TCS Daily

Read Their Lips

By Mallory Factor - October 18, 2006 12:00 AM

So what would the Democrats actually do in power? Voters are starting to ask, as polls suggest that Democratic control of the U.S. House is more and more possible.

For starters, take Nancy Pelosi, who would be Speaker of the House if the Democrats win. She has cut through a San Francisco fog of obscurity about the Democrats' intentions and spoken clearly: Last week she said that President Bush's tax cuts would have to be rolled back for those above "a certain level," with details to be worked out later. To parse this statement, recall that the Democrats' definition of "rich" is pretty broad; in 2001, before the Bush tax cuts were enacted, the 36% income tax rate kicked in at $166,500 for married couples filing jointly. Not content to stop at the usual "soak the rich" Democratic rhetoric, Pelosi also noted that middle-class tax relief would have to take a backseat (and maybe the caboose) to not increasing the deficit. So if the Democrats win, you will have no idea what your taxes will be next year.

Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York would be in charge of writing the nation's tax legislation. He would determine what rates you and your business will pay. Singing the same tune as Pelosi, Rangel recently said that if the Democrats win, "Everything is on the table." In fact, when he was asked if he would consider across-the-board income tax increases on everyone, including the middle class, he said "No question about it."

If top Democrats talk this way now before they're elected, what can we expect them to do afterwards?

Next, let's look at spending. One has to admit that the Republicans have given into the spending temptation, too, in the last few years. But the answer is structural reform to fight Congressional earmarks, not a change in party control. Rep. Pelosi suggests that most new spending would be "pay as you go." At first, this sounds good, with its hint of not adding new government programs until we can afford them. But "pay as you go" really means "pay before passing go"—and certainly don't collect any $300 tax refund checks as with the Bush tax cuts in 2001. Rep. Pelosi would be much more convincing on spending if her party had not already proposed $90 billion in new government spending, even before it takes control of the House. The only way to "pay as you go" and fund these programs is for "you" (the taxpayer) to "pay" more. That's why Rep. Rangel has to say that middle class tax increases have to be considered, too—just raising taxes on the rich won't pay for everything.

With $90 billion in spending proposals, and 12 years out of power, can we really believe that Democrats will turn on a dime to become the party of spending restraint? Instead, let's hope that this year's near-death experience for the Republicans will help keep them focused on cutting government spending and keeping taxes low.

Rep. Pelosi says she believes in the marketplace. But who knows what Rep. John Dingell of Michigan will want to regulate when he gets back to being Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee? When Dingell was chairman of the committee in the 1980s, the inside-the-Beltway political magazine National Journal described his jurisdiction as "anything that strikes Dingell's fancy."

Oh, and Rep. Pelosi says she'll pass five major bills (dealing with lobbying reform, homeland security, the minimum wage, the student loan program, and changing Medicare drug pricing rules) in the first 100 hours of the House's year. So much for debate on these important issues. Members of the House won't have time to read the bills, much less engage in open debate. Not a promising start.

The scent of impending power is evidently a truth serum for Democrats like Reps. Pelosi and Rangel. With their comments, the verdict is in: the economy simply can't afford a Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Rangel, or Chairman Dingell.

Mr. Factor is Chairman of the Free Enterprise Fund.



divided government
Assuming the Dems only win the House, that still leaves the Repubs in control of the Senate & White House. The question is will the Repubs grow balls enough to stop the media backed, ruthless Demoncrats?

How much of what that article portends would actually be successful? Also, would divided government actually be a good thing? Especailly after the current batch of Repubs have shown themselves to not be conservatives but wreckless ear-marking spendthrifts, i.e. just like Democrats!!

Re: Read Their Lips
Maybe they'll do more to keep a lying, two-faced president to account? Although that's a hope more than an expectation.....

Just more of the same
Putting the Dems in control of the House of Reps won't change anything. The Government will continue to use the media to scare the public into giving up more freedom and money in the name of "security."

