There has always been something about Republicans and their circling the wagons around the younger George Bush.But you would think that even the "fiscally conservative" members of America's right would cut their loses when it comes to Bush's economic performance. Instead they have constantly defended him and even attempted to rewrite history making the current economic situation start under Barack Obama.
Of course they are totally wrong and today Bruce Bartlett, a man who worked for Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul and even daddy Bush. tallies up the tab of Bush's damage:
Putting all the numbers in the C.B.O. report together, we see that continuation of tax and budget policies and economic conditions in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 – enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000.
Tax cuts and slower-than-expected growth reduced revenues by $6.1 trillion and spending was $5.6 trillion higher, a turnaround of $11.7 trillion. Of this total, the C.B.O. attributes 72 percent to legislated tax cuts and spending increases, 27 percent to economic and technical factors. Of the latter, 56 percent occurred from 2009 to 2011.
And how Bartlett gets to this conclusion is the most interesting part. He highlights just how bad Republican policy is fiscally:
The projected surplus was primarily the result of two factors. First was a big tax increase in 1993 that every Republican in Congress voted against, saying that it would tank the economy. This belief was wrong. The economy boomed in 1994, growing 4.1 percent that year and strongly throughout the Clinton administration.
Republicans constantly tell us that raising taxes will hurt the economy, yet history shows just the opposite. That tax hike in 1993 occurred during a recession, just like the one Reagan did in 1983. Both times they helped us get out of the recession.
Then Bartlett hits another point that I have hit on before. Republicans suffer from the "money burning a hole in my pocket" syndrome. In other words they hate seeing extra money lay around and they even admit it:
During the 2000 campaign, Mr. Bush warned that budget surpluses were dangerous because Congress might spend them, even though Paygo rules prevented this from happening. His Feb. 28, 2001, budget message reiterated this point and asserted that future surpluses were likely to be even larger than projected due principally to anticipated strong revenue growth.
This was the primary justification for a big tax cut. Subsequently, as it became clear that the economy was slowing – a recession began in March 2001 – that became a further justification.
Rick Santorum, the man who almost beat Mitt Romney out for the GOP nomination this year even admitted the same in 2003:
I came to the House as a real deficit hawk, but I am no longer a deficit hawk,” said Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). “I’ll tell you why. I had to spend the surpluses. Deficits make it easier to say no.”
Then there is the part that really makes me smile to read. I have hit on the high costs of the Republicans Medicare-D program for years, yet no one seems to listen. Maybe they will now:
On the spending side, legislated increases during the Bush administration added $2.4 trillion to deficits and the debt through 2008. This includes $121 billion for Medicare Part D, a new entitlement program enacted by Republicans in 2003.
The puppets of the Republican base and Tea Party just don't understand that a biggest chunk of the costs with Medicare actually came from their own party. This was a bill crafted in secrecy by Tom Delay, George Bush and a few other Republicans. They said it would financially save Medicare, yet the opposite has happened - it has raised the costs.
One thing these Republicans did was put legislation in making it illegal for the government to negotiate for competitive prices on drugs. Instead big phrama sets the price. When you compare it to the VA, where negotiations are allowed, we end up with some drugs costing more than 10 times as much for Medicare as it does the VA. Here's an example I posted last year:
For the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor, the cost of a year's supply of 20 milligram tablets would be $1,485.96 under the cheapest Medicare Part D plan, compared to $127.44 under the VA.
Yet when negotiating for better prices ever comes up, Republicans quickly shoot it down, explaining that it actually results in higher prices. If that's the case I would love to be a cars salesman when one of these idiots come along. Sticker price is $21,000, I offer them the car for $20,000, so the Republican buyer tells me he'll pay $22,000. Yes that's the logic they use.
And this won't change. Why? Because you have a majority leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, who is one of the biggest recipients of big pharma money and constantly refuses to let legislation in that might hurt them. He isn't worried about the country or the fiscal health of our nation. Instead he is only worried about his own pockets!
Today's GOP is the biggest enemy of our economy. They continue to ignore fact and instead want to enact their tested and failed ideals. And to better make their case, they employ the right wing noise machine of Limbaugh, Fox and the right wing blogosphere to lie, distort and alter the facts to you. They are brainwashing their followers into believing things like Barack Obama was President in 2007 and Bush never once did anything wrong with the economy. They want you to believe that tax hikes have never helped the economy, despite a strong record stating the opposite.
They want you to enter their own fantasy world. And don't worry while you are there. When the facts show their policies have pushed us from a recession to a depression, then they will find a way to blame it all on Obama or some other Democrat. Facts aren't welcomed there, so you won't be scared.
Luckily we do have Republicans, like Bruce Bartlett, who refuse to go to that place and try to get the facts out. These are the people who believe in country before party and they are the ones that the GOP wants to purge. Hopefully the GOP won't be successful.