Clinton Was The Only President In 50 Years To Reduce The National Debt - And Response (7)

Friday, September 10, 2010

In February 2001, shortly after taking office, George W. Bush presented to Congress his tax cuts because he did not like the surplus that Clinton had brought about to pay down the national debt. He predicted that the tax cuts would create a surplus of 5.6 trillion dollars in a decade. Instead, eight years later when he left office, the national debt had grown by 5 trillion dollars. Because the costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other items were not put into the annual budget, this increasing debt was not an issue during his tenure.

The prosperity that Bush predicted did not really materialize. Instead we had the housing bubble and the financial manipulations that led to the crash which started in 2007 and brought America to a halt in 2008. When Obama came into office, we were already in a deep depression. Today, the Republicans will say that the problems the country faces are all Obama’s fault, but folks, it just isn’t so. Check it out on the U. S. Treasury website. You’ll even find that these facts are what the Bush administration put there if you dig in to find it. (I found it in late 2008, before Bush left office.)

The only president in the past half century—since the WWII debt was paid off— to reduce the national debt was Bill Clinton. Now many folks don’t like Clinton, but he and Gore did reduce the number of people working for the government and started paying down the debt, which had gone up 3 trillion dollars under Reagan and G. H. W. Bush after they cut and then partially raised taxes.

So who will bring us out of the present economic problems, the Republicans who want to cut taxes again or the Democrats? You can believe the nonsense put out by Fox and other conservative pundits, but you won’t find much support if you begin to check out the facts. Or you can do your own fact checking and learn the real truth. It’s up to you, but America’s future is hanging on your getting it right.

Roger A. Meyer, PhD

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Dr. Meyers,
When you dig for information you can find all kinds of stuff. The problem I have with your dig is you only brought up the things you liked. You forgot to bring up a lot more information.

The President is not the sole source for tax cuts or spending. I think the Congress approves the budget and spends the money. You some how omitted this from your opinion. I am not taking up for the republicans nor am I bashing the Democrats. I think there’s a lot of blame to be shared.
No, I do not watch Fox News, nor CNN. Also, do the math - Nixon and Carter did not grow the debt, and it was less then 50 years ago.

Here are some numbers:

Ppresident/Party/Term/Start debt-GDP/End debt-GDP/Increase debt ($T)/Increase debt/GDP/House Control/Senate Control

Ronald Reagan R 1981–1985 32.5% 43.8%0.66+11.3%DR
Ronald Reagan R 1985–1989 43.8% 53.1%1.04+9.3% D 99th R, 100th D
Bush GHW R 1989–1993 51.1% 66.1%1.40+ 15.0% DD
Clinton Bill D 1993–1997 66.1% 65.4%1.18-0.7% 103rd D, 104th R 103rd D, 104th R
Clinton Bill D 1997–2001 65.4% 56.4%0.45-9.0% RR
Bush George W. R 2001–2005 56.4% 63.5%1.73+7.1% R107th Split, 108 R
Bush George W. R 2005–2009 63.4% 83.4%2.63+ 20.0% 109th R, 110th D109th R, 110th D

(Source: Whitehouse FY 2011 Budget - Table 7.1 Federal Debt at the End of Year PDF, Excel, Senate.gov)

Mickey Milita
Apison, Tn.

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I checked your facts, Dr. Meyer, and found that President Clinton grew the National Debt by 1.1 trillion dollars! I think you may be misinterpreting the data. President Clinton left office with a debt of 5.6 trillion dollars, and he didn’t even fight a war.

David Adams

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I don’t have a PhD in fact checking, but a fact check to the United States Treasury’s website proves that the United States debt was not reduced while Bill Clinton was President. The debt increased from 4.17 Trillion to 5.73 Trillion during Bill Clinton's term as president.

Purportedly, the “budget deficit” decreased while Bill Clinton was president (not the debt). Fact checks on the U.S. budget show that an increase in revenue of $5,156 billion, due to a strong economy and the Clinton tax increases, was the primary cause for the purported “budget deficit” decrease. That revenue included $791 billion more Social Security tax received than was paid in benefits. The military’s budget was reduced by $497 billion (using 1992 as a baseline) during Clinton’s Presidency. Not even the U.S. Government could spend the money as fast as it was confiscated from the U.S. taxpayers.

Summarize it this way. By threat of law, your neighbors pitch in and give you $4,365 billion. You steal $791 billion from grandma. You spend $5,156 billion running the country. Then you take your neighbor's credit card and blow $1,560 billion on whiskey, cigars and interns. No wonder people want to be president.

Regretfully, fact checking disproves the frequently cited hokum that the debt decreased while Bill Clinton was president. But I laud Bill Clinton for selecting Al Gore as vice president. Without vice president Gore’s invention of the internet, fact checking might require a PhD.

Norman Good

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Clinton had a Republican senate and house writing the bills. It was his honor to sign them. Fact. Seems like someone with a Phd. would have known that.

Joe Blevins
Guild, Tn.

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People love to slam the Clinton Presidency.

However, in the past 50 years, from 1960-2010, the federal government took in more money than it spent five times - in 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Ronald Reagan, far from being a great president, arguably is one of the very worst. The national debt -doubled- while Reagan was president. President Bush 43 initiated large tax cuts for the very rich while committing our military to open-ended conflict. This is the exact opposite of prudence. As a consequence, the national debt is now scary-large.

It has been suggested that the goal of important elements of the Republican Party is to wreck the federal government with debt. These elements hate Medicare. They hate Social Security. They hate being taxed for education, or infrastructure.

They are working against your best interests. To think that the Republican Party should ever be put back in charge of national affairs is lunacy.

Walter Perry Miller
Duluth, Ga.

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Dr. Meyer, I agree with you 100% about the good deeds that Clinton done while in office, I know it was the best years of my life and everyone reading this forum, but you won't get one aye vote from any Republican anywhere to agree with you.

Every poster to this forum but me is a bonifide Republican and they want to distort the facts in favor of Republicans in general, trying to make the public believe that some good has come from past Republican presidents.

Facts don't mean anything to a Republican, especially after George "W" got elected, they will try to make us believe he done some good while in office. He started a war with Iraq just to apease his daddy because "Daddy" didn't finish what he started in Iraq. I think I have seen his smiling face one time since he left office, I guess he is hoping that everyone will forget he ever held office. He did more damage to this fine country in eight years than every President before him.

Now the Republican Party wants to be the head honcho again in this country. Can you imagine what shape this country would have been in on this date if McCain and Palin had won the past election?

Gary Dixon

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Neither of the two major parties can make any claim to fiscal conservatism. They are there to line their pockets at the expense of the people and simply represent two different species of the same ilk.

Wilson von Kessler
Lookout Mountain, Ga.


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