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Words I Never Expected To Type (I miss the Bush era fiscal discipline... GULP !)
National Review ^ | 07/25/2010 | Kevin Williamson

Posted on 07/26/2010 7:06:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Man, I miss the fiscal discipline of the Bush era!

Gulp.

I never expected to write those words. The Bush-era Republicans were out-of-control big spenders, fiending for appropriations, handing out largesse, creating giant new health-care entitlements here, building nations there, all with a devil-may-care attitude about where the money would come from. They were all carrot and no stick, cutting taxes but not doing a thing about spending.

And then:

A mid-year budget review by the Obama administration forecasts the deficit will be $1.47 trillion this year and $1.42 trillion next year as the U.S. struggles to recover from the recession.

This year’s budget shortfall is $84 billion less than President Barack Obama’s budget office projected in February because of lower than projected spending for unemployment and some government programs. Still, the total would be a record and represent 10 percent of gross domestic product.

That is from the Mid-Session Budget review, where the government checks in on the federal books and sees how closely they match up to the actual budget. Pretty close, in this case — unfortunately.

Let me see if I can type this right: $1,470,000,000,000.00 — and that is just the part of the bill that we do not know how to pay. The actual bill for government  spending this year is more than twice that. We are borrowing 41 cents of every dollar we spend. We are spending $36,000 per household.

Okay, here is the ritual denunciation: That is the biggest deficit in the history of the United States of America, in gross dollars. For Pete’s sake.

And here is the reality: That is the biggest deficit in the history of the United States of America since World War II, as a portion of GDP. That deficit is about  10 percent of GDP; the Bush-era deficits were typically about 3 percent of GDP.

Heritage puts it this way:

These future deficits are driven almost exclusively by rising spending. President Obama’s budget would push inflation-adjusted federal spending past $36,000 per household by 2020—$12,000 above the level that prevailed under President Bush. Even President Obama’s enormous and anti-growth $3 trillion tax increase proposal won’t stop this spending spree from pushing the national debt to economically dangerous levels.

The Mid-Session Budget Review also confirms the failure of Obama’s economic agenda. The President concedes that the unemployment rate will remain at nearly 10 percent this year and not revert to pre-recession levels until 2016—and even that is based on the same optimistic Keynesian economic models that claim the stimulus created or saved 3 million jobs. If this is economic policy success, one wonders how failure would look.

I do not like to make predictions (because I am really bad at it, and the world is too complicated) but here is one: Obama will find it much more difficult to get himself re-elected in 2012 if the unemployment rate is 9.7 percent than if it is 7.7 percent. I have said, on several occasions, that the only way I expect a Republican to defeat Obama in 2012 is if unemployment persists at very high levels or if there is another major economic disruption. It must be clear, even to President Obama, that his program is not working. It certainly is clear to those members of his increasingly incoherent economics team who are skedaddling. For a guy who campaigned on hope and change, Barack Obama is proving to be absolutely pig-headed when it comes to sticking to what does not work. Memo to the president: This is no way to run a welfare state.

More words I never expected to type: Meanwhile, in the land of liberty, Canada:

Canada’s federal budget deficit amounted to $4.2 billion during the first two months of the fiscal year, much smaller than in the same period last year when the economy was mired in recession, the finance department reported Friday.

The Finance Department’s fiscal monitor noted the government spent $7.2 billion more than it took in during April and May of 2009 because tax revenues were down and social and economic spending to offset the slump was higher.

“The data is reassuring that the deficit should continue to narrow,” said Mary Webb, an economist with Scotia Capital. “And it continues a trend we saw in the last quarter of fiscal 2009-2010, which is that revenues were coming back reflecting the strength of the Canadian recovery.”

The improvement in the deficit year-over-year was most visible in revenues from personal income taxes and provincial sales and services taxes.

The government says the deficit includes about $1.7 billion in spending under the stimulus package introduced in January 2008.

