"Now the trumpet summons us again -- not as a call to arms though arms we need; not as a call to battle though embattled we are -- but as a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"-- a struggle against the common enemies of man, tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself."
A true patriot perserves in this struggle until victory ensues or life expires.
23 May, 2012
Prairie Fire of Lies
Credit - end times signs.word-press.com
In Iowa, the presumptive Republican nominee declared:
“A prairie fire
of debt is sweeping across Iowa and our nation and every day we fail to act we
feed that fire with our own lack of resolve. This is not a Democratic or
Republican problem. That fire could care less if you have a donkey or an
elephant in your front lawn; it’s still coming for your house. There’s plenty
of blame to go around for both parties. But in my years leading businesses, an
Olympics and a state, I’ve learned one simple principle of leadership that
never falters: Leaders lead. I will lead
us out of this debt and spending crisis.”
With this ringing series of assertions, Willard proved he is
the unquestioned leader in one aspect of campaigning. He lies more often in
more ways and more places than any American politician since Aaron Burr.
Take the first assertion about a “prairie fire of debt.”
Willard clearly hopes people will have forgotten that Republicans took the
presidency at the start of the twenty-first century with a budget surplus. The
chart below depicts this inconvenient truth.
Because the federal fiscal year begins on October 1, the
first year that can be attributed to the Democratic President, Clinton is 1994.
The years 1990 to 1993 are attributable to the Republican President, George H.
W. Bush. Fiscal year 2002, is the first year the Republican George W. Bush is
responsible for the budget appropriations.
Republicans incorrectly claim that Clinton pushed through in
his first year “the largest tax increase in history.” It was not and it fell
almost exclusively on upper-income taxpayers. Nonetheless, the fiscal record of
the Clinton years shows the effect of this substantial revenue raising measure.
Clinton’s fiscal 1994 budget also contained spending restraints, and a powerful
influence was the booming economy and huge gains in the stock markets which
brought in hundreds of millions in unanticipated tax revenue from taxes on
capital gains and rising salaries.
The Social Security tax on payrolls contributed much to the
Clinton budget surpluses. Social Security taxes actually now make the total deficit
or surplus figures look better than they would if Social Security wasn’t
counted. But even if Social Security is removed from the calculation, there was
a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and $86.4 billion in fiscal 2000.
Based on a document called the “The
Financial Report of the U. S. Government” the government’s books are presented on
an accrual basis like those of most corporations, rather than the cash basis
that the government has always used. Under accrual accounting the government
would immediately reflect the costs of promises made to pay future benefits to
government workers and Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. But even
under accrual accounting, the annual reports showed surpluses of $69.2 billion in
fiscal 1998, $76.9 billion in fiscal 1999, and $46 billion for fiscal year
2000. So any way we count
it or account for it, the federal budget was balanced and the deficit was
erased, when the Republicans held the presidency at the start of the current
century. Therefore, if there is a debt crisis, the Republican Party and its
presidents are the igniters and owners of this putative wild fire.
contends that out of control federal spending is pouring accelerant on this
raging conflagration. Despite his rhetoric, reality paints a starkly different
A dominant theme of the Republican propaganda has been the crushing
spending spree the Obama presidency has ostensibly embarked on. This canard ignited
by Republicans and their supportive Super Pacs and many prominent commentators
has inflamed the national dialogue
the public debate in nearly every major budget battle of the last three years.
Now it is burning brightly in the 2012 election campaign.
The truth is
President Obama’s policies from the much maligned stimulus onward have produced
the slowest increase in federal spending under any president from either party
in nearly six decades. Furthermore, the rise in the national debt from $10.6
trillion to $15.6 trillion is overwhelmingly due to the combined effects of revenue
losses during the 2008-09 economic downturn as well as Bush tax cuts and automatic
increases in safety-net spending that were already written into law before President Obama took office.
