David Axelrod Compares Govenment Spending Under Democrats vs. Republicans

As I wrote yesterday, Republicans commonly spread the false meme that they are the party of fiscal responsibility while the Democrats are the party of increased government spending even though their actual records contradict this. David Axelrod responded to such claims in an op-ed in The Washington Post, comparing the actual records of Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to the record of the true wasteful spender, Republican George Bush:

Of all the claims Rove made, one in particular caught my eye for its sheer audacity and shamelessness — that congressional Democrats “will run up more debt by October than Bush did in eight years.”

So, let’s review a little history:

The day the Bush administration took over from President Bill Clinton in 2001, America enjoyed a $236 billion budget surplus — with a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion. When the Bush administration left office, it handed President Obama a $1.3 trillion deficit — and projected shortfalls of $8 trillion for the next decade. During eight years in office, the Bush administration passed two major tax cuts skewed to the wealthiest Americans, enacted a costly Medicare prescription-drug benefit and waged two wars, without paying for any of it.

To put the breathtaking scope of this irresponsibility in perspective, the Bush administration’s swing from surpluses to deficits added more debt in its eight years than all the previous administrations in the history of our republic combined. And its spending spree is the unwelcome gift that keeps on giving: Going forward, these unpaid-for policies will continue to add trillions to our deficit.

This fiscal irresponsibility — and a laissez-faire attitude toward the excesses of the financial industry — helped create the conditions for the deepest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression. Economists across the political spectrum agreed that to deal with this crisis and avoid a second Great Depression, the government had to make significant investments to keep our economy going and shore up our financial system.

That is why President Obama and Congress crafted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Despite Rove’s assertion, it is widely accepted that the difficult but necessary steps Obama took have helped save our economy from an even deeper disaster. And while Rove conveniently ignores that it was President Bush — not Obama — who signed into law the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout for banks, the Obama administration’s rigorous stewardship added transparency and accountability that have cut the expected cost of that program by two-thirds.

At the same time, we also recognize that we need to address the long legacy of overspending in Washington. That is why, shortly after taking office, Obama instructed his agency heads to go through the budget page by page, line by line, to eliminate what we don’t need to help pay for what we do.

As a start, the president proposed billions of dollars in cuts, and he’ll continue to fight for them and others in the upcoming budget. An analysis by the Washington Times concluded that in this first year, Obama had been more successful in getting his proposed cuts through Congress than his predecessor was in any of his eight years in office.

You just cannot trust Republicans with your money.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Wil says:

    While you and I will agree with Axelrod’s statements, the closed minded Republicans will just respond that it was all the Democratically controlled Congress’s fault for all of the big spending during Bush’s term as President.  They also like to go back and blame Clinton for some of the current financial crisis because of some bill that came into being under his Presidency that “forced” banks to loan money to lower class people who would not be able to pay the money back.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    The Republicans do have their talking points for blaming others.

  3. 3
    Marion Wyatt says:

    @cspanwj Here check this article out http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=11849 David Axelrod article..

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