House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Buckeye, stated yesterday that “tax increases destroy jobs” and that there is only one option to reducing the budget deficit and national debt: “spending cuts and entitlement reform.” Giving the speaker the benefit of doubt, Representative Boehner must be forgetful of the recent history of our country’s debt problems and not simply ignorant of the facts. President Bill Clinton, who raised taxes, left office with a record budget surplus of $230 billion and an economy that was thriving. Eight years later, President George W. Bush left office with a then record budget deficit of $482 billion after mortgaging the country’s future with two massive tax cuts and two wars, both of which were and still are unfunded.
Until President Barack Obama assumed office and faced the pending financial crisis that many economic experts felt could rival the Great Depression, seventy-five percent of the entire national debt originated from just two presidents, Bush and his economic guru, Ronald Reagan. President George H. W. Bush was right on target when, as a candidate running against Reagan in 1980 referred to Reagan’s financial policy of supply side economics as “voodoo economics.” How right he was.
The Republican Party has become the party of just two solutions to every problem, massive tax cuts mainly benefiting the extremely wealthy and gutting benefits to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. To understand who has the Republican Party’s best interests, one need only remember that George W. Bush passed a law making it illegal for the Department of Human Services to bargain with pharmaceutical companies over the price of the prescription drugs it buys.
Republican Congressmen have sold their souls to Grover Norquist and his advocacy group, Americans For Tax Reform, by pledging not to raise taxes no matter how dire the economic circumstances. For this reason, the twelve member Congressional super committee whose purpose is to find ways to cut at least $1.2 billion from the budget deficit over the next decade will accomplish very little, if anything as all six Republican members have signed Norquist’s pledge. Why anyone who is not financially affluent would vote for congressional representatives and president running under the banner of the Republican Party is beyond me.
Steven H. Spring