Remember your history, GOP

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I’m beginning to think some right-wing Republicans and Tea Party people have some sort of memory loss. I’m not speaking of dementia and that condition, but more of the denial kind.

Let’s take a look at two spans in our history, one of 50 years (1931-1981) and one of 30 years (1981-2011). During the first period, deep in the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt came into office, started up the Works Progress Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Tennessee Valley Authority. He created the Social Security system, then came World War II. After the war came the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, then the Korean and Vietnam wars. Medicare and Medicaid were created. All of that and our national debt in 1981 was $1 trillion.

The next 30 years the Republicans were in the White House 20 of the 30 years. They controlled the House 12 consecutive years, the last six during Bill Clinton’s administration and the first six years of George W. Bush’s administration. Conservatives had a golden opportunity to cap, cut and balance during that time, but what happened?

In 1982 Ronald Reagan, a conservative, became president with a trillion-dollar debt, and when he left eight years later we owed $4 trillion. Next came George H.W. Bush, another conservative, and four years later when he left office we owed $5 trillion. Bill Clinton came in and when he left we still owed $5 trillion, but he had started paying off the national debt and had a workable plan to pay it off in eight years. The Treasury was full of money.

George W. Bush came in, and eight years later we owed more than $10 trillion. The Treasury was empty and he left a budget for the incoming president with a trillion-dollar deficit. The economy he left was just about what FDR faced when he came in. Sounds like history does repeat itself.

I will say President Obama has had a rough going of it, and it isn’t over. As bad as I hate to say this, I was hoping Sen. John McCain and the fantastic Sarah Palin would win the election. The Republicans got us into this mess – let them get us out. Didn’t happen.

By the way, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, a staunch Tea Party leader, was in the House during the aforementioned six years the debt was doubled. I didn’t hear a word from him or the other conservatives who controlled the House and the purse strings.

Man oh man, how things change.

Jim McGaughy

Aiken, S.C.

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acer706
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acer706 11/26/11 - 12:05 am
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Obama campaigned to change

Obama campaigned to change Washington. Now we credit him for being just like every other President? He had a Super-Majority... therefore, no excuses for not full-filling a campaign promise.

What in the world does Obama have to run on for 2012?

desertcat6
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desertcat6 11/26/11 - 05:43 am
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Good thing the TeaParty

Good thing the TeaParty movement started waking US UP.

carcraft
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carcraft 11/26/11 - 05:45 am
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Please don't forget, the

Please don't forget, the president cannot spend or appropriate one red cent. The reason Clinton had a balanced budget (we still had a deficit ) was because Republicans took contron of the Hoouse and Senate. All Reagan could do was vote for DEMOCRATIC spending bills!

Techfan
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Techfan 11/26/11 - 06:09 am
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Al Franken wasn't sworn in

Al Franken wasn't sworn in until July 7. Ted kennedy was ill, and died Aug 25, 2009. He was only able to show up for 6 days in 2009. Paul Kirk served Sept 24, 2009-Feb 4, 2010. Scott Brown was sworn in Feb 4, 2010. Robert Byrd was ill and missed the majority of votes. Not exactly a consistent super majority. Get the facts straight.

americafirst
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americafirst 11/26/11 - 07:57 am
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It is this letter writer that

It is this letter writer that needs a history lesson. Reagan relunctantly agreed to an increase in some taxes (not income taxes) in exchange for promises from the Democrats for spending cuts. But the Dems lied and actually raised spending resulting in a deficit rather than a surplus when Reagan left office. G.W. Bush agreed to renege on his "read my lips" pledge not to raise taxes again in exchange for a similar promise from the Dems to cut spending but once again the Dems did no honor their end of the bargain and raised spending. Clinton was able to leave office with a surplus because of a Republicasn controlled Congress. This history explains much about why current Rebublicans are reluctant to agree to raise taxes because Dems will never agree to any significant spending cuts. The other reason is that raising taxes in such economic times will only make the situation worse.

Techfan
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Techfan 11/26/11 - 08:24 am
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Per Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming),

Per Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming), Reagan raised taxes 11 times. He did manage to cut the top rate and shift more of the tax burden to the middle class by killing many deduction and write offs.

RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 11/26/11 - 08:44 am
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So, Bill Clinton working with

So, Bill Clinton working with a mostly republican controlled congress was able to reduce the debt. And your point is supposed to be that republicans are responsible for the debt??? I am so confused.

hounddog
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hounddog 11/26/11 - 08:54 am
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Jim McGaughy, If you are
Unpublished

Jim McGaughy, If you are going to remember history you need to learn it correctly.
FDR's policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate
By Meg Sullivan August 10, 2004
Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.
"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."

justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/26/11 - 08:57 am
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Funny, Jim makes no mention

Funny, Jim makes no mention of President Obama's contribution to the debt. He makes GWB look cheap. But, don't worry Jim, the President's "rough going of it" is winding down.

Chillen
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Chillen 11/26/11 - 09:22 am
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Remember the present,

Remember the present, liberals.

In office RIGHT NOW, we have a U.S. President who has amassed more debt than every single Pesident combined.

In office RIGHT NOW, we have a U.S. President who supports communists, unions and his donators - to the detriment of the U.S. Taxpayer. Some of his actions could be called downright criminal (think solyndra).

In office RIGHT NOW, we have a U.S. President who is willfully and deliberately trying to destroy our economy, our freedoms and life as we know it.

What is happening RIGHT NOW is far more important than what happened years ago.

What do we have in office? An America hating, capitlism hating, success hating, vacationing, golfing & partying marxist.

Live in the NOW. Not the past.

crkgrdn
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crkgrdn 11/26/11 - 09:27 am
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And, add a few more

And, add a few more inconvenient facts: economic history shows that the Depression was caused by the New Deal, otherwise we would have experienced a recession. What ended the Depression is WWII. The war was financed through seven war bond drives by the American people.
U.S. business leaders financed the Marshall Plan. And, do not forget to factor in that the GDP increased dramatically during the Reagan period, allowing the extra debt (sort of like getting a salary increase and buying a bigger house). Oh, and, then there is Carter!

Nonetheless, the last nearly four years are a disaster by any measure.

allhans
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allhans 11/26/11 - 09:42 am
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The Democrats are making the

The Democrats are making the greatest mistake of their life in seeing Obama as a typical Democrat when he is nothing of the sort. He bears no resemblance to the Democrats we have previously dealt with in OUR country.
Look behind you Democrats, you are being...Never mind.

faithson
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faithson 11/26/11 - 09:54 am
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putting 'facts' in front of

putting 'facts' in front of die hard neo-cons is like looking into the face of a friend who is an alcoholic and telling them they have a problem. They will blame the problem on anything but themselves... Anyone on this board who doesn't see the 2 Bush tax cuts and big pharma bill in time of War as a problem needs to put in for a liver transplant.. which they won't get if they don't quite,

bjphysics
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bjphysics 11/26/11 - 07:21 pm
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National debt percentages:

National debt percentages: change, annual change rate; per capita change, per capita annual change:

Carter: 42%, 10.6%; 36.6%, 9.1%

Reagan: 189%, 23.6%; 168%, 21.0%

Bush I: 55.6%, 13.9%; 49.2%, 12.3%

Clinton: 36%, 4.4%; 22.5%, 2.8%

Bush II: 89%, 11.1%; 75.2%, 9.4%

Obama: 34%, 13.6%; 30.9%, 12.4%

Per capita change rankings (highest to lowest): Reagan, Bush II, Bush I, Carter, Obama, Clinton.

Per capita annual change rankings (highest to lowest): Reagan, Obama, Bush I, Bush II, Carter, Clinton.

Source: http://www.skymachines.com/US-National-Debt-Per-Capita-Percent-of-GDP-an...

Given numerical reality; riddle me the justification for all this Obama hysteria and Derangement Syndrome.

allhans
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allhans 11/26/11 - 10:44 am
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faithson..What is your idea

faithson..What is your idea of a "neo-con"?
The word is useless ( passe') in this context and has no bearing on anything.

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 11/26/11 - 10:45 am
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What a great letter! The only

What a great letter! The only thing lacking is to identify the one period (any period of time...writer's or commenter's choice) in the 20th or 21st centuries in which a Republican president has had a Republican supermajority. Anyone? Meanwhile, President Obama and the Congress have been raiding the tax money accumulated for health care reform--you know, the four years of increased taxation that made the law "pay for itself"?--to pay for other things. Take a look: http://p.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/24/money-slated-for-health-la...

