Political Animal


August 06, 2011 11:05 AM A timeline of events

By Steve Benen

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?

1980: Ronald Reagan runs for president, promising a balanced budget

1981 - 1989: With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.

1993: Bill Clinton passes economic plan that lowers deficit, gets zero votes from congressional Republicans.

1998: U.S. deficit disappears for the first time in three decades. Debt clock is unplugged.

2000: George W. Bush runs for president, promising to maintain a balanced budget.

2001: CBO shows the United States is on track to pay off the entirety of its national debt within a decade.

2001 - 2009: With support from congressional Republicans, Bush runs enormous deficits, adds nearly $5 trillion to the debt.

2002: Dick Cheney declares, “Deficits don’t matter.” Congressional Republicans agree, approving tax cuts, two wars, and Medicare expansion without even trying to pay for them.

2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit from Bush; Republicans immediately condemn Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility.

2009: Congressional Democrats unveil several domestic policy initiatives — including health care reform, cap and trade, DREAM Act — which would lower the deficit. GOP opposes all of them, while continuing to push for deficit reduction.

September 2010: In Obama’s first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion. Republicans again condemn Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility.

October 2010: S&P endorses the nation’s AAA rating with a stable outlook, saying the United States looks to be in solid fiscal shape for the foreseeable future.

November 2010: Republicans win a U.S. House majority, citing the need for fiscal responsibility.

December 2010: Congressional Republicans demand extension of Bush tax cuts, relying entirely on deficit financing. GOP continues to accuse Obama of fiscal irresponsibility.

March 2011: Congressional Republicans declare intention to hold full faith and credit of the United States hostage — a move without precedent in American history — until massive debt-reduction plan is approved.

July 2011: Obama offers Republicans a $4 trillion debt-reduction deal. GOP refuses, pushes debt-ceiling standoff until the last possible day, rattling international markets.

August 2011: S&P downgrades U.S. debt, citing GOP refusal to consider new revenues. Republicans rejoice and blame Obama for fiscal irresponsibility.

There have been several instances since the mid 1990s in which I genuinely believed Republican politics couldn’t possibly get more blisteringly ridiculous. I was wrong; they just keep getting worse.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


  • DAY on August 06, 2011 11:07 AM:

    most excellent, sir!

    This, of course, will run in its entirely on Sunday morning, on the front page of every newspaper across this great land!


  • stormskies on August 06, 2011 11:17 AM:

    Right, and we will surely see an intense investigation into the hedge fund managers that made a Billion bet that the credit of the USA would be downgraded, making this bet on July 25th...........

  • wordtypist on August 06, 2011 11:22 AM:

    Stormskies,you are right. Remember,EricJ Cantor is an investor who will also make money because of the downgrade.

  • dilford on August 06, 2011 11:25 AM:

    Well, sure, if you want to put it in perspective - but big-spending Socialism is destroying our freedom and how do you put a price tag on THAT?

    I blame every single utterance by a talking-head or print-opionator that uncritically repeated some variation of "Republicans have more credibility on fiscal issues" for about 25-to-40% of the mess we're in.

  • John McKay on August 06, 2011 11:25 AM:

    You left out:

    December 2009: Orin Hatch (R-UT) admits that when under Bush and the Republicans "it was standard practice not to pay for things."

  • c u n d gulag on August 06, 2011 11:27 AM:

    Here's the Republican timeline:

    11/2008 - A black Democrat is elected President.
    Note - Voter Fraud - ACORN?

    01/20/2009 - The black President's sworn in. Even the CJ of the SCOTUS can't believe it.

    Later on 01/20/2009 - We can start to blame all of the sh*t we did, and the deficit on the black guy.

    Later, later, on 01/20/2009 - 11/2012 - do anything and everything to make sure the black guys not re-elected.
    And do as much damage to Democrats as possible.

    01/2013 - Let one party Republicans rule start!
    Note - Define voter fraud as any Democrat or non-white trying to vote.

  • John McKay on August 06, 2011 11:28 AM:


    December 2009: Orin Hatch (R-UT) admits that under Bush and the Republicans "it was standard practice not to pay for things."

  • zandru on August 06, 2011 11:30 AM:

    Excellent Timeline, Mr. B!