Government employment and spending programs will continue to grow at 2 or 3 times the rate of inflation and businesses will continue to be over-regulated in the name of "fairness."

The Government has reached critical mass and can no longer be controlled by the populace. Socialism is at hand and the population is being taught that "the good of the state" is better than "the freedom of the individual." Public schools teach little more than "Group think," "Lets all get along," and "Obey authority."

Thomas Jefferson was right -- the country needs a revolution every 2 or 3 generations to keep the Government under the control of the people instead of the other way around.

One things Republicans have is chutzpah. They have spent the last 6 years increasing spending and stiffling debate -- passing bills so fast that even they are embarrassed when they discover what they say the next day. If you're a small government Republican you should be saying, with Pogo, "we have met the enemy and he is us."

But no, the enemy is them no matter what. Never mind that the Clinton boom (burst by Bush bungling) followed tax increases that led to a balanced budget - - Republicans think they are the party of fiscal responsibility. That went out with Eisenhower.

Referendum vs. Revolution
"...the country needs a revolution every 2 or 3 generations to keep the Government under the control of the people..."

Citizen legislative power via a National Referendum would enable ongoing "control" or counter balance of overreach by elected officials. A National Referendum is also likely to be less disruptive than a "revolution".

A Divided Government is better than a Republican Government
"Read Their Lips" makes the assumption that Pelosi and Rangel can actually make laws all by themselves. House bills would still need to be ratified by the Senate and signed by the President.

As a libertarian I hope that the House is taken over by the Democrats. The Clinton years, with a government divided between the Democrats and Republicans, were significantly better than the Republican-led mess we have today.


Good Point
Your proposal for a National Referendum is excellent. How does one go about getting it on the ballot when it has to be approved by the legislature or judicial system?

You are correct -- a divided government will pass fewer pieces of restricting legislation than a unified legislature. However, as a libertarian, I would rather get the government out of my life altogether.

Lie means saying things liberals don't want to hear.

booms and bust
That Clinton boom started before he took office, and busted well before he left office.

But heck your a liberal, why bother telling the truth.

What a bunch of hooey
1. What Clinton Boom? The boom was on by 1986. What Bush Bust? The economy was was slowing to a crawl by 1998 then ended entirely in 2000.

2. What "Balanced budget"? It was balanced only through creative bookkeeping. The budget Bush took over was projected to be balanced by 2010 or some such. Then came 9/11 and the war on terror. This, more than the Bush tax cuts, ended that dream. During the Clinton years (1992-2000) the Deficit grew from right at 4 trillion to just under 6 trillion. All-in-all a fairly modest raise, but it never decreased or stayed the same in any year, therefore there was never a balanced budget.

Overall this isn't a misrepresentation, it is an out-and-out lie.

Waiving readings is by unanimous consent
If a congressman wants to know what is in a bill that's been hurried through, all he need to is ask that it be read when it is brought to the floor. Since a clerk reading the bill aloud is likely to be much slower than a congressman and staff reading silently, enough time would always pass for the bill to be read, at a minimum.

The minority could do it. The majority could do it. Our lone socialist in the House could do it.

Nobody does. So why?

2006 vs 2008
Better Nancy Pelosi in 2007 with Bush still in the White House than Nancy Pelosi in 2009 with a Democrat President, which is pretty much guaranteed if the Republicans maintain control of the House and Senate in 2006 and continue with business as usual.

The entire current Republican House (and Senate) leadership need to be replaced with small government advocates. That won't happen without a disastrous mid-term election to spur on a revolt. Extending the tax cuts, for example, will be a dead issue with the 2007 Congress even if the Republicans maintain control with a smaller margin and put Voinovich, an opponent of tax cuts, on the tax committee as currently scheduled. Olympia Snowe is bad enough.

