From 1981 to 2009, the Republicans held either the White House, Congress or both for 26 of those 28 years. During this period, the public debt went from $1 trillion to $10 trillion and entitlements were expanded. What should millennials understand about this period?
The supposed axiom of Republican fiscal conduct is, “We have a spending (or overspending) problem.” This statement is false and is only an expression of libertarian contempt for American democratic institutions. The public voted for the spending, and it is the obligation of the Congress to raise the money to pay for it. What is the Republican record of fiscal responsibility?
In 1993, the tax-increasing heathens led by Bill Clinton raised the top tax rate to 39 percent. On June 23, 1993, Rush Limbaugh said, “This plan is guaranteed to fail. This plan is guaranteed to hurt the middle class.”
The result of Clinton’s responsibility and Newt Gingrich’s leadership in the House was the best economy since WWII, culminating in four consecutive balanced budgets. What did the Republicans do about this? In 1998 they threw Newt Gingrich out of the speakership and shortly thereafter impeached Clinton.
What did the Republicans do about the surpluses they received from Clinton? According to National Review magazine (Feb. 19, 2001), “Then Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan endorsed several of the premises behind Bush’s tax cut: that the budget surpluses are indeed burgeoning, that the economy is growing slowly if at all. His own rationale for a tax cut was that, without one, the federal government will accumulate so much surplus money that it will retire all its debt and have to purchase private assets, which he rightly considers unwise. Greenspan’s comments were welcome.”
George Bush II and the Republicans deliberately destroyed the once-in-a-century opportunity we had to significantly pay down the national debt and leave a debt-free country to millennials – because of the anti-government paranoia of kooks.
What did the Republicans do to reform entitlement programs from 2001 to 2009? Needing to buy votes for the 2004 election, George W. Bush showed he had the courage to recognize that our seniors deserved a new benefit.
On Dec. 8, 2003, Bush signed Medicare Part D, the largest expansion of entitlements since 1965. Rush Limbaugh said, “They are trying to destroy the Democrat Party. Rove has a mission to really take out the Democrat Party ... rather than expand the number of conservatives; they’re stealing Democrats block by block.
… The party that is supposed to stand for limited Constitutional government has just thrown this principle out the window, and I’m sorry it’s the Republican Party.”
Medicare Part D was passed by the Republicans for vote-buying, with zero regard for the future of the country. During Clinton’s presidency, per capita Medicare expenditure increased 5 percent per year; under Bush, it increased by 8 percent per year. This is “Republican entitlement reform.”
According to Larry Kudlow on Dec. 6, 2013, we are at an all-time high for corporate profits: $2.1 trillion. A one-third 1/3 tax on these profits would raise $700 billion and would have produced an Obama-balanced federal budget in 2013.
But the Republicans refuse to raise the corporate tax on $2.1 trillion of profits by one penny. The name of this phenomenon is “greed run amuck.”
Republican anti-tax fanaticism is a massive future tax increase on millennials. Republicans have no plan to balance the budget, no credible plan to reform entitlements and a long record of failure on both accounts. The “Republican” label has long since degenerated into lipstick on the pig of libertarian ideology. If you vote Republican, you are voting for the unregulated economic anarchy and sadistic social Darwinism that libertarians stand for. From 1981 to 2009, we did what they said – and look where that got us.