    Cut&paste this article. Include the full link. Then take the result and email it to all your rightwing relatives & acquaintances. Use the vast email list that they sent their latest tea-bagger screed with. (heh, heh, heh) Edit off all their text and change the subject line to "Fwd: 31 Years of Reaganomics - Yay!!" or something similar that makes them think it's something they'll want to read.

    Get the word out. Gawdnose that the media won't, and not everyone watches The Daily Show/Colbert. Push back!

    And don't be a "sensitive vorsot", like Captcha sez.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on August 06, 2011 11:32 AM:

    And yet, Democrats won't call them out on it because they're chickenshits.

  • Varecia on August 06, 2011 11:33 AM:

    That timeline should be in every email inbox in the country and made viral throughout Facebook, etc. before the weekend is over.

  • Danp on August 06, 2011 11:36 AM:

    I'd love to know why S&P was more optimistic 5 years ago. Did they think Republicans were in a more compromising mood then? Did they think Dems efforts to enforce PAGO would be successful? Did they think the Republicans would at some point be willing to increase taxes? Did they really see no bank/mortgage crisis on the horizon? They really didn't "understand" swaps?

    And why now? Did they really think Republicans were going to actually vote to default? Just to please the useful idiots that voted for them in 2010? Would they have maintained a AAA rating if Congress had merely raised the debt ceiling by unanimous consent? If so, how is the feckless nonsense that passed a couple days ago any worse?

    One safe bet - it won't "scare" Republicans into responsible behavior. Instead, it will be used to justify a dismantling of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Who people think S&P is blaming is completely irrelevant.

  • zandru on August 06, 2011 11:38 AM:

    @DisgustedWithItAll - You're probably right. But that doesn't mean YOU can't do something about it.

    For that matter, we might want to each send this timeline and link to the article to all of our elected reps. And the President. He apparently responds well to pressure. About time he got some from The Democratic Wing for a change, instead of just listening to the Villagers.

    "errequi excess" - Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing to excess. (Mae West?)

  • DZ on August 06, 2011 11:43 AM:

    Another adjustment:

    September 2010: In Obama�s first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion --- even with the wars that were off the books during the Bush years factored in. Republicans again condemn Obama�s fiscal irresponsibility.

  • MikeBoyScout on August 06, 2011 11:47 AM:

    Yeah, but this time the Republican party is serious,
    and the president is a Democrat who is Blackity, Blackity Black.
    It is different now.

  • Chris on August 06, 2011 11:50 AM:

    I just arrived and haven't read the other threads yet, but I noticed that the television stations who were FINALLY beginning to talk about jobs suddenly, inspired by S&P, pivoted to deficits again...happily it seems.

    Of course, per the confused corporate media, a pox on both their houses.

    So, the challenge yet again is to focus the discussion back on jobs. This time, maybe Dems can make the case that we can shrink the deficit by creating more jobs. How about that for a media strategy?

  • fillphil on August 06, 2011 11:56 AM:

    You oughta make a poster out of that. Too big for a bumper sticker but needs to be stated loud and clear.

  • Speed on August 06, 2011 12:06 PM:

    "Facts are stupid things." - Ronald the Great

  • impik on August 06, 2011 12:11 PM:

    Mr. Benen, honestly, you are the last standing journalist. It is all so incredibly depressing.

  • j on August 06, 2011 12:19 PM:

    I cannot get the link to the 122 billion shrinkage, anyone help?

  • Grumpy on August 06, 2011 12:20 PM:

    While I agree with the general thrust, the history was not so one-sided.

    1981 - 1989: With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.

    And with support from congressional Democrats, too.

    2001 - 2009: With support from congressional Republicans, Bush runs enormous deficits, adds nearly $5 trillion to the debt.

    This should be broken up into two eras: 2001-2006, when Republicans supported the Bush deficits, and 2006 and beyond, when Republicans started to wonder why government wasn't being drowned in the bathtub yet. There was a reason Bush's popularity started to diminish and why GOP voters stayed home in 2006.

  • neil wilson on August 06, 2011 12:20 PM:

    You forgot an extremely important person: George HW Bush.

    Read my lips - No new taxes

    Then in 1990 he agreed to raise taxes and got significant cuts and reforms; Including PAYGO.

    Of course, he was crucified by the Republicans and lost to Clinton.

    But Bush deserves a significant amount of credit for the balanced budget 10 years later.