Forget something?
How can anyone write an article like this and fail to mention what the Democrats have said about "changing course" in Iraq? Whether the "enclaves to keep our military safe from harm" are in Iraq or "offshore", this kind of thinking is the silent proclamation of failure before it has occurred, the self-fulfilling prophecy that will lead to the West's withdrawal from the region. The Democrats are the new isolationists, timid, defeatists, pacifists who refuse to come to grips with militant Islam.
This is what is at stake in this election; all the other issues are incidental.

double standard
When Republicans rush things through congress, it's by unanimous consent. When Democrats do it it's dangerously ill considered.

When Republicans raise spending, we should mildly chide them, but under no conditions vote against them. When Democrats raise spending, they are tax-and-spend socialists.

The only Republican President since Eisenhower who was anything like fiscally responsible was Bush, Sr. He had the courage to do what was right for America, work towards a balanced budget (a tall order after the Reagan blowout). The AEI wingnuts made sure THAT never would happen again. Balanced budgets are for sissies.

In LG's world, fiscal responsibility means raising other people's taxes, and only raising taxes
Despite raising taxes, the deficit continued to grow under Bush the elder. So much for his fiscal responsibility.

After Reagan's tax cuts ended the Carter recession, deficits shrank, and shrank sharply. So much for the claim that Reagan wasn't fiscally responsible.

At present, the deficit is falling faster than anyone thought possible several years ago. So is Bush the younger fiscally responsible, or fiscally irresponsible.

In LG's world, if we are mad at Republicans who are spending too much, we should replace them with Democrats who promise to spend twice as much.

As to fiscally responsible presidents, there has never been a fiscally responsible Democrat.

Speaking of prevarications
Paul, I just don't know where you're getting your information. It was clearly the Bush tax cuts that sent us into a tailspin. Let's use the official Bureau of the Public Debt figures:

During the four Bush years 9/30/01 through 9/30/05 the debt has grown by 36.6%, or 9.15% each year. During the five previous Clinton years, from 9/29/95 through 9/30/2000 (I have omitted the transition year, fiscal 2001) it grew only by 14%, or 2.8% each year. Doesn't this tell you something about fiscal responsibility?

Please illustrate the creative bookkeeping involved in establishing these figures. The same methods have been used throught the entire period to tabulate federal cash flow.

You are also being disingenuous in saying that the "boom" was on in 1986. You don't recall the stock market collapse of October 28, 1987? Black Monday? And how about the global meltdown in the Asian banks, where everyplace from Indonesia to Thailand to South Korea to Russia to Brazil to Mexico fell into the cess pit? Don't recall anything about a global liquidity crisis? The federal bailout of Mexico? I think there are more than a few missing pages in your history.

So let's agree that on the day Clinton took office we were still in the grips of the 1990-91 recession, and that it was only one of many problems of the day.

Say what?
The National debt total in 1992 was at $4.1 Trillion (give or take a few billion), the national debt in 2000 was $5.7 Trillion +/-. These are the figures, whether or not you like them. Do the math from there, 1.6 trillion divided into 4.1 is a 39% increase; Divided into 5.7 trillion is making Clinton responsible for 28% of the total debt to that point and responsible for 20% of the total to date. Is average raise was $.2 trillion a year.

So when you say - "During the four Bush years 9/30/01 through 9/30/05 the debt has grown by 36.6%, or 9.15% each year. During the five previous Clinton years, from 9/29/95 through 9/30/2000 (I have omitted the transition year, fiscal 2001) it grew only by 14%, or 2.8% each year. Doesn't this tell you something about fiscal responsibility?
Please illustrate the creative bookkeeping involved in establishing these figures. The same methods have been used throught the entire period to tabulate federal cash flow."
You are purposely omitting the major time of growth for the Clinton administration (1993-1995) before the conservatives took over control of the house and senate. I have omitted nothing and given the real figures.

