‘the meltdown’s true villain’


Michael Tomasky (The Daily Beast): With a double-dip recession looming and attacks on Obama mounting, it’s amazing the GOP is still setting the U.S. agenda when its own George W. Bush ran up half the debt we’ve accumulated since Reagan.
… Every time I step back and ponder this sordid history, I am amazed that the Republican Party has any credibility..

The Boston Globe ran a chart last Sunday that I’d buy billboard space to reproduce in every decent-size city in America:

The premise of it was very simple: It showed how many trillions each president since Ronald Reagan has added to the nation’s debt. The debt was about $1 trillion when Reagan took office, and then: Reagan, $1.9 trillion; George H.W. Bush, $1.5 trillion (in just four years); Bill Clinton, $1.4 trillion; Obama, $2.4 trillion.

Oh, wait. I skipped someone. George W. Bush ran up $6.4 trillion. That’s nearly half – 44.7 percent – of the $14.3 trillion total. We all know what did it – two massive tax cuts geared toward the rich (along with other similar measures, like slashing the capital gains and inheritance taxes), the off-the-books wars, the unfunded Medicare expansion, and so on. But the number is staggering and worth dwelling on. In a history covering 30 years, nearly half the debt was run up in eight. Even the allegedly socialist Obama at his most allegedly wanton doesn’t compare to Dubya…

In percentage terms, the case is even more open and shut. This table tells the sad tale (see table at the top of the post)…

The percentages in question here are debt as a chunk of the GDP … Reagan raised it 20 points, to 53 percent from 33 percent. Bush Sr. a gaudy 13 points more. Clinton lowered it by 10 points, back down to 56 percent. Bush Jr.? Up 28 points, to 82 percent of GDP. Obama has raised it nine points. Once again: In a 30-year increase from 32 percent to 93 percent of 61 points, nearly half, 28 points or 46 percent, happened under Bush.

…. I can only laugh when I hear Tea Party conservatives avow today that they have no love for Bush. It is truly an incredible record when you stack it up. First, the party fought tooth and nail against every single move Clinton made that ended up putting us in surplus. Then it got power – and let’s not get into how that happened – and ran up completely unprecedented debts and deficits. Then it put the foxes in command of the henhouses at the SEC and OTC and brought the world to the very brink of total economic collapse.

Then a guy from the other party got back in, tried to do what the vast majority of economists would say should be done in such a situation (the government should spend money while the private sector couldn’t), and they fought him tooth and nail. And now they’ve forced him into a deal (which he should not have agreed to) that will help ensure that the economy remains stuck in neutral until, oh, November 2012, to pick a date out of the air. Next, that guy will identify tax cuts to spur job growth, and they will invent reasons to oppose these measures, just as they once invented reasons why “deficits don’t matter”.

Full article here

15 Responses to “‘the meltdown’s true villain’”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    August 6, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Bush did it on purpose. It’s the NeoCon plan to bankrupt the country and then say “Gee, we better destroy entitlements to pay down our debt”. It’s straight out of the Shock Doctrine/disaster capitalism play book. And now all the pollsters (even Carville was spouting this) and pundits say “Don’t blame the Republicans, people don’t want to hear that – they just want to hear solutions”.

    It’s one big scam. Dems clean up GOP messes, and then the GOP comes in and say “Deficits don’t matter, we have a mandate” and spend on their pet projects and lie into wars.

  2. August 6, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Wow..Chips..thanks so much for this Stat..

  3. 3 carolyn
    August 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    This was Grover Norquist’s ultimate goal: Starve the beast (federal government) so we go back tothe pre-depression days of workhouses and no health insurance. We HAVE to put the blame where it belongs…..George W. Bush is the culprit. He did the far right’s bidding in ways we had no idea. Starting two unfunded, unnecessary wars, cutting taxes and totally depleting the surplus, and then saying “deficits don’t Matter”….as long as a Republican is in office. This makes me so angry. He reminds me of Louis XIV of France who said “apres moi le deluge” After me the flood. That’s what GWB left for President Obama, this flood of red ink, and he sits protected and safe in Dallas…..no cares, no concern.

  4. 4 Bobfr
    August 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Dear Chipsticks,

    You and others, like Deaniac, the folk at Politicus, Steve Benen, and many others now are THE MEDIA that matters if we are going to save our Republic.

    With your blogs and the speed of messaging via Twitter and a variety of social media sites, you are beginning to run circles around the newstainers and their corporate masters – and they know it.

    Short of halting all access to the internet – good luck with that one – they have the ever shrinking refuge of broadcast teevee and radio. Fortunately, with the proliferation of mobile communication devices both the teevee and radio are increasingly being bypassed.

    We know the folk who are going to matter on Election Day 2012 and they are the overwhelming number of Americans who have zero fondness for bomb throwers, be they teabaggers or firebaggers.

    A massive and persistent coordination among all of You New Democratic Media LEADERS and OFA is a strategic alliance that, coupled with good Democratic candidates at every level of government, can win this war – yes, it is a war – with those corporatists and ultra-wealthy nihilists who fund the teabaggers, the Roves and Becks and Norquists and Limbaughs and Congressional hostage takers like Cantor, Boehner and McConnell.

    No one should mistake the situation. The outcome of Election Day 2012 determines if the Republic persists or perishes. That is not hyperbole.

    To whatever extent possible, I urge you, Deaniac and others to reach out to Jim Messina, Dan Pfeiffer, and others and make it clear that all of you genuine, intelligent, articulate Democratic Progressives are ready to partner to ensure that President Obama is reelected, that both the House and the Senate are overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats in Jan 2013.