Whatever you think about socialism, here is an undeniable fact: Canadians are better at it than Americans are. We are managing to inflict the costs of welfare statism on ourselves without even deriving any of the benefits: Heritage now ranks Canada’s economy as more free than that of the United States. Its government spending is only marginally higher than our own, and its government institutions are much cleaner and more effective. It went into the financial crisis with low levels of government debt and a sounder banking system, thanks in no small part to the fact that the Canadian government is not as dominated by narrow financial interests as the U.S. government is. (Question: Why is it that the lefties who rightly appreciated what a rent-seeking nightmare our financial system is do not see that they have just helped to create a substantially similar situation in the health-care industry? Just askin’.)

The upshot? Canada already is packing in its stimulus measures. And tiny little Canada is creating more jobs than is the United States:

Canada has recouped 403,000 jobs, or 97% of those lost in the recession. Employment rose by 93,200 in June – a number five-times greater than economists had expected – following a gain of 24,700 in May and a record-high surge of 108,700 in April.

By comparison, the United States, which has a population 10-times larger than Canada’s, only added 83,000 jobs in June. And if you factor in the loss of 225,000 temporary Census jobs, the United States actually lost 125,000 jobs. Worse, if you include “discouraged workers” who haven’t looked for a job in the past four weeks, the U.S. labor force has shrunk by 974,000 in the past two months alone.

Canada’s unemployment rate slid to 7.9% in June compared to 9.5% in the United States. … Canada has already begun the process of reigning in its stimulus measures. The Bank of Canada (BOC) yesterday (Tuesday) raised its key interest rate a quarter of a point to 0.75%. That was the second such high in as many months.

If you want to emulate Canada, emulate the parts that work: clean government, balanced budgets, low debt.

– Kevin D. Williamson is deputy managing editor of National Review.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bestprezever; budgetdeficit; bush; deficit; fiscaldiscipline; presidentbush; presidentgeorgewbush
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1 posted on 07/26/2010 7:06:43 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Oh, yes, we bitched about GW’s spendthrift ways.We frowned upon his government expansions, Until we actually met up with the Democrat’s methods.
Now, you don’t know what you had until it’s gone.


2 posted on 07/26/2010 7:11:05 AM PDT by griswold3 ('Regulation and law without enforcement is no law at all)
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To: SeekAndFind

I think Bill Cunningham puts it best.

Republicans commit fiscal misdemeanors

Democrats commit fiscal felonies....


3 posted on 07/26/2010 7:20:11 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: SeekAndFind

“Don’t it always seem to go
You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?”

Bush wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but he beats all heck out of Barack Obama.


4 posted on 07/26/2010 7:20:51 AM PDT by Clara Lou (Barack Obama: saboteur and joke)
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To: Clara Lou

For those keeping track, the debt estimate for the end of 2010 — two years into Obama’s term — is $13.787 trillion. That’s a 38 percent increase over two years.

Looked at another way, the debt under Bush went up $4.357 trillion over eight years, while it has gone up under Obama by $3.801 trillion in just two years.


5 posted on 07/26/2010 7:23:07 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

The British war debt after WW2 was some 27 Billion dollars (adjusted to current value of the dollar). It took some sixty years to pay off, finally being paid off in Jan 2007. That included the action of 2% interest.

Current American debt is nearly 1500 times higher than that. US GDP is 7 times that of the UK, so the debt compared with the ability to pay is maybe 200 times that of the British war debt.

200 war debts, all at the same time. Ouch.

With the US’s 14T GDP I can’t see this debt being repaid within the next 400 years.


6 posted on 07/26/2010 7:29:43 AM PDT by agere_contra (Obama did more damage to the Gulf economy in one day than Pemex/Ixtoc did in nine months)
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To: Old Teufel Hunden
I think Bill Cunningham puts it best. Republicans commit fiscal misdemeanors Democrats commit fiscal felonies....

I've always put it as the Republicans get a "C+" on economics; the Democrats have to claw their way up to earn an "F".