In comparison, Bush Jr. raised the debt from 5.7 trillion to 8.1 Trillion (so far) a total of 2.4 trillion. If the projected 2008 level of 9.4 trillion is reached, he will have raised the debt by 3.7 trillion or over 40% of the total and a nearly 60% raise from the starting point. When you consider the expense to fight the war on terror is around $200-$300 Billion (maximum extra spending) And he cut taxes by over $100 Billion a year, the actual difference between the two is non-existant and at about the level of Clinton's final year at $62.5 billion a year. Plus, had the economy not begun to tank in 98-99 and 9/11 not happened, the projection would be for about a $200 Billion a year surplus. That would have spent down the national debt about $1.4 Trillion.

The Bush tax cuts were a good thing and, had other contingencies not arisen, would have cut significantly into the deficit while boosting the economic drivers.

But the world did not cooperate. Now there are things Bush could have done. He could have chosen to slash domestic spending to the bone, saving $500 billion a year and giving the government a surplus to work with. He could have increased taxes. He did neither of these or any other money saving choice. He chose to fight the war on terror without hurting the people back home. He tried to do what he felt needed to be done, do what he told his base he would and reach across the aisle and not cut all the liberal pet programs; something had to give and his desire to reduce the deficit was it.

As for the rest:
Black Monday was a major adjustment just like the smaller adjustment of 1990-91 and 1997. So? None led to a major recession, none caused major unemployment or other issues that might have led to a depression. All were market issues only and the market soon recovered.

By the time Clinton took office in 1993 the economy was racing along pretty well, so let's not give any credit where it is not due.

As for the Bush Tax Cut causing a tailspin all I can say is How the hell do you come up with that? The economy was already slowing by 1998, before the 2000 election every part of the economy was off. Bush didn't take office until 2001 and his tax cuts did not take effect until after 9/11; the economy was in full retreat by then.

As for when the boom started, talk to the economists. I believe between 84 and 86 is when they agree it took off. By 1992 it was raging well ahead of inflation and of deficit spending. This continued until 1999, with a few blips that didn't last more than a few months each. 1999-2002 is the longest "recession" in over 20 years.

Tough To Be a Republican
Lots of gnashing of teeth among frightened Republicans looking forward to a midterm wipeout. Yes, imagine Nancy Pelosi as Speaker. Better yet, imagine a decade of Dennis Hastert as Speaker. Overlooking Republican pedophilia, rubber stamping the Iraq War fiasco, running up the largest deficits in the HISTORY OF HUMANKIND, tax cuts for the rich and a burgeoning lower class. Imagine, if you can, the damage to the nation that Haster could cause as Speaker. Now try to imagine why the voters would settle for Nancy Pelosi rather than more of Dennis Hastert and his right-wing ilk. If you still don't get it, then look forward to gnashing your teeth on November 7.

Disgusting being a DEMONcRAT
Repubs oust their crimals and perverts Dems protect, defend and keep their crimals and perverts.

Dems got NO room to talk.

10. Sen. Daniel Inouye. The 82-year-old Hawaii Democrat was accused in the 1990s by numerous women of sexual harassment. Democrats cast doubt on the allegations and the Senate Ethics Committee dropped its investigation.

9. Former Rep. Gus Savage. The Illinois Democrat was accused of fondling a Peace Corps volunteer in 1989 while on a trip to Africa. The House Ethics Committee decided against disciplinary action in 1990.

8. Rep. Barney Frank. The outspoken Massachusetts Democrat hired a male prostitute who ran a prostitution service from Frank’s residence in the 1980s. Only two Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to censure him in 1990.

7. Former Sen. Brock Adams. The late Washington Democrat was forced to stop campaigning after numerous accusations of drugging, assault and rape, the first surfacing in 1988.

6. Former Rep. Fred Richmond. This New York Democrat was arrested in 1978 for soliciting sex from a 16-year-old. He remained in Congress and won re-election—before eventually resigning in 1982 after pleading guilty to tax evasion and drug possession.