    Thank you for all you do!

    Yes.We.Can. … DO.More.Together!

    • August 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm

      Couldn’t agree more Bobfr, people are pissed off right now and are finally realizing that the media is part of the problem.

      As in the 60s and 70s I’m ready to put on my shoes and hit the street and start protesting in front of the headquarters of CNN, MSNBC and every other major news outlet.

      Please everyone lets start a new hashtag.


  5. 7 utaustinliberal
    August 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    My goodness. No matter how many times I see the data, facts,and graphs in whatever variation, it still shocks me. GWB and past republican presidents really really fucked up our economy. President Obama in 2010 reduced the debt by $122 billion and was on track to reduce more before the teabaggers got into power.

  6. August 6, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    $6.4 trillion in debt, and no republican said ape shit. No Tea Party rallies emerged, no baseless attacks from the media. Fuck ’em all. Bastards. They are so lucky PBO is the type of guy he is: kind, considerate, country above all else. The Daily Beast may have written a sarcastic article about how we don’t deserve PBO, but they only used sarcasm because it’s true. If all else fails, resort to the lowest form of humor to cover the truth: sarcasm. We really don’t deserve him and I hope he knows it. People like Piers Morgan and the Tea Party hoodrats and Greedy Republicans (joke: what do you call a republican who isn’t greedy? ……….. Nonexistent!) know this and that’s why they continuously try to denigrate and disrespect PBO. The thing about history, is that it’s better in hindsight. Look at how all these people are talking about FDR and Lincoln like they are some great mythical figures. I bet during their presidencies people were saying crap about them too and trying to denigrate them ( I admit, not at the level to which this president is persecuted, but still). Let these gadabouts and bastards complain and make unfair comparisons to presidents who served in different settings, situations and with different constraints. History will remember this president well. History will show that for a brief moment, America to a walk on the dark side of government and had idiots and psychos trying to turn us into a dictatorship fully funded by the wealthy. But like all bad turns in American history, we will end up alright no matter how long it takes, we shall overcome…………………. BASTARDS!!!!!!! (just thought I’d get that in there since I’d just spent the entire time being levelheaded.)

    • August 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Lisa…Bastards is right!!!….and all we hear from the Teahadist/Repubs..is how PBO is on a spending binge…how he’s bankrupting this country…blah!! blah!!..blah!!!..and the media just eats it up..without doing their homework…Thank God for Chips..
      If we can we should send it to everyone in the Media…friends, family…I just tweeted the link…and sent it to everyone I know.

      We will get through it no matter what….As long as PBO gets re-elected, He will kick some__!!#!$!@$…I believe that’s what terrifies them more than anything…they know that in his second term with our help, HE WILL BE UNSTOPPABLE… Even after he leaves office, PBO will be just, if not more popular than he is now, He will make sure that a Democrat will be his replacement….make no mistake this President is always thinking for the long road ahead.

  7. 10 ChristiMtl
    August 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    These criminals, like we didn’t know they were responsible.

    But it’s infuriating to get the message out with this fine oiled right-wing machine. From the corrupt media, to ALEC, Grover Norquist, Koch Brothers and all that ugly and disturbing force of greed and destruction, we have to push and push hard.
    The fact that the President’s approval ratings are still in the 40’s is such an indication of what an extraordinary leader he is. I can’t believe it with everything out there to destroy him.

    I noticed a lot of people, not only the usual firebaggers (I don’t pay attention to them) but others who are starting to blame the President for not going after the Tealibans in Congress, if he could just ignore them.

    They were duly elected, they are part of gvt, people actually voted for these nutjobs. The same when the President rescued the auto industry and the states that were affected by this voted the far-right in power. It’s like everybody expect the President to do everything without them taking any responsibility at all. It’s extremely unfair.

  8. August 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Steve Colbert breaks it down what the Koch Bros are doing in Wisconsin with the recall efforts….

    Talk about crooks….


  9. August 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    It’s time for people to start taking it to the streets.

    Maybe now these firebaggers can start going after the real enemy instead of taking their wrath out on the president.
    I don’t know who I’m more pissed off at right now the firebaggers or the teabaggers being that the firebaggers cost us the midterm last year and if not for that we wouldn’t be going through this crap right now,

  10. 14 Fred
    August 7, 2011 at 7:00 am

    bloody hell that Billboard with the FACTS is a BFD and a B.R.I.L.L.I.A.N.T idea Chip thank you

    can anyone tweet this to Pffeifer;DWS;Pelosi;Axelrod and especially the DNC since they are the $ people and those in charge of making ads around the Country?

    this is another article that should be kept on top of the page to push back hard against talking points and the lies

  11. 15 Left-Indie
    August 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

    They are evil, sure. The author says that it is amazing that they have credibility at all. Agreed. But how do they do it? I’m interested in this black magic they practice so we can better fight them. Blogs like this help a great deal in the fight back. But we gotta learn how they convince so many Americans that they’re the right leaders for our economy even when all evidence points to the opposite. If you think about it, they learned a few things from us. The T-party’s “grassroots” million-man march imitations and civil rights-like unrest across the country for example. Social research like Nader did “unsave at any speed” for example. Now they do their own bogus researches funded by the Koch types to dispute and muddle everything, from climate to taxes debate. So, yeah, they learned few effective things from our side. It’s time we learned few things from them, specially their bogus think-tanks the flood the media with BS stats and studies. The media are lazy and always loves easy, provacative studies:”6 in 10 Americans would rather give up sex than see their taxes raised” says the Heritage foundation, etc. We should learn or rather re-learn their tactics, and whip them with it.

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