  • SHMO on August 06, 2011 12:26 PM:

    I posted this on my facebook page as a note, giving due credit to Steve. We need to get this message out.

    Well done, as usual.

  • Danp on August 06, 2011 12:41 PM:

    I cannot get the link to the 122 billion shrinkage, anyone help? j

    Try this.


  • DisgustedWithItAll on August 06, 2011 12:42 PM:

    @zandru: Have you tried discussing anything with a wingnut in the last few years? Do you know what will happen if you show Benen's post in it's entirety to a wingnut? Answer: they'll laugh at you. They'll note that S&P also said the U.S. failed to address the DEBT problem satisfactorily. They'll deny Reagan's responsibility. They'll blame all the problems on the last two years, and only attribute blame to Obama and/or the safety net. They'll ignore the fact that by 2010 the country would be debt free had it not been for the Bush policies. They'll simply not pay any mind to Benen's post. (One reason is Benen didn't include the things in S&P's statement that could be used against Democrats, though it would have to be done disingenuously.)

    Don't believe me? Then try posting Benen's post in the comments section of a related article on the Washington Post.

    The only way the facts are ever going to make a dent in things is if Democrats get a pair of balls, and go after Republicans with some tenacity. And they'll need to do it in places that aren't their comfort zone. MSNBC won't get it done. I'm thinking they ought to take it to daytime TV, as godawful as that is.

  • Anonymous on August 06, 2011 1:14 PM:

    Disgusted makes a good point: wingnuts' mindset will not allow them to even consider anything that isn't already a part of their belief system.

    I've been having, ahem, discussions with a relative of mine, this person is smart, well traveled, a good person, who believes all kind of stuff that has been disproven over and over. IOW, a typical FAUX viewer, but also someone who only views the world through his own experiences. Even after I send him links to articles, studies, etc., he still is not persuaded to even consider that he may be mistaken. It's really quite incredible to me.

  • JustBeingPedantic on August 06, 2011 1:19 PM:

    @neil wilson:

    You forgot an extremely important person: George HW Bush.

    You mean the G.H.W. Bush under whose presidency the national debt nearly doubled, this after it had tripled under Reagan?

  • sherifffruitfly on August 06, 2011 1:20 PM:

    "November 2010: Republicans win a U.S. House majority, citing the need for fiscal responsibility."

    More illuminating: White folks in historically overwhelming numbers, give the House keys back to republicans.

  • fredjet on August 06, 2011 1:39 PM:

    2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit no Typo! He inherited a $13 Trillion deficit from George Bush plus and the recession.

  • me on August 06, 2011 1:49 PM:

    i would add to december 2010:

    following the gop's tax cut hostage strategy, moody's warns of a future credit ratings downgrade if revenues are not increased to help reduce the nation's deficit.

  • burro on August 06, 2011 2:00 PM:

    "September 2010: In Obama’s first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion."

    Can't you just see the bastards, clutching their hearts and moaning that this guy was making things happen and the better he did, the crappier they were going to look. They were screwed for a long time if he kept on with that success shit.

    Stop the train. Derail the fucker. Damn the passengers. Screw the cost of the train. Ignore the collateral damage. Just do not let the sucker go over that high bridge, where folks can look up at it, and think it's a thing of beauty and something to be proud of and something to build on.

    No, better to destroy it all than risk a recovery on the watch of a president that they don't control. But not to worry, they fixed that, and figured out how to get things back to fucked up repubco normal.

  • jjm on August 06, 2011 2:03 PM:

    The GOP is THE problem, according to S&P's own reckoning:

    "Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."

    But let us not forget what was behind the phony mantra of "No new taxes." It was a phrase coined by Lee Atwater as a code for 'no money for black people'. He admitted that the party could not "come right out and say that". And this racially motivated idea has been nothing but destructive to our nation as a whole and now to our economic health.

    Why anyone would vote for the GOP, then, except for reasons of racism is beyond me.

    Does the GOP have a single new idea? Any hope for the future? NO. Cantor is telling all the young people: "We're going to break all our promises to you."

    That's a way to run a society?

    Again: the ONLY reason anyone will vote these guys in has to do with racism: they want black people to fail, and along with them the rest of us will be swallowed alive.

  • kd bart on August 06, 2011 2:16 PM:

    Since Faux News will never show such a timeline, it must not be true.