Bizkit
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Bizkit 11/26/11 - 10:59 am
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The guy has his facts wrong.

The guy has his facts wrong. Most of the time the same political party does not control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. Only 10 times (20 years) since 1945 have both branches of Congress and the Presidency been controlled by the same party. Most of the time, Congress has been controlled by the same party-mostly the Democrats. Since 1945, the House and Senate have been controlled by different parties only five times (10 years). And there have been only two complete turn-overs of Congress since 1945: one in 1949 and the other in 2007. Now we have had a perfect storm of a Dem Prez and Congress and yet they still want to play the blame game.

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 11/26/11 - 11:03 am
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In sum, the LTE writer can't

In sum, the LTE writer can't win this debate, because any fiscal conservative who stands by his/her principles will agree with Mr. McGaughy. He is right: President Reagan should NOT have accepted the Democrat plan to increase taxes now and cut spending later. For a sharp guy who usually read the political tea leaves accurately, he got that one wrong. He should have stuck to principle and demanded immediate spending cuts. To the extent that he failed to do so, he failed us fiscal conservatives and we did not support his actions (don't even bring up SCOTUS appointments!). G.H.W. Bush was a joke, no conservative wanted him in office, so he did not "let us down." He did exactly what we expected him to do and was appropriately voted out.

Clinton never ran a surplus. Sorry, folks, you can repeat false information all you want, but it won't make it true. #1 - All he had was a "projected" surplus, in much the same way that CBO "projected" that health care reform would save money. And CBO has now...? Yes, of course, changed that "projection" now that reality has caught up with Democrat fantasy. Sounds vaguely familiar. #2 - During all of Clinton's presidency, Congress continued openly stealing the overcollected payroll tax (social security taxes collected but not paid out in benefits). Therefore, every single year of Clinton's terms, the Congress "borrowed" money from SS, which therefore means that even a child should be able to see that there was no surplus. If you are borrowing more in order to spend more than you take in, you don't have a surplus. #3 - Every bit of progress made in Clinton's terms was the result of conservatives in Congress, just as only Congress is now keeping President Obama and the Democrats from inflicting more harm on our nation and economy.

G.W. Bush was only an adequate president in a few areas of his responsibilities, and fiscal policy is not one of them. Bush was a nightmare on domestic spending (NCLB, Medicare D, etc., etc., etc.) and was desperate to be liked by people who routinely called him a village idiot & a monkey, and who made constant threats against him of a sort we can't even imagine President Obama going through. That desperation made him go completely soft on all the issues that he knew would need to be resolved--entitlements heading the list. And what is our biggest fiscal challenge now? Entitlements. So, yes, Bush was a huge disappointment to fiscal conservatives and none of us has a good word to say about his policies as they affected the economy.

This is why I say that Mr. McGaughy and other liberals cannot "win" this argument with a fiscal conservative. We believe that the federal government, in particular, should operate within the very narrow boundaries set by the Constitution, and that such a government would spend very little. We find no Constitutional authority for the vast majority of the increase in government activity and spending under ANY president, and so you cannot say, "Well, you are a hypocrite, because you supported Bush and Bush ran up more debt." No, we are not hypocrites. Bush was only a "good" president in the sense that president Gore or Kerry would have tried to do what President Obama has been busy doing for three years, and therefore Bush caused "less harm." Hardly a ringing endorsement, and hardly inconsistent with our beliefs about the proper role of government. When you hear someone call Bush and idiot, a monkey, a war criminal or a nazi, you know that person is a liberal suffering from BDS. When you hear someone saying that Bush was a clumsy politician who betrayed his principles and enacted polices that damaged our economy and violated Constitutional limits on federal power--then you know that person is a conservative.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

john.q.publius
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john.q.publius 11/26/11 - 11:06 am
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Hmm...comment "queued for

Hmm...comment "queued for moderation?" Wonder if it's because it's long...?

harley_52
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harley_52 11/26/11 - 11:11 am
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bjphysics, don't take this

bjphysics, don't take this personally, but your data is suspicious. Apparently, it comes from some organization called "skymachines.com" which, if you visit the site, sells airplanes. There is another site "PresidentialDebt.org" listed on your site as the place to go to get permission to link their site (surely you got such permission). If you visit that site, all you get is the same chart as the one from which you got the data you used.