5. Former Rep. John Young. The late Texas Democrat increased the salary of a staffer after she gave in to his sexual advances. The congressman won re-election in 1976 but lost two years later.

4. Former Rep. Wayne Hays. The late Ohio Democrat hired an unqualified secretary reportedly for sexual acts. Although he resigned from Congress, the Democratic House leadership stalled in removing him from the Administration Committee in 1976.

3. Former Rep. Gerry Studds. He was censured for sexual relationship with underage male page in 1983. Massachusetts voters returned him to office for six more terms.

2. Former Rep. Mel Reynolds. The Illinois Democrat was convicted of 12 counts of sexual assault with a 16-year-old. President Bill Clinton pardoned him before leaving office.

1. Sen. Teddy Kennedy. The liberal Massachusetts senator testified in defense of nephew accused of rape, invoking his family history to win over the jury in 1991.

Read Their Lips
Considering that Washington is corruption from the President and on down the line, I as a Staunch Conservative Christian Republican have decided that now is the time in America's history to perform the most patriotic act ever and that is, do not waste your time voting.

You may ask why? While George W. ever so eager blames the Democrats that they will raise taxes etc., does he not realize that the 3 trillion dollars that he has added to the despicable, despotic, Soviet style National Debt is the most egregious, dishonest tax imaginable foisted upon our childrend and grandchildren?

Besides, George W. constantly says that the USA is the land of law and order, right? What in the hell does he consider to be the 11+ million illegals roaming all over our country anyway? Yes, America is now passing laws after laws knowing full well that most of them will never be enforced. Yes, the blabber ever louder from the President and on down the is: Immigration Reform. Excuse me? What reform is needed I ask when in reality the existing ones were not eforced at all and the USA were treated as if there were not borders. Mr. George W., I ask, please stop lying?

Yes, these words come handy said so long ago: "Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide". John Adams(letter to John Taylor, 15 April, 1814) Mark my word, this election will be the worst ever as far as being honest. Only 33% or so of Americans believe that their vote counsts, along with Mexico etc., etc., etc. So, I aks, why in essence vote for corruption anyway?

you should know
The slowdown that caused the drop in tax revenue started before Bush took office, and accelerated sharply after 9/11. This occurred well before the Bush tax cuts started taking affect. You could look this up if you ever wanted to know the truth.

As to the Bush recession, 1) it was one of the shortest and mildest on record. 2) It ended in early 1990, months before the election, and almost a year before Clinton took office.

Of course if you only get your information from the NYT, you wouldn't know this. If you talk to economists or read the reports, you would.

oops, make that 1992, not 1990. Got to stop relying on the NYT for dates.

Imagine telling the truth. If you can, you aren't a Democrat.
As opposed to Democratic pedophilia? Can you say Gary Studds? At least Republicans have the good grace to resign when they send dirty messages to pages. Studds got one drunk and raped him. His punishment was having to stand through 3 standing ovations.

Largest deficits? If all you care about is absolute numbers, this is barely true. When measured as a percentage of the economy, not even close.

Why shouldn't the rich get tax cuts. Everybody was getting them. As a percentage, the rich got lower tax cuts than everyone else.

The lower economic classes are doing quite well. Living standards growing sharply.

How about Congressman Jefferson
Caught on tape accepting a bribe. $90,000 dollars was found stashed in his freezer.

The Democrats decide that any punishment should wait until after he is convicted. This is after demanding that various Republicans resign on the first accusation.

There is no such thing as a "national" referendum in the United States. Only states can conduct referendums (referenda?) if their constitutions so provide.


If you are a libertarian, how can you possibly support referendums? I can think of no worse way to run a government than letting the people implement their every whim. This will hardly get the government "off our backs".


Yes, the Republicans have failed on a number of issues. But that is no reason to not vote. The Democrats will be even worse. Furthermore, the blame is not with Bush (although he should wield the veto more), but with the Congress.

