by Benn Ray
We hear it a lot.
"We have to do something about our national debt!"
"Government has gotten too big!"
"We have to cut our spending or we're all gonna die!"
Okay that last one was a tad hyperbolic, but it does underline the seemingly increasing hysteria we hear when concern over the supposed growing debt is expressed.
Despite that fact that these attitudes are inherently Republican, we frequently hear them presented as simply non-partisan, common wisdom.
But here's the thing, it's not true. And not only is it not true, but the people who scream the loudest about cutting government spending don't really mean it. What they mean is they want to cut government spending on ourselves - on our infrastructure and on social programs. Almost all of the people who are calling to cut government spending also want to increase government spending - on the military.
And The Republican Party - the ironically self-appointed party of fiscal responsibility - well they're the worst when it comes to spending our tax money.
For example, the financial cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars started by George W. Bush: $1,415,000,000,000.
Now, remember back when Bush also wanted to cut taxes? And Progressives were yelling, "Cut taxes during war time?! Are you freaking insane!?!!" And then everyone looked at us like we were trying to pee all over their good times parade? Funny. Turns out Progressives weren't just being dicks, seems we actually had a legitimate point.The cost of Bush tax cuts: $2,800,000,000,000.
So, as a result of Republican "economics" and George W. Bush economic policies, we're down $4,215,000,000,000.
In fact, this is the level of US debt when George W. Bush left office: $10,627,000,000,000,000
It's also good to remember that when George W. Bush took office, he inherited a budget surplus of $5,600,000,000,000.
So, over eight years of the Bush Administration, Republicans blew through $16,227,000,000,000 of our money.
During that time did you hear any Republicans griping that we had to get government under control? That we had to reign in our spending? That we had to shrink the size of government?
And why would they? After all, it was Republican Vice-President Dick Cheney who told his acolytes, "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter."
So, when you hear Republicans freaking out about the debt, tell them to shut the fuck up.
The Republican Party is, historically, worse for our economy than the Democrats.