  • whichwitch on August 06, 2011 2:24 PM:

    Posted on my FB page also - excellent article - thanks Steve.

  • JustBeingPedantic on August 06, 2011 2:26 PM:


    2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit no Typo! He inherited a $13 Trillion deficit from George Bush plus and the recession.

    No, it's not a typo, $1.3 trillion (i.e., one trillion, three hundred billion dollars) is correct. The budget deficit is the difference between revenue (i.e., income) and expenditures (i.e., spending) for a fiscal year as measured on an annual basis.

    The 14-figure amount (i.e., greater than $10 trillion) is the national debt, which is the total amount of money the United States owes to its creditors.

    I continue to be astounded how anybody can participate in a rational discussion of the financial health of the United States if they do not understand the difference between the annual budget deficit and the national debt--a lack of understanding that's almost as prevalent among members of Congress as it is among those posting comments in this and other blogs.

  • marian on August 06, 2011 2:30 PM:

    It's worth noting that S&P also points to the fact that the debt reduction deal didn't reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, but only $2 trillion.

    At the same time, when S&P's $2 trillion mistake was pointed out, the head of their sovereign debt department said that $2 trillion was immaterial over a ten year period.

    In short, it's immaterial, but failure to come up with it helped cause a downgrade!


  • martin on August 06, 2011 2:30 PM:

    2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit no Typo! He inherited a $13 Trillion deficit from George Bush plus and the recession.

    You're confusing DEBT with DEFICIT. The Deficit is the shortage in the annual budget. The Debt is the accumulated shortages. Not sure what the Debt W left behind, but this budget was about $1.3 in deficit.

  • nemisten on August 06, 2011 2:38 PM:

    Aww, there you libruls go again with all yer facts and things.

    REAL Americans know the real problems facing the US (and planet Earth): taxes, abortion, terrorists, homosexuals, islamofacists, atheists, government, communists, illegal aliens, environmentalists, public education, gun control, regulations, science, birth control, and naked people having sex.

    So quit it already with all that thinking stuff.

  • skeptonomist on August 06, 2011 3:14 PM:

    The CBO "projection" in 2001 of huge surpluses in the future was complete nonsense, based on extrapolation of short-term favorable growth of revenue. In order to believe such projections you had to reject the idea that there was a stock-market bubble (supluses were largely due to increased stock-market capital gains), and also the general idea of economic cycles (periods of growth have always been followed by contraction).

    To some extent this was garbage in, garbage out, since the numbers are provided by Congress. But this should give some idea of how unreliable CBO projections are; they don't take really take account of economic cycles.

  • Paul C on August 06, 2011 4:07 PM:

    It is time to take the "Grand" out of the GOP. This latest fiasco was both irresponsible and arrogant. Politics should never take precedence over the substantive interests of this country. The predicted downgrading of our credit worthiness will cost us billions. And what for? to achieve political "victory"?It is incomprehensible that the OP is willing to repeat this performance.

  • LJL on August 06, 2011 4:39 PM:

    The time line seems clear, correct and concise but surprisingly there are a lot of people who just can't see it. These are the same people who blame FDR, desegregation, affirmative action, multi-culturalism and gender equality for all that's wrong with America. This doesn't explain their intellectual short comings but it sure as hell explains their moral degeneracy.

  • knightphoenix2 on August 06, 2011 4:51 PM:

    Because there has been WAY TOO MUCH Haterade on President Obama this week, I offer this article from nonny-mouse at Crooks & Liars:


    Please keep in mind, he's not Superman, he's just a man. A very fine man, that is.

    Let's see: CAPTCHA has spread rlitur

  • pebble on August 06, 2011 5:05 PM:

    You are a national treasure, Steve.Thank you for this. As always, you get straight to the heart of the matter and clearly expose the salient points. Let's all see that this goes out across the land.

  • Citizen Alan on August 06, 2011 5:06 PM:

    What part of "Republicans are America-hating traitors" is not clear to you, Steve?

  • knightphoenix2 on August 06, 2011 5:07 PM:

    jjm and LJL nails it: Racism, America's Original Sin; is what is behind the Republicans and their "Tea Party" puppets.

    It has *always* been, "The TRIBE". That's the only thing for them, they can't stand anyone *not of their tribe* in power. Therefore, they would rather destroy *everything* and "rule in Hell", rather than "serve (side by side) in Heaven".