The solution is MORE participation, at the primary level, not to cop out of voting. Start attending party meetings to influence who gets nominated. Throw out the Republican incumbants in the primaries.

Avoiding your duty as a citizen is NOT the answer. Your vote DOES count, if you use it wisely, as history shows (e.g., the Gingrich revolution).


Assisted suicide
Which vein will you be slitting?

reread the post
he stated that before we can have national referenda, it has to be approved by the legislature and the courts.

The will of the people is still constrained by the constitutions
Regardless, do you honestly expect the legislature to ever vote to limit their power?

LiberalGoodman reveals just how nefarious the Bush administration is...
Given that the economy went in to recession at the end of Bill Clinton's term, before Bush even took office, his powers of evil must be great indeed! Never mind the fact that many of the "booming" businesses went bust because they were engaged in finanacial chicanery...

I am wondering about that "we have met the enemy and he is us," reference. What is the name of the book that comes from, LG?

Two critical things begin in the House...
Impeachment proceedings and budget bills.

A Democrat takeover will mean inevitable tax increases as a compromise to get SOMETHING passed, and a likely cutoff of funding for the war in Iraq.

Furthermore, it means hearings against the President.

I would love to see divided government just mean that bills were so stagnant they could not pass, but in a time of war, it is simply not an option.

On the dangers of winging it
Using your own figures, a 39% increase over eight years only comes to 4.875 per year. Over the first four years of a Bush White House and a Republican Congress, the annual increase was still 9.15%. Put another way, the Bush team ran through as much red ink in those four years (a 36.6% increase) as the Clinton team did in eight (39%).

And Clinton was hardly responsible for conditions over the first several years, when partisan obstructionism defeated his every move. On the other hand Bush pushed through his tax cuts in every year-- 2001, 2002 and 2003. So he certainly bears responsibility.

Every chart you can find notes the abrupt turnaround in our finances from the moment Bush stepped into the picture. I think you'd best quit while you are behind.

You can still convince me that Clinton inherited the "boom" of 1984 or was it 1986. All you have to do is explain your way around the "Black Monday" market collapse of October, 1987.

Alternatively, the GDP was barely 2% in 1991. It actually shrank in 1992. Then for every Clinton year it was in the 3-4% range. See figure 2 here:

Or here:

Hint: your presentation will be more effective if you actually come up with hard numbers. Your lack of citations doesn't aid your case.

My vote counts?
I used my vote "wisely" ever since I arrived 50 years ago as a legal, yes, as a legal immigrant. At that time the commander in Chief was still performing faithfully its duty as commander in Chief and not like even the present holy man George W., who, with his manhandlers is so eager to control the world at gun point, while skunks still enter freely this land, created by God himself for the purpose to use peaceful means to make this a better world. 9/11 is the direct result of the Commander in Chief acting actually criminally for not doing his duties. In essence, 9/11 was made in America by Americans for Americans. This is issue is totally overlooked by both parties, because, both are guilty as hell.

Oh now! Yes, with new power in his eager hands as a King of an Empire, he wants to fool the American people that he will create peace forever when in reality, nothing but dousing the world with gasoline as it were, is what he is doing as Rumsfeld with a Hitler mentality has him on a leach. Of course the sleak operator Cheney is the actual president anyway. Now I see pictures where Condolezza Rice swears in a homosexaul to be the USA Representative in the fight against HIV while Laura Bush looks on.

Whomever you are, what I said previously I will not ammend. Yes, I have added a little more. Yes, you are perhaps a born US citizen. My background knows enough plus what is going in Whashington to make the decision as stated before. The Founding Fathers' hopes and dreams mean absolutely nothing now to even the Republican party I joined, influenced by a decent and honest president that of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Yes, I have no use from the Democrats whatsoever. Now the same holds true for my Republican party. I voted twice for George W. and he would have made a great president if he only had listened to Powell, the most decent General etc., while the manhandlers got the best of him and now the mess all over the world as a result.

