I smile when I hear someone say, “On social issues, I’m progressive and favor the Democrats, but I’m a fiscal conservative so I support the Republicans.” The myth that the GOP is “better” at the budget is rampant, but it’s a myth just the same. The past 30-plus years, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the GOP presidents have consistently left us with a ballooning deficit, while the Democratic presidents have consistently reined it in.
Rex Nutting of MarketWatch (a Dow Jones property) recently wrote: “Government spending under Obama … is rising at a 1.4 percent annualized pace, slower than any time in nearly 60 years.” Under Reagan’s two terms it was 8.7 percent and 4.9 percent; Bush I, 5.4 percent; Clinton 3.2 percent and 3.9 percent; and Bush II, 7.3 percent and 8.1 percent. It’s the Democrats, therefore, who have been the small-growth, responsible party when it comes to fiscal restraint.
Forbes magazine writer Jason Oberholtzer also said recently that the cost of George W. Bush’s new policies (from 2001 to 2009), many of them supported by a congressman named Paul Ryan from Wisconsin (have you heard of him?), totaled $5.1 trillion. President Obama’s policies, on the other hand, from 2009 to 2017 are expected to add less than $1 trillion to the deficit.
The slogan of the Bush/Cheney era became: “President Reagan said deficits don’t matter.” When Jimmy Carter left office in 1980 the deficit was $900 billion. Eight years later it had more than tripled to nearly $3 trillion under Reagan.
Blaming Obama for the deficit we’re still struggling to reduce is like blaming firefighters who just extinguished a raging fire for the fact that the house is still smoldering. If you’re concerned about the federal deficit, you should be voting for Democrats, not Republicans.
— Joan Farrell