The USA is a great place to live, but recently it hasn’t been easy for many people. High energy costs, a crashing real estate market, failing mortgage companies and suppliers, oil companies that want more land and offshore areas to drill into when they don’t drill on most of the land and offshore areas they already have access to. Higher food prices, loss of disposable income, an outrageously expensive but not very responsive health care system, the never-ending war in Iraq, crumbling infrastructure such as bridges and roads, a reducing middle class; one wonders what it would take to fix all of this.
How about $482,000,000,000? Or put another way, almost half a trillion dollars? We’re talking serious money here.
When GW Bush came into office in January 2001, he inherited a $128,000,000,000 surplus. He quickly converted that into a budget deficit with his very first budget proposal, which was formulated before 9-11.
In 2002, Bush had the pleasure of working with a republican majority in both houses of the US Congress. For the next four years, through 2006, this governmental lock by the republicans gave us huge yearly budget deficits. Keep in mind that the Republican Party is supposed to be the party of fiscal restraint, which means that they should be restricting their spending, not blowing cash they have to borrow from the Chinese every year and that has to be paid back by our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, for starters.
Besides the outrage of violating this basic tenet of conservatism, republican congressmen and senators, spending like an entire aircraft carrier of drunken sailors, earmarked special projects such as the infamous Alaskan “bridge to nowhere”, which you can read more about HERE. In fairness, republicans were not the only ones doing earmarks, but they were the ones in power, controlling the votes in Congress and ultimately it was Bush who signed these spending bills into law.
It is significant that Senator Ted Stevens, republican from Alaska, was one of two republican senators from Alaska involved in the “bridge to nowhere” debacle. Steven was indicted on seven counts of lying on senate disclosure forms yesterday, July 29, 2008, by a federal grand jury in a case involving his accepting gifts in excess of $250,000 from a firm involved in oil production. It is illegal for federal employees to accept such gifts. You can read more about this HERE.
It evidently is as easy for some to spend the money of others as it is for them to accept expensive illegal gifts from others. The largest yearly budget deficit in history, $482,000,000,000, has been proposed by Bush in the last six months of his term. While some of that has to do with the questionable economic stimulus package of several months ago, the almost half a trillion dollar deficit, lumped onto the existing national debt of over $9 trillion dollars, will take virtually forever to pay back, particularly with no increase in taxes. It’s simple math. You can watch the national debt climb second by second HERE, if you can stand it.
Bush’s tax breaks for the rich while funding a useless and unnecessary war in Iraq, rewarding big business for taking jobs overseas, tax incentives for the oil companies whose profits are obscenely enormous, etc., are all directly and indirectly responsible for the recession-like state of our economy, the international fall of the dollar, and the real threat of increased inflation in the coming months, as predicted by some experts.
In true “do as I say, not as I do” fashion, the Bush administration has castigated democrats as irresponsible “tax and spend” folks. But no one in history has ever proposed such a large budget deficit as Bush has. The republicans will forevermore be known as the “recklessly borrow and spend” party. After all, it’s not their money. It’s yours!
Four hundred and eighty two billion dollars. $482,000,000. Almost half a trillion dollars. Almost half of $1,000,000,000,000.
And we can’t spend one single dime on stem cell research for curing cancer.