In summary and based on the "Charter" as it were left by the Founding Fathers, the USA with its ever more horrendous war machinery is bound to fail completly. It is like a menssager that delivers a completly different message than what the sender had in mind. America today is fighting the fires she lights, while asking God to bless such diabolic actions.

These are my personal views and convictions the more I learn about the hopes and dreams of the Founding Fathers.

Don't need citation, just using your own
I don't disagree that Bush jr has presided over the biggest deficit balloon ever. In fact I pointed that out.

But LG posted - "Never mind that the Clinton boom (burst by Bush bungling) followed tax increases that led to a balanced budget - - "

That is plainly wrong. Clinton never presided over a balanced budget; not once. Nor was the "Boom" started in the Clinton years; that has also been proven wrong. Had the economy stayed robust and the tax levels not changed, the budget would have had a surplus by 2002 or 2003. This was taken into account when Bush started pushing through the original tax cuts and the budget would have remained in surplus.

The economy slowed and the market tanked, then 9/11 happened.

The Stock Market boom began late in Reagans time and the overall economic boom began around the end of his first term or beginning of his second.

Then you jump in on his side. I noticed you did not totally back his "clinton balanced budget" claim; but talk about how little he overspent. That's a joke; I guess Bush has had a nearly balanced budget then.

The deficit and the economy are two different things. Bush did not "clearly begin the tailspin" of the economy; that was on before he won the primary. Yes, Bush could have done something to try and avert the deficit expansion, and he deserves critism for that. What do you propose he cut, education? welfare? infrastructure? Understand that increasing taxes and not fighting the war on terror are off the table in this discussion for this administration.

You want blogs and opinions on this: Try

Try this, taken from the 1990 NYtimes article:

"When did our greatest economic expansion occur?
We just had it. And it is still expanding, setting new records with each passing month.
We don't know whether historians will call it the Great Expansion of the 1980's or Reagan's Great Expansion, but we do know from official economic statistics that the seven year period from 1982 to 1989 was the greatest, consistent burst of economic activity ever seen in the U.S. In fact, it was the greatest economic expansion the world has ever seen - in any country, at any time.
The two key measures that mark a depression or expansion are jobs and production. Let's look at the records that were set. Creation of jobs. From November 1982, when President Ronald Reagan's new economic program was beginning to take effect, to November 1989, 18.7 million new jobs were created. It was a world record: Never before had so many jobs been created during a comparable time period. The new jobs covered the entire spectrum of work, and more than half of them paid more than $20,000 a year. As total employment grew to 119.5 million, the rate of unemployment fell to slightly over 5 percent, the lowest level in 15 years. Creation of wealth.

There are other important measures. Steady economic growth. As we begin the decade of the 1990's, we are in our 86th straight month of economic growth - a new record for peacetime, five months longer than the wartime growth of World War II and only 23 months short of the wartime record set during the Vietnam War in the 1960's. Most experts now predict that it will last right through 1990, and perhaps beyond."

BTW, I was off a bit. It was 1982-83 not 84-86 when the economic expansion began. Still, Clinton had little to do with it, all he had to do was not interfere with it. That is exactly what he didn't do. Raising taxes and trying to push large spending proposals (like universal Healthcare). By 1999 it was obvious the total economy, not just jobs or the stock market, was slowing. The recession of 200-2002 was the worst since 1980 and Bush is always given credit for "softening" it and shortening it with his tax cuts.

Say what you will, the economy is in good shape and the deficit is coming down. Still, we need to reduce the national debt, so spending must come down.

Any opinion that touts Clinton as some kind of "budget balancer" is a flat lie; it never happened.

So the pendulum swings...
Much as I hate most of what the Democrats stand for, Republicans need to be punished for turning their backs on fiscal conservatism and giving carte blanche to the maniac in the White House. They've also turned their backs on the constitution and our individual liberties. God bless gridlock! After a few years of Democrat control, the pendulum will swing back and hopefully Republicans will be wiser (remember the Contract with America?)