    THAT is what we Progressives and Democrats are UP AGAINST.

    THAT'S why WE ALWAYS HAVE TO *VOTE*. Not some of the time, not every four years.


    As much as you may want to sit it out to protest *some* of President Obama's policies, that has NEVER been, and no longer IS an option any more.

    If you want to protect the gains we made before the Republicans took the House back (because far too many of Obama's supporters "sat it out"), and free him to make many more, then VOTE.

    And, keep on VOTING, please!

    Let's see: CAPTCHA has terogg aro?!

  • Steve on August 06, 2011 5:50 PM:

    I mentioned this in a previous comment but I think it bears repeating: this double dip should be called the "Tea Party Recession."

    Spread it around.

  • Mike K on August 06, 2011 5:55 PM:

    Reagan never had a Republican Congress. He had a Republican Senate for four years. Come on, you had to know that. Right ?

  • neilwilson on August 06, 2011 6:29 PM:

    Yes, GHWB #41

    41 raised taxes, something virtually everyone reading this thinks is necessary.

    41 reduced the amount of spending as a percentage of GDP after the 1990 budget deal.

    Facts have a liberal bias but you can make the liberal case for a solution a lot stronger when you don't completely ignore the few facts that go against pure liberalism.

  • Doug on August 06, 2011 7:00 PM:

    For those worried about trying to convince "wingnuts" with facts - don't try. I offer Mike K as an example.
    Wingnuts make up, at most, about 25-30% of the VOTING population, we need to focus on those who've been suckered by the wingnuts' massive, corporate-funded propaganda, but AREN'T wingnuts.
    We get half of THOSE voters and we win....

  • fig8Jam on August 06, 2011 7:29 PM:

    Steve Benen
    this is the story you need to be telling:


    We need to start educating the public. There needs to be a concerted effort to focus on the capitalists and how they are propagandizing the public.

    Please be the first to do so Steve!
    Create a series of stories addressing how we are focused on the wrong things.

    This should not be partisan...it is the HAVES vs. the HAVENOTS

    Americans need to wake up to that.

  • Cha on August 06, 2011 7:49 PM:

    Lol @ knightphoenix and THANK YOU!

  • sj on August 06, 2011 7:49 PM:

    Reagan had a Republican Senate for his first six years

  • Old Uncle Dave on August 06, 2011 9:13 PM:

    To that list I would add:
    1999: Congress passes and Bill Clinton signs the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, repealing Glass Steagall.
    leading directly to
    2008: Congress passes and Bush signs the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, setting up TARP, which none dare call "redistribution of wealth upward" or "socialism for the rich"
    but thanks to the media
    2010: More Americans think Obama, Not Bush, Enacted Bank Bailouts, Poll Shows

  • Quaker in a Basement on August 06, 2011 10:02 PM:

    There have been several instances since the mid 1990s in which I genuinely believed Republican politics couldn’t possibly get more blisteringly ridiculous.

    John Cole at Balloon Juice has it down to just five words: Peak wingnut was a lie!

  • marian on August 06, 2011 10:18 PM:

    I don't know how much point there is to trying to educate people to the facts about Saint Ronnie, but here goes: because of 'blue dog' Democrats, Reagan had working control of Congress for most of his first term. He proposed budgets that were consistently LARGER than the budgets the Democratic Congress approved.

    The national debt was almost tripled, from $1 trillion to $2.7 trillion. This was because he slashed taxes and doubled the defense budget. Read Stockman's, his budget adviser's book.

    Yes, I know. Waste of breath.

  • Ck on August 06, 2011 11:55 PM:

    The debt at the end of FY 2011 will be $15.144 Trillion.

    Since January 1981, Democrats have had two out of three branches 13 out of 31 years. Republicans have had two out of three branches 18 out of 31 years. Democrats have had a super majority in at least one house 4 times. Republicans.. not once. Republicans have had all three branches 4 years, Democrats have had all three branches 4 years.

    During that span:

    Our nation has added $5.031 Trillion to the debt for an average of $279.5 Billion per year with Republicans controlling two out of three branches or more.

    Our nation has added $9.204 Trillion to the debt for an average of $708 Billion per year with Democrats controlling two out of three branches or more.

    It is VERY clear that Republicans have been irresponsible, yet Democrats make them look completely SANE in terms of deficits and national debt.