I fully expect lots of bogus material to be floating around the internet as the Presidential election approaches. You may have some confidence in this chart, but I don't.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/26/11 - 11:27 am
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Harley_52, I think you are on

Harley_52, I think you are on to something. Internet information is not reliable. After I was told by a friend that Wikipedia could be altered and you agreed I have lost all confidence in any data that i find.

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 11/26/11 - 11:42 am
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"the fantastic Sarah

"the fantastic Sarah Palin."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!

harley_52
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harley_52 11/26/11 - 12:13 pm
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scoobydoisback said "After I

scoobydoisback said "After I was told by a friend that Wikipedia could be altered and you agreed I have lost all confidence in any data that i find."

It is wise to be skeptical.

Things are very often not what you think they are, or what someone tells you they are, especially when there's a political agenda involved.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/26/11 - 12:21 pm
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Did I miss something, shrimp?

Did I miss something, shrimp? How is Sarah Palin get into this discussion?

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/26/11 - 12:36 pm
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You know, people, this letter

You know, people, this letter doesn't deserve any comments. In fact, I find the whole opinion page in today's AC very boring. Now, yesterday's page is a different story. We had a good round of comments with very little animosity with the exception of Riverman being taken to task for sloppy welding. LOL

crkgrdn
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crkgrdn 11/26/11 - 02:28 pm
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No matter how crafty the

No matter how crafty the Democrats can be, they know in their heart of hearts that the party is preparing its own suicide. The Democrats are literally stuck with their candidate. To replace him will result in something many times the magnitude of the occupy folks.

Certainly, I am enjoying the theatrics.

GaStang22
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GaStang22 11/26/11 - 02:35 pm
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Carcraft @5:45 and RoadkillII
Unpublished

Carcraft @5:45 and RoadkillII @ 8:44, you guys summed it up in just a few sentences. Looks like Jim McGaughy is the one in denial. What a joke of a letter, but typical!!

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 11/26/11 - 02:56 pm
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scooby...read the whole

scooby...read the whole letter. The guy lost me completely when he said that.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/26/11 - 04:46 pm
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Thanks, Shrimp, I found it. I

Thanks, Shrimp, I found it. I guess i went to sleep before I got there the first time that I read it, almost did the second time.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 11/26/11 - 06:23 pm
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harley_52: “bjphysics, don't

harley_52: “bjphysics, don't take this personally, but your data is suspicious. Apparently, it comes from some organization called "skymachines.com" which, if you visit the site, sells airplanes. There is another site "PresidentialDebt.org" listed on your site as the place to go to get permission to link their site (surely you got such permission). If you visit that site, all you get is the same chart as the one from which you got the data you used.”

No problem Harley, first the link issue; nobody needs permission to link to any site on the internet no matter any assertion to the contrary on their site. You need permission to reproduce the table in its entirety. You don’t need any permission to use derived values from the open sources they cite, that would be like me writing: “10/2=5; permission is required to link or quote this result”.

Look at the data I quoted, it starts with open source data of debt by date and population by date.

Year after year percentages are (current-last)/last, change during term are (final_current_pres-final_last pres)/final_last_pres; per capita results are arrived at by normalizing to population.

I transferred the data to excel and checked the derived percentages for self-consistency; they all checkout. They get 189% for Reagan’s total change, excel says 188.579138044098%. Using modern round-off rules; all the numbers are self-consistent.

The other source of error would be in the raw data. Their Treasury link for debt is bogus because it only goes back to 1993; however, I was able to locate the data at the Treasury going back to 1791. The debt on Jan 1st, 1791 was 75,463,476.52; most of it the result of Benjamin Franklin entertaining women half his age while in France.

I checked debt for 1976, they say $653,544,000,000 source says same. For 1984 they say $1,662,966,000,000 my source says $1,663,666,000.00 which is within 0.042% or pretty damn close.

Source: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/mspd/mspd.htm

Their population link is valid so the per capita is also; I believe if we assemble the data and create a spreadsheet we will validate the table at skymachine to within a tenth of a percent.

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