PODCAST on Coffee Party Radio: "Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative."
Excerpt from Socially Liberal/Fiscally Conservative essay by Eric Byler
I recently heard Ryan Warner of Colorado Public Radio ask Maya Macguineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget if it is true that fiscal responsibility is a Republican issue. She said no; it’s the issue for whichever party is not in power. Perhaps so, but if fiscal responsibility is a Republican principle only (or at all), why was their no mention of deficit or debt on Fox “News” during the George W. Bush administration, when we turned Bill Clinton’s record surpluses into record deficits, when open-ended occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan added $1.38 trillion (and counting) to our national debt, when we implemented a wasteful prescription drug program without paying for it, and when we initiated the Bush Tax Cuts which, if you count ONLY the benefits afforded to the wealthiest 5% and exclude the rest, have added $1.15 trillion to our debt? How is it that our federal deficit and mounting debt suddenly became the centerpiece of political entertainment on Jan. 20, 2009, the day Barack Obama was sworn in as president?
In the summer of 2011, while watching an expertly-staged and beautifully-acted miniseries called The Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis, I learned that Senator Barack Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling in 2006 in order to embarrass President Bush. I didn’t hear about it at the time. Did you? Perhaps that is because, in order to penetrate mainstream consciousness, political theater requires a massive and constant distribution mechanism. The perception that “fiscal responsibility is a Republican issue” is little more than a plank in the GOP campaign platform. Supporting that platform is the design of media empires who spend vast amounts of money to have you believe it. That doesn't make it true.
...President Obama has been maligned for, upon inheriting a massive deficit and an imploding economy, advocating for new spending and additional tax cuts like those contained in the “stimulus” program. Please note: these were temporary spending increases and temporary tax cuts, unlike the on-going expenditures signed into law by Bush which add to our debt each year (see chart). Of course, this fact hasn’t prevented Republican media empires and their spokespersons in Congress from blaming the entire deficit and the entire debt on Obama. People like Paul Ryan, who practically spit when they say the word "stimulus," always fail to mention that he and other severe conservatives in Congress voted for a stimulus program that was $700 billion, nearly as large as the $816 billion package that passed without them. And, if you apply a long-term view to the decision to spend this money instead of allowing a global depression to take root, you might even say that spending that $816 billion was the fiscally responsible thing to do. [MORE]
Via Eric Byler