In 1981, the supply siders commandeered the Reagan Presidency and employed their Voodoo economics,
as Bush senior had called it in 1980. He was saying that tax cuts would
not increase government revenues. As you can see above, the Voodoo
performed just as Bush predicted, and the supply siders turned a 32-year
winning streak into a debt disaster that continues to this day. For
20-years, under Reagan and the Bushes, the national debt increased
compared to GDP every single year. In most other years it decreases.
Twenty years in a row can't be just and accident, but to understand you
need to learn the voodoo strategy. (Why Debt / GDP ?)
Bush senior fought against it, so the
Republicans didn't support him and he lost to Clinton, who put an end to
it supply-side economics. G. W. Bush brought it back full strength,
with V.P. Cheney saying "Reagan proved deficits don't matter." Currently
supply siders are in full control of the Republican party.
The green line shows
what would have happened to the national debt if Reagan and the Bushes
had balanced their budgets as Reagan claimed he would. G.W. Bush, in all
modesty, claimed he would "retire nearly $1 trillion in debt over the
next four years. This will be the largest debt reduction ever achieved
by any nation at any time."
Conservatives are quite embarrassed
by this performance, so they have invented a cover story: The
Democratic Congress did it. Nice try. But for 12 of the 20 years the
Congress was not Democratic. Also, presidents can veto, and when it was
Democratic, Congress passed smaller budgets on average than the Republican Presidents asked for. Presidents propose the budget, and they have the most influenceCongress: Not Democratic, and Not to Blame
Conservatives are embarassed by the way Reagan and the Bush's ran the debt up and out of control. So they have invented a cover story: The Democratic Congress did it. I have run into this lie dozens of times. So, I dug deep to set the record straight.
As the figure shows, Reagan and Bush senior got almost exactly the budgest they request in each of their 12 budget years.
This increased the debt by $144 Billion.
The first budget — passed by all Republicans and a few conservative Southern Democrats.
The next 5 budgets — passed by the Republican Senate and signed by Reagan.
The last 2 budgets — passed by a Democratic Congress
Totalled slightly less than Reagan requested.
G. W. H. Bush:
Democratic Congresses under Bush passed smaller budgets than he requested in 3 out of 4 years.
These four Democratic budgets totalled $14.6 Billion less than Bush requested.
G. W. Bush:
The first two budgets — Senate was split 50/50 and the House was Democratic.
Bipartisan and totalled $20 Billion less than Bush requested.
The biggest cause of deficits was Bush's enormous tax cut, mainly for the rich.
The next 4 budgets — the Congress was solid Republican.
The last 2 budgets — Bush vetoed modest Democratic attempts at spending.
[/list]In summary: Democrats
controled Congress during 8 out the 20 years. During 4 of those years,
Democrats decreased the budgets proposed by the Republican presidents.
Their total effect during those 8 years was to reduce Republican budgets by $17 Billion (which is only 0.2%).
September 20, 2010. I finally tracked
down exactly what Congress did. There were a few scattered cites on the
web to a mysterious House report from 1992, but I could never find it.,
So a few days ago, I pulled together my best clues and wrote to the help
desk at the Library of Congress. They nailed it in less than a day.
Amazing. There is no such report, but they found a table with that name
that is published annually and has all the budget results going back to
the 1920s or so. (From the government printing office.)
You can read in Time magazine
how Reagan outmanuevered the Democrats to get his first budget passed.
This is the budget that ended the 32 year payoff of the WWII debt and
sent the national debt spinning out of control (except for a brief
turn-around under Clinton).
From the G. W. Bush White House: The Reagan-Bush Debt Explained
"The traditional pattern of running large deficits only in times of
war or economic downturns was broken during much of the 1980s. In 1982
[Reagan's first budget year], partly in response to a recession, large
tax cuts were enacted. However, these were accompanied by substantial
increases in defense spending. Although reductions were made to
nondefense spending, they were not sufficient to offset the impact on
the deficit. As a result, deficits averaging $206 billion were incurred
between 1983 and 1992. These unprecedented peacetime deficits
increased debt held by the public from $789 billion in 1981 to $3.0
trillion (48.1% of GDP) in 1992." [emphasis added]
From "Historical Tables, Budget of the U.S. Government, Fiscal Year 2006." Downloaded from http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2006/pdf/hist.pdf. Page 5.
$144 Billion: The
previous record, $90 Billion, was set the year before by Carter. That
was only $3 Billion higher than the record set by Ford.
WASHINGTON — President Bush vetoed another children’s health bill on
Wednesday, effectively killing Democrats’ hopes of expanding a popular
government program aimed at providing insurance to youngsters in lower-
and middle-income families. (December 13, 2007)
PopNotes: Just hover over green-underline links above to see the "pop" notes.[/list]
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