As a recent retiree from county government, I have seen the constant onslaught from the Right over the big spending and big taxing Democrats. Being one of those terrible people, I started to do a little research. I found that the Right, with the help of the main stream media, have perpetrated a huge hoax on the American public.
If you go from Nixon and Eisenhower back to the first Republican president, Abe Lincoln, you see a real effort to balance spending with revenues. I noticed there was a slight rise in the deficit under Democrat Jimmy Carter. Up to this point we were blessed with the old-style Republicans and Democrats Our deficit was around $2 trillion to $3 trillion. Not bad, considering we had to pay for the Great Depression, two world wars, a number of small skirmishes and one police action in Korea. We also electrified the rural areas of America and built an interstate highway system under Eisenhower.
So far so good.
Then entered the era of ''trickle down economics" under Reagan. The theory was that you cut taxes to the very rich, they would reinvest the windfall back into the economy and we would all flourish. Well, Reagan cut the taxes and the only place the cuts trickled to was into the pockets of the wealthy where it stayed. The national debt skyrocketed to the point that Reagan panicked and had to implement record tax increases. By then it was too late and the debt climbed to almost $4 trillion, an amount equal to that of all the presidents before him combined.
The Right came to his defense and said it was OK because it toppled the evil Soviet Union, despite the fact that the groundwork was laid by many of the previous presidents starting with the Democrat Harry Truman.. Now enter Bush 41. Granted, he had the first gulf war, but under his tutelage, the deficit increased another $3-plus trillion and even though "we read his lips" he increased taxes.
Bill Clinton arrived on the scene and he decided that something had to be done. He implemented a spending rollback and a deficit reduction plan. None of the Republicans voted for it. By the end of his second term it was working and he left George Bush a hefty surplus of almost a trillion dollars. Bush looked at that and decided to trickle it down into the pockets of the very rich. As before, it stayed there and the deficit began a steep climb.
Without the tax money, there was nothing to pay the bills with. He came up with a great solution. He neglected Afghanistan where al-Qaida launched its attack on the world Trade Center and invaded Iraq under the guise of Saddam Husseins having weapons of mass destruction. None were ever found. By the time his eight years were up, the deficit had climbed another $4 trillion.
My question to all you Righties is: What do you call it when Republicans more than triple the deficit over a period of three terms?
If any of you disbelievers would like a graph from the Department of the Treasury, give me a call.
Retired County Legislator Joe Trusso Jr. lives in Jamestown.