7 posted on 07/26/2010 7:30:24 AM PDT by kevkrom (De-fund Obamacare in 2011, repeal in 2013!)
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To: griswold3; SeekAndFind
Oh, yes, we bitched about GW’s spendthrift ways.We frowned upon his government expansions, Until we actually met up with the Democrat’s methods. Now, you don’t know what you had until it’s gone.

Obama is destroying this country. I predict he'll be re-elected. I spoke to a Republican who proudly said he didn't vote in the last election because McCain wasn't good enough.

8 posted on 07/26/2010 7:33:45 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: agere_contra

My bad, I got the math wrong. It’s only about 7 war-debts.

400 years repayment time is still about right though.


9 posted on 07/26/2010 7:34:21 AM PDT by agere_contra (Obama did more damage to the Gulf economy in one day than Pemex/Ixtoc did in nine months)
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To: SeekAndFind

I MISS BUSH

I MISS CHENEY

I MISS AMERICA


10 posted on 07/26/2010 7:37:02 AM PDT by Carley (For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Deficits went up under both Bush and Reagan because the Democrats pushed through domestic spending while war budgets were necessarily increasing.

We very likely could be quaking in fear every day if Bush had not been successful at his job as CIC. So his budgets were worth it IMO.

Barry has used it all as an excuse to hike domestic spending to the stratosphere. He's a pig and and he'll get his due.

11 posted on 07/26/2010 7:41:47 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

“I spoke to a Republican who proudly said he didn’t vote in the last election because McCain wasn’t good enough. “

Sounds like half the freepers back in 2008.
Now that the “I wont vote the lesser of 2 evils” crowd has left us with the GREATEST of evils in the history of the US, we have only THIS ELECTION to save America.
If we dont take back the Congress and defeat BHO in 2012, USA is toast.


12 posted on 07/26/2010 7:43:27 AM PDT by WOSG (OPERATION RESTORE AMERICAN FREEDOM - NOVEMBER, 2010 - DO YOUR PART!)
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To: Dr. Scarpetta
I don't know how Obama can win re-election.

He's losing the far left fast, even though pandering to them every day.

He may try to veer to the center, but I really don't think he an win independents over a challenger because they are increasingly seeing how they were hoodwinked.

13 posted on 07/26/2010 7:45:06 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: WOSG

Most of the “sit-on-their-ass-complaining” contingent will show up this fall...


14 posted on 07/26/2010 7:47:49 AM PDT by RockinRight (Outrage does not make the law.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I miss Reagan’s optimism and his embrace of free market Capitalism.

I do not miss Bush.


15 posted on 07/26/2010 7:50:59 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Never trust anyone who points their rear end at God while praying.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Bush let a lot go through that shouldn't have, regards spending. However, he did so because he had limited political freedom of movement to do otherwise because the opposition used the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as leverage. Especially after the House went Democrat in 2006, Bush was really nailed down when it came to spending.

The point is that Bush needs to be viewed as having had limited options and in a position where he makes decisions between the two lesser evil options. Had Bush tried to curb spending the way many wish, he would have jeopardized the GWOT, Iraq, and Afghanistan which the Democrats had no hesitation nor quams to play/gamble with so they can get what they want.

It's cool to blame Bush, and even the Conservative politicians, bloggers, media etc like to point out a shortcoming with Bush regards spending that one really can't blame Bush completely for.

16 posted on 07/26/2010 7:54:25 AM PDT by Red6 (IMHO)
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To: WOSG

I haven’t seen “Bush = Obama” for a while.


17 posted on 07/26/2010 8:00:54 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: WOSG
Now that the “I won't vote the lesser of 2 evils” crowd has left us with the GREATEST of evils in the history of the US, we have only THIS ELECTION to save America. If we don't take back the Congress and defeat BHO in 2012, USA is toast.

