David Stockman, who was a young right-wing Congressman, back in the 1970’s and then served as Ronald Reagan’s OMB director, explains that the entire economic mess that the United States is in today is the fault of his party, the GOP.
Stockman…says he was more right than he ever could have imagined thirty years ago. The GOP — under Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and two Bushes — destroyed the economy. Maybe forever.
Stockman points to…the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40 percent of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970. This debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.
In 1981, traditional Republicans supported tax cuts, matched by spending cuts, to offset the way inflation was pushing many taxpayers into higher brackets and to spur investment. The Reagan administration’s hastily prepared fiscal blueprint, however, was no match for the primordial forces — the welfare state and the warfare state — that drive the federal spending machine.
Soon, the neocons were pushing the military budget skyward. And the Republicans on Capitol Hill who were supposed to cut spending exempted from the knife most of the domestic budget — entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects. But in the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans’ fiscal religion.
President Obama inherited the mess left by the GOP and its bluedog Democratic buddies. But, I have to say, that he helped undermine his own Presidency,and ended any chance for a serious change in course, by not allowing Congressional liberals expose what the GOP did. I suppose the Democrats were afraid that names like Chuck Schumer – who did his own part to undo the economy through his slavish devotion to Wall Street – might come up so the Democrats decided to let bygones be bygones.
Republicans plus the truly gutless Blue Dog Democrats are building a legacy. Future generations will get to pick up the tab.
Obama brought us a lot of change on individual issues, workplace issues, equal opportunity issues – involving women – even if he’s a wimp on LGBT civil rights. He’s not had the integrity to challenge his own party to change the way they do business.
And the Democrats haven’t had the backbone to step away from business as usual in Congress and foreign policy. Israel, the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower decided to challenge before he left office – in 1961 – still rule. No one in the hallowed American middle-of-the-road paid any attention.
Result? Our nation is solidly on the way to becoming second-rate.