The chart, “Is Obama Really A Big Spender” shows that
Reagan, both Bushes, and to a lesser extent Clinton, grew federal spending far more
rapidly than Obama. Additionally, Obama — unlike his predecessors from both
parties — in February 2010 signed a law requiring that new spending laws are
paid for. Furthermore, Obama last year signed into law over $2 trillion in
debt-reduction over the next decade. Finally, the President Obama put hundreds
of billions in cuts to social safety net spending on the table, but Republican
intransigence on revenue increases derailed the so called “Grand Bargain.”This again shows the Republican insincerity
regarding the alleged imperative to close the budget gap. Despite this
duplicity, Republicans have more fables to peddle where federal spending is
Due to a
relentless and successful Republican propaganda campaign, it’s become an
article of faith among many conservative citizens, and even some Democrats,
that “Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending.” This is
simply not true: under President Obama, federal spending is rising at the
slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the
1950s. Unfortunately, the myth of Obama as a big spender is not effectively
challenged by anyone in the establishment media when leading Republicans from
Mitt Romney to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner assert this false claim. The purportedly
liberal media regularly parrots the GOP canards. The fourth estate never seems
to get around to telling you the Obama spending spree is a bold faced lie. Yet
the truth is evident for all who have eyes to see, it has been Republican
presidents who are historically the big spenders.
Not only has
President Obama not been a spend thrift; he has flattened the rate of increase.
There has been no huge increase in spending under President Obama, despite what
Republicans claim and too many media sources uncritically report.
President Obama of lighting a “prairie fire” of spending, but as the preceding
chart shows, the President is damping down the flames, not fanning them. Even if
the $140 billion in stimulative spending in 2009 is attributed to Obama and not
to Bush, spending under President Obama grows by about $200 billion over four
years, amounting to a 1.4% annualized increase. “After adjusting for inflation,
spending under Obama is falling at a
1.4% annual pace — the first decline in real spending since the early 1970s,
when Richard Nixon was retreating from the quagmire in Vietnam.”
graphic comparison of the actual and projected expenditures of the last
Republican president and the current Democratic president solidifies who is the
real spending fire bug.
“Based on the
figures from the above chart, Bush spent $5.07 trillion on new expenditures
from fiscal years 2002-2009. Obama will
have spent only $1.44 trillion through 2017, including saving $126 billion
through spending cuts.” Therefore, the Republican outspends the Democrat by
more than 300%.
the falsehoods riddling Romney’s speeches and Republican propaganda concerning
spending, deficits, and debts under President Obama, Willard has one more
whopper he is spewing on a regular basis. This is the declaration: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending
crisis.” Despite the confidence with which Willard makes this assertion,
probabilities indicate he is simply blowing smoke.
his economic plan makes the debt worse. Willard promises to give a 20%
across-the-board tax cut to all Americans and repeals the Alternative Minimum
Tax. This costs $10.7 trillion over the
next ten years and reduces federal revenues to 15% of GDP. According to Center
for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden, Willard
offers no plan to pay for those tax cuts; instead he simply asserts “he will
balance the budget.”
However, balancing the budget under the terms of
Romney’s plan would be next to impossible. Even if Willard limits tax
deductions for the richest Americans as he proposes, it would require “6.5% economic
growth for the next five years to keep his plan from adding to the deficit.” For
perspective, recall in the best
five-year period of growth since World War II, the economy grew at 5.8
percent per year. In plain language, the economic growth Willard’s plan
requires has never happened in the last
seven decades of United States history! The great
American humorist, Will Rogers, made an observation that is no less true today
than when he uttered it more than 75 years ago:
"It isn't what we don't know that
gives us trouble. It'swhat we know that just ain't so."
For their own
sake and that of the nation and their children, voters in 2012 must face the
truth about the spending, deficit and debt propaganda. They must recognize that
Republicans are seeking to get them to know things “that just ain't so."
Then they must vote for the party and the president which has truly done the
responsible thing regarding spending, deficits and debt. America does not face
a choice between President and the Almighty. America faces a choice between President
Obama and the alternative – a much less caring, capable, and candid alternative
– at that.