There is so much HUGE fuss and bother over the debt ceiling and the Federal Budget this year. If one side or the other does not get their way, we’re all going to DIE!! Well, honestly we’re all going to die anyway. But such a fuss!!! And frankly shopping for a final resting place is not on my “to do” list.
I, for one, have been guilty of being swept away in the panic tsunami, along with so many others. Fortunately there have been some lighthouse warnings along the way that have persuaded me to drop anchor for a bit and take a look at what actual color the turbulent sea might be. Is it a roiling black? Is it red with our blood? Or is it just foaming at the mouth top? I will share what I have found, my friends.
First I went to find some history. There was an actual government shutdown in 1995 and 1996 under similar political circumstances as today. It was between Clinton and Gingrich then and influenced the 1996 Presidential election. There was a perception that this was partly due to Gingrich getting his panties in a bunch over a “snub” by Clinton. Gingrich countered by claiming that it was his holding a “hard line” that produced the first four balanced budgets since the 1920’s. In reading this, I was surprised that Newt’s head didn’t crack right off his neck from the amount of spin on this. Further, one could match current headlines of Boehner’s weeping fits to Gingrich’s baby tantrums.
Here is a table of federal budget deficits and surpluses going back to 1940. Comparing the terms and deficits, history shows that Democratic presidents have shrunk the federal deficits, while Republican Presdents have traditionally sunk us deeper into debt. In the case of LBJ and Clinton, the deficits were turned to surpluses. The largest increase in the federal deficit was from Bush the second, who increased it to 1.4 trillion. He was a busy little guy for sure! This sure suggests that the Democrats reputation for spending is not at all based in statistical actuality. (Darn it was so much easier just to call people liars in the olden, pre-politically correct days)
This morning, Mr. Peter Tilden interviewed economist James Surowiecki who wrote this article in the New Yorker magazine. James S. (because I just can’t keep spelling his last name without hurting myself), tells us that not only does the U.S. not need a debt ceiling, but that this mouth foaming argument going on is no more than political posturing and bollux and a big old flash mob!!
Personally, this annoys me further. Not only has my anxiety been a total waste of time spent being a “push-me-pull-you” between two groups of boorishly behaved sad excuses for responsible adults (ie: Dems and GOP), but I had to spend all this time looking up this historical sh*t and stats when I could have been getting a pedicure!
A pox on all of them, I say!