You're exactly right, but I'm sure our Republican candidate, whoever it is, won't be good enough for some republicans. Those people require perfect conservatives for the presidential candidate. Dems, on the other hand, don't care if their candidate has sex in the oval office with an intern.

18 posted on 07/26/2010 8:07:33 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: Red6
Obama has repeatedly claimed that his budget would cut the deficit by half by the end of his term. But as Heritage analyst Brian Riedl has pointed out, given that Obama has already helped quadruple the deficit with his stimulus package, pledging to halve it by 2013 is hardly ambitious. The Washington Post has a great graphic which helps put President Obama’s budget deficits in context of President Bush’s.


19 posted on 07/26/2010 8:12:29 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Siena Dreaming
I don't know how Obama can win re-election. He's losing the far left fast, even though pandering to them every day.

He may try to veer to the center, but I really don't think he an win independents over a challenger because they are increasingly seeing how they were hoodwinked.

We don't know who our candidate will be at this point. Let's say, just to throw out a few names, that it would be Romney or Huckabee. You and I both know that a lot of Republicans here on FR would stay home and not vote. They absolutely would not care if Obama gets re-elected.

I, on the other hand, will vote for anyone we run against Obama. The damage may have already been done, however, and no one can fix it.

20 posted on 07/26/2010 8:15:49 AM PDT by Dr. Scarpetta
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To: WOSG
If we dont take back the Congress and defeat BHO in 2012, USA is toast.

Sadly, I agree. This has gone past serious.


21 posted on 07/26/2010 8:37:44 AM PDT by rdb3 (The mouth is the exhaust pipe of the heart.)
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To: SeekAndFind

There was no Bush era fiscal discipline. And the fact that Obama is worse doesn’t change that.


22 posted on 07/26/2010 8:39:07 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: griswold3
"Oh, yes, we bitched about GW’s spendthrift ways.We frowned upon his government expansions,"

I still do. That doesn't mean the Obammunist isn't light years worse, but let's not look fondly back at the cyanide we took yesterday, just because a gun's pointed at our heads today.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

23 posted on 07/26/2010 8:40:18 AM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
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To: Siena Dreaming
I don't know how Obama can win re-election.

The Democrats said that in 2004 about Bush. Then they went and nominated John Kerry. The GOP's chances in 2012 will also depend on who they nominate.

24 posted on 07/26/2010 8:41:59 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur

In other words you want your BDS


25 posted on 07/26/2010 8:42:24 AM PDT by woofie
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To: woofie
In other words you want your BDS

The 2002 through 2009 budgets were passed on Bush's watch. If that's your idea of fiscal discipline then you have no concept of the term.

26 posted on 07/26/2010 8:44:43 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Carley
I MISS BUSH PRESIDENT REAGAN

I MISS CHENEY

I MISS AMERICA

We're not doing ourselves any favors by pretending Bush was a conservative. He wasn't. By and large, he was a disaster as a president, and he set disastrous precedents.

Just because Bush was a little better than what we have now doesn't mean we shouldn't set our sights higher, and demand more from our would-be leaders. I won't settle for another Bush, whether his name is Bush, McCain, Romney, Giuliani, Gingrich, or whatever. While we'll never have another Ronald Reagan, I will demand whoever I support tries his or her damnedest to live up to his legacy.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

27 posted on 07/26/2010 8:48:27 AM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
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To: Non-Sequitur

Jan 5 ,09 ...Today, President-elect Obama is moving forward with what he has billed as his top priority: an economic stimulus package called the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.”

So when CAN we say “its no longer Bush’s fault?”


28 posted on 07/26/2010 9:09:11 AM PDT by woofie
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To: Non-Sequitur
Actually, John Kerry came close. If it hadn't been for the Swift Boat Vets he might have won.

I agree, of course, that the degree to which we will beat Obama will depend on the GOP nominee. But I really see Obama's chances as very weak, largely because his base has crumbled and I don't see how he gets enough strength back there to be a strong contender. I'm more worried about Hillary at this point.

