Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Republicans: Good at National Security and Fiscal Issues? Hardly

George W. Bush liked to call his Adventures in Iraq a crusade of the coalition of the willing.  Most of us realized it was more like the coalition of the bribed and browbeaten.  Nonetheless, right before our eyes, there has been a coalition of the willing forming with the U.S. guiding the process, not demanding it.  Where is this happening?  Syria.  Moderate Sunni Arab Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have recalled their ambassadors in protest of the al-Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on the people of Hama, Homs and other cities.  It appears Turkey, once a strong ally and partner of Syria, has also given al-Assad his final warning and it looks like President Obama will lead the western nations call for al-Assad to step down.
One group you are not hearing a peep out of is the Shia terrorist/political militant group Hezbollah.  While Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah were extremely vocal in calling for the resignation of Egypt’s Mubarak, Yemen’s Saleh, and Libya’s Gaddafi, they have been as mute as a mime when it comes to Syria’s al-Assad.  Perhaps it is because the terror organization is so dependent on Syria and Iran for weapons and money?  That’s a big yes.  If al-Assad should fall, there could be significant backlash against Hezbollah especially after the UN tribunal indicted four Hezbollah members for the murder of Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri. 
More debt facts.  The list below summarizes the start and end of the gross U.S. federal debt as a percentage of GDP since FDR and Truman and the actual amount of debt added or subtracted during that administration.                              

U.S. President
Yrs
Start Debt/GDP (%)
End Debt/DGP (%)
Increase Debt ($Tr)
1
FDR/Truman (D)
45 - 49
117.5
93.1
-0.01
2
Truman (D)
49 – 53
93.1
71.4
0.01
3
Eisenhower (R)
53 - 57
71.4
60.4
0.01
4
Eisenhower (R)
57 – 61
60.4
55.2
0.02
5
JFK/LBJ (D)
61 – 65
55.2
46.9
0.03
6
LBJ (D)
65 – 69
46.9
38.6
0.04
7
Nixon (R)
69 -73
38.6
35.6
0.10
8
Nixon/Ford (R)
73 – 77
35.6
35.8
0.24
9
Carter (D)
77 – 81
35.8
32.5
0.29
10
Reagan (R)
81 – 85
32.5
43.8
0.82
11
Reagan (R)
85 – 89
43.8
53.1
1.05
12
H.W. Bush (R)
89 – 93
53.1
66.1
1.48
13
Clinton (D)
93 – 97
66.1
65.4
1.02
14
Clinton (D)
97 – 01
65.4
56.4
0.40
15
Bush (R)
01 – 05
56.4
63.5
2.14
16
Bush (R)
05 – 09
63.5
84.2
3.97
17
Obama (D)
09 -
84.2
93.2
1.65


Ok students, what did we learn?
Every Democratic President reduced the level of debt per GDP while in office.  The only exception is President Obama who was forced into a massive spending initiative to stave off a depression.  All of our Presidents did a tremendous job managing spending until we get the Hero of the Conservatives, King Ronald himself.  Not only was Ronny the first President to add over a $trillion during a term, the debt to GDP percentage went from 32.5% to 53.1% over his eight years.  His successor H.W. Bush didn’t do much better.  However, their combined 12 years was nothing compared to W’s $6.11Trillion increase to our federal debt.  And then there’s Democrat Bill Clinton who REDUCED the debt to GDP percentage and turned over a budget surplus to the Crawford Calamity.
So the next time a Conservative or Republican talks about how Democrats spend and spend, just remind them that when we spend, we actually get something in return in the form of a rapidly growing economy.  Yes Keynesian Economics does work. You just need to know when to stop the flow of stimulus.  Also, feel free to remind the Reaganites that there hero’s tremendous growth numbers were a result of Fed Chairman starving the economy to beat inflation, thus allowing Reagan to be in the Oval Office when the economy bounced back when the handcuffs were off. 
Damn those facts are stubborn.

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