    Knowing the ENTIRE picture helps sometimes.

  • Peter Pitchford on August 07, 2011 12:42 AM:

    The link on "shrinks by $122 billion" needs to be fixed.

    [fixed, thank you - mod.]

  • jaleh on August 07, 2011 2:20 AM:

    I just posted this on dkos that's been bashing Obama for so long. Is that a right wing sight now?

  • mr.irony on August 07, 2011 5:50 AM:

    mike k..

    congress sent reagan budgets to sign..

    that were smaller than reagan's request..

    darn that history..

  • american gypsy on August 07, 2011 8:31 AM:

    As stated in your piece, "March 2011: Congressional Republicans declare intention to hold full faith and credit of the United States hostage — a move without precedent in American history — until massive debt-reduction plan is approved." Alas, if only that were true. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/28/us/congress-must-raise-debt-limit-to-avoid-default-clinton-says.html

  • marian on August 07, 2011 8:49 AM:

    ck...You can decide what you want to do about them, but facts are stubborn things.

    Reagan increased the national debt by 189% (almost triple)
    Bush I by 55%
    Clinton by 37%
    Bush II by 116% (more than double)
    Obama by 16%

    Otherwise put, under Republican presidents, the debt of the United States has been increased by FIVE TIMES. Under Democratic presidents by just over 50%.

    There is no mystery as to why this is: they slash taxes and dramatically increase spending: Reagan doubled the defense budget and Bush did prescription drugs, a tax cut and two wars without paying for them. These policies were passed when Republicans controlled Congress

    Stockman, Reagan's budget director, described his horror when he realized that the President had no intention of proposing any cuts to the budget to offset his tax cuts: essentially he had a vision of the financial ruin of the United State, with trillions of dollars of deficits which would result. This book was a bestseller in the 1980's. None of this is a mystery.

  • Neo on August 07, 2011 12:06 PM:

    The ugly truth is that the Bush tax cuts will end at the beginning of 2013 for everybody, not just the "rich." And that still won't be enough.

  • Charles Jiggetts on August 07, 2011 1:40 PM:

    It's obivious to me that the Republicans real agenda is
    to replace President Obama regardless of the damage to
    our country.Seems like they have a singular objective
    as stated.Watch what they do and be wary of what they say.

  • smitty on August 07, 2011 1:48 PM:

    You were WAY too kind.

    Least we forget Nixon's abolishing the Gold Standard in 73.

    There's an AC/DC song in there somewhere; "Highway to Hell", if I'm not mistaken.

  • stryx on August 07, 2011 1:49 PM:

    The guy was standing right there when it happened:

    "After Stockman's first year at OMB..., Stockman became inspired with the projected trend of increasingly large federal deficits and the rapidly expanding national debt. On 1 August 1985, he resigned OMB and later wrote a memoir of his experience in the Reagan Administration titled The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed, in which he specifically criticized the failure of congressional Republicans to endorse a reduction of government spending as necessary offsets to the large tax decreases, in order to avoid the creation of large deficits and an increasing national debt."


  • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© on August 07, 2011 6:08 PM:

    No mention of the Community Reinvestment Act,

    Good bye, moron. You've just proven that you're a witless recycler of discredited A.E.I. propaganda.

    Our country is in the pathetic shape that it is today precisely because its politicians can count on the votes of low-information types such as yourself.

  • mr.irony on August 07, 2011 6:11 PM:

    um wilson...

    "I've called on private sector mortgage banks and banks to be more aggressive about lending money to first-time home buyers." - President Bush 3/26/04

    how did that turn out?

    as for fannie and freddie..

    Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis - McClatchy Newspapers 10/12/08

    In 2005 and 2006, the private sector securitized almost two thirds of all U.S. mortgages, supplanting Fannie and Freddie.

    facts win again!

  • marian on August 07, 2011 7:35 PM:

    The effort to get low income families to own their own homes was both a Dem and Republican initiative. Margaret Thatcher had shown that getting low income families to own their own homes improved neighborhoods, etc. Her government had moved millions of Britons into their own homes. That's why Repubs took up the mantra here.

    As previously stated, most securitised loans were done by the private sector. In fact, Fannie and Freddie loans failed at a much lower rate than private sector ones (they were virtually out of the market by the time the liars' loans became so fashionable.)