29 posted on 07/26/2010 9:26:19 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: woofie
So when CAN we say “its no longer Bush’s fault?”

I think Bush can share the blame for this. The whole TARP bailout bill was signed by him. Obama piled the spending on, there isn't any argument about that. But Bush started the ball rolling, and that was just a continuation of the out-of-control spending that went on through his entire administration. By any stretch of the imaginiation, "George W. Bush" and "fiscal responsibility" are a contradiction in terms.

30 posted on 07/26/2010 9:27:32 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: wku man

So now I’m not even allowed my own thoughts?

Great!


31 posted on 07/26/2010 9:33:08 AM PDT by Carley (For those who fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.)
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To: Non-Sequitur

There are a lot of people , me included that do not lump Tarp in with the rest of the stuff...Tarp WAS needed to prevent more of a meltdown

If we are right about that then you should thank God everyday that Bush was our President and stop cursing him


32 posted on 07/26/2010 9:56:12 AM PDT by woofie
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To: Non-Sequitur

There are a lot of people , me included that do not lump Tarp in with the rest of the stuff...Tarp WAS needed to prevent more of a meltdown

If we are right about that then you should thank God everyday that Bush was our President and stop cursing him


33 posted on 07/26/2010 9:56:12 AM PDT by woofie
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To: woofie
There are a lot of people , me included that do not lump Tarp in with the rest of the stuff...Tarp WAS needed to prevent more of a meltdown.

And no doubt a lot of Obama supporters will swear up and down that all the stimulus spending was absolutely vital to head off a major depression. But at the end of the day it's both supporting government spending money is doesn't have.

Besides, add in the wars, No Child Left Behind spending, Prescription Drug plans, and God knows what else and you still have a president who hadn't any interest in fiscal responsibility.

34 posted on 07/26/2010 10:00:38 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
TARP has mostly been paid back.

TARP was not part of a Keynesian mentality; it supported the supply-side, not the demand side.

Some think we would have been better off had more huge banks failed, spurring smaller ones to fail, generating bank runs and small business lines of credit to collapse throughout the country. Don't think so.

35 posted on 07/26/2010 10:02:29 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Dr. Scarpetta

Then the socialists won’t have any excuses.


36 posted on 07/26/2010 10:08:36 AM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
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To: Non-Sequitur
The legislature, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, makes and passes the budget.

On May24, 2001, Traitor Jim Jeffords defected to the Democrats and President Bush dealt with a majority Dem Senate throughout his presidency. The Dems control was even absolute when you consider the spinelessness of the GOP members of Congress.

37 posted on 07/26/2010 10:11:31 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (Obama is a man-caused disaster..........)
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To: Siena Dreaming

One of the problems we have as a country is that anyone can justify any level of government spending on the grounds that it was ‘necessary’. That doesn’t make it prudent or responsible. And as I said, TARP was just the tail end of Bush’s term in office, which was marked with increased spending and growth in government from the first day to the last.


38 posted on 07/26/2010 10:13:09 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Servant of the Cross
The legislature, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, makes and passes the budget.

And the president can veto it.

39 posted on 07/26/2010 10:16:11 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Carley
"So now I’m not even allowed my own thoughts?"

How on Earth did you infer that? I was agreeing with 2/3 of what you said.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

40 posted on 07/26/2010 10:25:15 AM PDT by wku man (Steel yourselves, patriots, and be ready. Won't be long now....)
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To: Non-Sequitur
and the veto would have been overridden, in a bi-partisan fashion (think McCain, Graham, Snowe, Collins, Voinovich ...)

As mentioned earlier upthread, September 11 changed everything and the number one priority of the Bush administration was the global war on terror and the defense of the country. He determined that he had to choose his battles with the Dems strategically.

"For the record, every alternative budget offered by the Democrats during the Bush years called for more spending and higher taxes than the President's budget." ... Rove: Courage and Consequence, page 237.

