Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bill Clinton: The Last Great Fiscal Conservative.

Here's an excellent article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Arthur B. Laffer:

The Age of Prosperity is Over

Bill Clinton has been the most fiscally conservative President in my lifetime. I know that makes blind-following Republicans cringe, but facts are facts. The New Democrat was able to reduce the $5.7 trillion national debt by $360 billion and create the largest federal budget surplus, as well as, the longest period of sustained economic growth in United States history. Of course, he didn't do it alone. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich lead a Republican controlled Congress that supported and passed initiatives from the White House in a bipartisan effort to get spending under control.

Unfortunately, politics eventually took over, and the finger pointing started. It's a stupid Washington rule that R's can't let D's and D's can't let R's take credit for the few good things happening there...ever.

Here's where R's are going to start insisting that Clinton just benefited from what Reagan started. Really? Twelve years worth? I love Ronnie and all that he did for our country, but getting federal spending under control was not one of those things. By the end of Reagan's second term, the national debt ballooned from 26 percent of the GDP in 1980 to 41 percent in 1989. By 1988, the debt totalled $2.6 trillion. The country owed more to foreign countries than it was owed, and the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation. That's not fiscally conservative!

Republicans are quick to wave the flag of conservatism, but it's not always a talk-the-talk, walk- the-walk label. On some issues...sure. On fiscal issues...not so much lately.

If John McCain happens to somehow pull the election off next Tuesday, I hope he will walk the walk of a fiscal conservative. It would then be time for Democrats to return the favor to the White House their President received from 1992-2000.

Wow...those sure were the good ole days.

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