    But this is all beside the point. The post is about the Republican history of repeatedly running up the deficit while cutting taxes and then blaming Democrats for fiscal irresponsibility.

    During the Reagan administration, Congress consistently approved budgets LOWER than Reagan requested. http://zfacts.com/p/57.html (don't know how to make a link here, sorry)

  • Brian on August 07, 2011 11:03 PM:

    Please consider using your blog to not incite the partisan politics we already have TOO much of.

    Can it be more obvious you are a Democrat? I am not saying either party is perfect, nor do I support everything the Republicans do, but your article is unbelievably one sided. The Democrats don't shoulder any of the blame? And the American people never noticed this on their own to vote out the Reps? Thanks for opening our eyes!

    Unfortunately, I believe it is the BLAME game (just like your rant) that doesn't allow us to compromise. We think it is our way or the highway. We can't say we did wrong first so we won't say it at all.

  • sj on August 08, 2011 2:42 PM:

    We all know Reagan introduced the Republican philosophy of the last thirty years --- lower the tax rate below levels realistically necessary to pay for necessary government spending (tacitly acknowledging that the spending was at least politically necessary by not making a serious effort to cut it) and relying on the short term stimulus provided by extreme deficit spending to reap political gains. Remember GW --- "if the government is running a surplus, then it's taking in too much money"? No, W., if the government is running a surplus, it's time to put a little back in the storehouse to make up for what you took out in a rainy day. You'd think a Bible reading Christian like W would have learned from the story of Joseph in Egypt and the seven fat years.

    Democrats are secondarily to blame for being the "me too" party and lining up behind the Republicans to give away the Treasury.

  • Mark Haney on August 08, 2011 9:23 PM:

    2009: Congressional Democrats unveil several domestic policy initiatives — including health care reform, cap and trade, DREAM Act — which would lower the deficit.

    That statement is HIGHLY DEBATABLE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bob on August 09, 2011 3:04 AM:

    This article is absurdly reductive, misleading, and clearly aimed at partisans who don't think seriously about or care to understand this stuff. Certainly, anyone who says things like "this should be required reading" etc is not a bright person (and no, I have no interest in discussing this with anyone who is unintelligent enought to disagree).

    Also, if you look at the party that controls congress--where spending originates--you will find a clear unambiguous pattern concerning the year-over-year changes in deficits. Of course, most of the people who have commented above would never bother to do that, but who knows...

  • Andrew on August 09, 2011 4:31 AM:

    Kinda puts things into perspective. Doncha think??

    Yes, in the sense that it's really amazing how much you have to omit and how far you have to stretch the facts in order to defend the Republicans.... funny and sad.

    Certainly, anyone who says things like "this should be required reading" etc is not a bright person (and no, I have no interest in discussing this with anyone who is unintelligent enought to disagree).

    Given that you are a wingnut, and hence as stupid as a box of rocks, that's pretty funny stuff too.

  • Rebecca Rose on August 09, 2011 7:16 PM:

    The GOP Finally Raises The Debt Ceiling

    The GOP congress seems to want to be praised:
    Woo hoo! Got our way! Woo hoo, taxes weren't raised!
    Woo hoo! Cut big bucks from the sick and the old!
    Woo hoo! Wealthy friends keep their yachts and their gold!

    But all those republicans should now be recalled:
    They held us all hostage as the economy stalled.
    They irresponsibly, recklessly held a hard line,
    Didn't care the whole country might suffer, decline.
    They're naysayers. Bullies. They're zealots. They're haters.
    Almost took down the country!

    They're practically traitors.


  • Andrew on August 10, 2011 8:52 AM:

    1981-1989 - Ronald Reagan destroys the Soviet empire without firing a shot. Democrats control congress and the purse stings.

    Woweeeee!!! That decade was all a bit of a blur, wasn't it? What with all the "purse stings" and so on.

    Ronald Reagan apparently destroys the USSR without actually doing anything -- in fact, as anyone alive then remembers, he contributed in no significant way whatsoever to the fall of the USSR.

    Meanwhile, he ballooned, all by himself, as a result of HIS policies, and without needing any help from Congress, the scary scary negro debt to unprecedented levels -- a fact which little wingnuts like JMA somehow manage to forget...

    2009 - The Tea Party, a spontaneous, grassroots collection of American citizens,

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!