950's - by a large margin. This is not an opinion, election year spin, etc. This is a simple and verifiable FACT. Source:
2 - The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were finally put in the federal budget for President Obama's first budget in fiscal year 2010. They still added to the debt prior to then, but were never counted as part of the budget deficit. from wiki:
" Much of the costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have not been funded through regular appropriations bills, but through emergency supplemental appropriations bills. As such, most of these expenses were not included in the budget deficit calculation prior to FY2010. "
This increased "Obama's deficit" by $170 Billion without a dime of additional spending on administration proposals. This is also a FACT. Source:
3 - Mitt Romney sharply criticized the president for not having balanced the budget in his first four years. Meanwhile, his own "plan", [details not available until after the election], according to him in the debates, will balance the budget in eight to ten years. Meanwhile, his "balanced budget" for the Olympics was the result of unprecedented federal government spending - more than the government had spent on all previous Olympics combined. Republicans love to preach self-reliance and tell poor people that they can't have government money. They much prefer to give it to those who already have millions/billions. From Mother Jones:
"What Romney doesn't talk about is how he succeeded in Utah with government help—lots of it—and how millions in assistance that he pried out of the feds ended up bankrolling subsidies, sweetheart deals, and giveaways for land developers and other well-connected Utahns.
As Romney chastises the president for pointing out that successful business ventures benefit from a larger social compact and accuses critics of pining for "free stuff," Romney is simultaneously touting an Olympic effort that, more than any other in American history, succeeded thanks to public investment—some of it sunk into questionable projects of marginal value to the Salt Lake games. "The $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring into Utah is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined," Donald Barlett and James Steele reported for Sports Illustrated in 2001."
4 - It is well established economic policy to use government spending in times of recession to spur economic growth. This has been used many times with both Democrats and Republicans in the White House and there has never before been significant opposition from the other party. It is also an excellent time for the government to borrow money as the rates are at historic lows. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has written extensively on this topic.
"... in Europe, as in America, far too many Very Serious People have been taken in by the cult of austerity, by the belief that budget deficits, not mass unemployment, are the clear and present danger, and that deficit reduction will somehow solve a problem brought on by private sector excess. "
" The answer is that an economy is not like an indebted family. Our debt is mostly money we owe to each other; even more important, our income mostly comes from selling things to each other. Your spending is my income, and my spending is your income.
So what happens if everyone simultaneously slashes spending in an attempt to pay down debt? The answer is that everyone’s income falls — my income falls because you’re spending less, and your income falls because I’m spending less. And, as our incomes plunge, our debt problem gets worse, not better. "
5 - On the evening of January 20, 2009, following President Obama's inauguration, a group of high-powered Republican politicians and strategists sat down to dinner and plotted how to slow the Democratic momentum, symbolized by over a million people who came to Washington for the event. The plan they developed was to obstruct the president's economic policies as much as they possibly could, do all they could to keep the economy from growing, then run on the economy in 2012. This is a FACT. This meeting DID happen, and the Republicans HAVE done all they could to obstruct progress - prolonging and deepening the pain felt by many people for years simply so they could benefit politically.
Here is an interview between Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton in which Gingrich admits the meeting did, in fact, happen:
And as observed by our British cousins ...
"The GOP's zealotry on tax cuts is only matched by its zealotry in pursuing austerity policies. In the spring of 2011, federal spending cuts forced by Republican legislators took much-needed money out of the economy: combined with the 2012 budget, it has largely counteracted the positive benefits provided by the 2009 stimulus.
Subsequently, the GOP's refusal to countenance legislation that would help states with their own fiscal crises (largely, the result of declining tax revenue) has led to massive public sector layoffs at the state and local level. In fact, since Obama took office, state and local governments have shed 611,000 jobs; and by some measures, if not for these jobs, cuts the unemployment rate today would be closer to 7%, not its current 8.2%. In 2010 and 2011, 457,00 public sector jobs were excised; not coincidentally, at the same time, much of the federal stimulus aid from 2009 ran out. And Republicans took over control of Congress."
****** Bottom Line ******
Whining about the debt and deficit is just part of the GOP's racketeering. You know about rackets - where there is a false front for sleazy stuff going on in back. Well, the debt/deficit hysteria from the right is their false front which covers up their true motivation of keeping a lid on the US economy to hurt President Obama politically and reap the rewards. By screaming about the debt, having the debt clock prominently displayed at their convention, pursuing austerity programs everywhere they could, they were, and continue, further damaging the US economy. They need to be punished at the polls for this disgustingly anti-American behavior, not rewarded for screwing us all.