41 posted on 07/26/2010 10:27:56 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (Obama is a man-caused disaster..........)
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To: Non-Sequitur
That doesn’t make it prudent or responsible

If you're from the camp that thinks that the curatiling the slide of major institutions like Morgan Stanley that were on the abyss of going down like Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual stopped a depression, then you likely think the TARP responsible.

If you're from the camp that thought the US needed banks to fail and bank runs to happen and thousands more small businesses to go out of business ikely jacking up unemployment to at least twice today's levels then I suppose you likely don't view the TARP as responsible.

42 posted on 07/26/2010 10:46:24 AM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: SeekAndFind
We are well rid of the Bushs.

Politicians coming up through the ranks watch what their seniors are doing. Bush was teaching Democrat ideals to thousands of future Republican leaders.

43 posted on 07/26/2010 10:50:39 AM PDT by RJL (Sarah Palin/Paul Ryan in 2012)
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To: Servant of the Cross
and the veto would have been overridden, in a bi-partisan fashion (think McCain, Graham, Snowe, Collins, Voinovich ...)

Check your Constitution. It takes 67 votes in the Senate to override a veto. There weren't 15 to 17 Republicans that would vote to override.

As mentioned earlier upthread, September 11 changed everything and the number one priority of the Bush administration was the global war on terror and the defense of the country

And as I said, it wouldn't be hard to find Democrats justifying their spending as being best for the country, because priority one is helping people being hurt by the economy.

So then why not agree that fiscal discipline was the last thing he was interested in, and that to say that his administration was a fiscally responsible era is complete crap?

44 posted on 07/26/2010 11:05:03 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: RJL

To put those numbers in perspective, Canada is spending the equivalent to the US spending 250 billion dollars a year. Essentially our deficit is one sixth of what Obama is spending.

Personally, I think the deficit up here is far too high.

I think Obama is insane, and in just a year, he’s managed to eradicate one of the more significant advantages in terms of government indebtedness that you folks have over Canada.


45 posted on 07/26/2010 11:06:14 AM PDT by BenKenobi (We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. -Silent Cal)
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To: Siena Dreaming

I’m from the camp which believes that government expenditures must be matched by government revenue, and if you increase spending in one area then you must either increase revenue or decrease spending in another. We’re kind of funny that way.


46 posted on 07/26/2010 11:06:31 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
There weren't 15 to 17 Republicans that would vote to override.

Sure there were. A budget had to be passed. You don't veto a budget without a replacement that is agreed to by a majority. The Dems and their compliant media fought everything he was trying to do. They trumped up non-budgetary distractions endlessly - Exhibit A: Joe Wilson.

You are blinded by your BDS, no different than Michael Moore's same illness.

47 posted on 07/26/2010 11:15:28 AM PDT by Servant of the Cross (Obama is a man-caused disaster..........)
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To: SeekAndFind
I have said, on several occasions, that the only way I expect a Republican to defeat Obama in 2012 is if unemployment persists at very high levels or if there is another major economic disruption.

That's pretty easy to refute: Republicans will lose to Mickey Mouse if they run another BobDull or Juan McPain. There is an old expression in politics: "You can't beat somebody with nobody."

Never forget, the GOP is nicknamed "The Stupid Party." Mitt Romney = four more years.

48 posted on 07/26/2010 11:15:58 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Build a man a fire; he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire; he'll be warm the rest of his life)
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To: agere_contra

That’s assuming there is an intent to pay down the principle. We’re only paying on the interest. This is the equivalent of an interest-only mortgage on a house.


49 posted on 07/26/2010 11:19:11 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Build a man a fire; he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire; he'll be warm the rest of his life)
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To: Siena Dreaming
He's losing the far left fast, even though pandering to them every day.

Don't confuse how they act today with how they'll act when there is a threat they'll get a conservative President. They'll fall in line in time, they always do. They have nowhere else to go.

50 posted on 07/26/2010 11:21:44 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Build a man a fire; he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire; he'll be warm the rest of his life)
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