Comparing recent presidents
Here's an interesting article I came across in Reason. You might find it informative:

Interesting in what way?
This pretty much agrees with what I posted. Still, what do you want cut; with defense and homeland security off the table for discussion?

Hey, I'm all for a balanced budget, I'm all for reducing the deficit and the national debt. I say we get rid of the ATF and DEA for starters. Hell, lets get rid of the entire Justice Department. Then we can move one and do away with the entire Department of Education and the EPA. That out to cut around 100 Billion from the budget. Now we can move on to non-descretionary spending. Perhaps we can get rid of all non-SS related social programs. There goes over 300 billion.

Hey, that would create a $150 billion surplus!

But that isn't enough. We want to get rid of the debt in ten years. Lets cut 50 Billion off government spending on itself. Cut the pay of representatives and cut their staff allotments. Cut 15% off the employment of every agency, and the cut must come off the top (administrators and management). Cut every entitlement to the bone.

Hmm, only takes another 100 billion out of the budget. We need run a surplus of 800 billion to get rid of the deficit in 10 years.

Guess we have to cut all infrastructure spending for the duration; that gets rid of over 200 Billion; but we are still 300 Billion shy. Get rid of all foreign aid, loans and call in all financial markers owed us. That should cut another 50 billion and give us a couple trillion in one -time money. That brings us in line to pay it off in 10 years; and we didn't cut SS or medicare.

Of course, Unemployment is now 8% and we haven't dealt with a single domestic problem. Still, in 10 years, we would have, at least, a 600 billion a year surplus and much of that could then be spent on real help for the poor, real infrastructure improvements (instead of pork-barrel projects) and real economic improvement (like more tax cuts or an entirely revamped tax system).

Hey, I'll agree to it!

A good reply
I agree with much of what you're saying. I don't think we need to be draconian though, and try to eliminate the deficit in ten years. It's enough of a goal to try to bring the Debt down a little every year instead of adding to it. And since it will be sunk anyway by the current arc of Medicare-Medicaid spending, we need to seriously address the issue of healthcare for everyone in this country.

Why everyone? Because we're paying for everyone now, just inefficiently. Who do you suppose pays for care for the indigent? We do. If we don't thoroughly reform this, we're going down the tubes no matter what else we do.

Next, you lay out an ambitious program for cutting social benefits. Let's look at our track record there since the day GB2 took office.

Over the past five years, all the social programs you want to cut and more have already been cut: literacy programs, job training, poverty outreach, public health funding, not to mention every department in Washington with a regulatory aspect: the FCC, the FTC, Justice, the EPA, Labor, Agriculture, Health & Welfare, Education, everything that tries to regulate business. They've all been cut to the bone. And the debt has only spiralled upward at an even steeper incline.

The approach this admin has taken is to never operate through legislation, which requires the complicity of Congress. They change the regs, which is just an executive action. And when that would be too bold a step to pass muster, they just cut the enforcement budget, so there are no watchdogs on the job.

And the result of all this has been? Runaway spending on a higher trajectory than it has been at any point in our history, with the sole exception of the Johnson Administration.

What we need to do is to recognize the intractable nature of most of our largest expenditures, and to restore those ill-advised tax cuts benefitting the upper stratosphere of our earners. We have to spend that money, to avoid wrecking the social fabric even more than it is currently wrecked. And so we need to take in more money to pay for it-- or let inflation do the levelling for us one day.

Pork barrel projects are egregious by their very nature, but they're not very amenable to elimination. They are a function of long-established Congressional rules of procedure. Sorry, we're unlikely to change those rules without changing the nature of Congress itself. The members can't be relied on to act responsibly, and change the rules against their own most parochial interests-- it's just business as usual. Earmarks are as all-American as gerrymandered districts, or the Electoral College.

It would take a revolution to transform business as usual.

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