The ludicrous myth of Republican fiscal responsibility: A history lesson for the modern GOP – Salon.com

The GOP loves to insist that Democrats have caused a fiscal crisis. But the real story looks far different…

…when Republican Vice President Dick Cheney said to Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neil, “You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” Indeed, Ted Cruz’s hero Ronald Reagan was the original deficit master.

When Reagan took office, he advocated fiscal responsibility, as his disciples do today. But his presidency was anything but responsible when it came to fiscal policies. The size of America’s debt when he entered office was $1 trillion, and by the end of his two terms, it had grown by 190 percent, to $2.9 trillion, nearly tripling under his leadership. By the the end of twelve years of Reagan-Bush administration, the debt had quadrupled to $4 trillion…

…Reagan backtracked from that initial tax cut, increasing income taxes as well as gasoline and social security taxes, which he would use to fund his runaway spending.

…both Ford and Carter were better at cutting government spending — their presidential terms combined for a 1.4 percent increase of national income, while Reagan’s spending grew 3 percent.

Rather than going the responsible “tax and spend” route, Reagan decided to “borrow and spend.”…

…So, Reagan and Bush Sr. quadrupled America’s debt, following a decade of fiscal irresponsibility and regressive tax increases that ultimately defrauded America’s working class. And then, of course, Democrat Bill Clinton came into office to clean up the mess. In his first years, Clinton enacted tax increases for the wealthy, and the effective total federal tax rates rose significantly for the one percent. When Clinton signed these increases into law, Conservatives warned it would destroy jobs and stifle economic growth — but the opposite happened, the economy flourished…Clinton was fiscally responsible, and he left George W. Bush with a budged surplus of $86 billion.

And what did the Republican do with this wonderful gift? He did the usual — cut taxes for the wealthy, and rapidly increased spending by starting two extremely expensive wars. Bush’s fiscally irresponsible policies raised the debt by over $5 trillion. This, along with his administrations lack of Wall Street oversight, helped fuel the financial crisis that he would pass down to President Obama…

For the full story and more facts please go to: The ludicrous myth of Republican fiscal responsibility: A history lesson for the modern GOP – Salon.com

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