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LOVE THAT DEBT – DETAILING THE CLINTON SURPLUS MYTH

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 9, 2010

The number is: 19,600,000,000,000.

No, it isn’t the number of times President Barack Obama uses the word “I” or “me” during the course of the work day. It isn’t the amount of times Democrats blame George W. Bush for all that is wrong in any given week. It isn’t the amount of money being spent each month on dye for Paul McCartney’s hair.

It is what the national debt of the United States will be five years from now under Obamacratic rule.

From Reuters:

The report that was sent to lawmakers Friday night with no fanfare said the ratio of debt to the gross domestic product would rise to 102 percent by 2015 from 93 percent this year.

“The president’s economic experts say a 1 percent increase in GDP can create almost 1 million jobs, and that 1 percent is what experts think we are losing because of the debt’s massive drag on our economy,” said Republican Representative Dave Camp, who publicized the report.

He was referring to recent testimony by University of Maryland Professor Carmen Reinhart to the bipartisan fiscal commission, which was created by President Barack Obama to recommend ways to reduce the deficit, which said debt topping 90 percent of GDP could slow economic growth.

The U.S. debt has grown rapidly with the economic downturn and government spending for the Wall Street bailout, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the economic stimulus. The rising debt is contributing to voter unrest ahead of the November congressional elections in which Republicans hope to regain control of Congress.

The total U.S. debt includes obligations to the Social Security retirement program and other government trust funds. The amount of debt held by investors, which include China and other countries as well as individuals and pension funds, will rise to an estimated $9.1 trillion this year from $7.5 trillion last year.

By 2015 the net public debt will rise to an estimated $14 trillion, with a ratio to GDP of 73 percent, the Treasury report said.

An exasperated blogger at Reuters, who goes by the name of johnchick, posted the following rhetorical question: “How can any Administration raise the debt by 20-30% in a couple years?”

To which another blogger responded with the following:

You should ask George Bush, Cause he was the first to do it. And he is largely the origin of the current fiscal mess that the U.S. is in. Bushie inherited a surplus from the Clinton Administration and quickly turned that into the largest yearly deficits that the U.S. has ever seen. And his Conservative ideology ruined the American Economy in the process.

The U.S. is now going the way of the DoDo.

And the world will be a better place for it.

To begin with, it’s an absolute riot to hear lefties complain about out-of-control federal spending. Most of them, given the chance, would spend more taxpayer dollars on big-government bailouts and stimulus packages. To a lefty, the failure of a liberal policy or initiative is tied directly to its funding.

George W. Bush, who might as well have been a drunken Democrat with the country’s checkbook, made no friends on the conservative side of the aisle when it came to government spending. By the time he left office in January of last year, he was able to put on his resume that he had presided over what was the biggest growth of federal spending in the nation’s history. Like all misguided Republicans, he failed because he embraced liberalism.

Right now, Barack Obama is on pace to make George Bush look like a veritable pinchfist. Obama is apparently determined to make America collapse under its own weight, just as is happening across Socialist Europe right now. At the current rate, America’s publicly held debt will hit an unbelievable 90% of the Gross Domestic Product in a decade. That would be the highest percentage since the Second World War.

The difference, however – and it is a significant one – is that the post-war economic boom contributed mightily to the dramatic fall of that debt-to-GDP ratio.

Today, it’s all about entitlements (i.e., what the government can do for you). Federal spending, as a percentage of the GDP, was nearly 25% last year – the highest in this nation’s history. (It’s projected to shoot up to near 26% this year). And even though President Bush did spend recklessly in terms of total dollars, during his first seven years in office, federal spending as a percentage of GDP was very consistent with all post-war administrations: ranging from 18.11% to 19.38%. (His final year, arguably his most fiscally liberal, it jumped to 20.65%)

It simply isn’t possible to tax ourselves out of the economic disaster that looms with Obama at the helm.

On paper, tax rates would have to be raised to economy-crushing, unheard of levels.

But in reality, no economy could survive such a thing.

It would be the end of America.

And that’s where we’re headed.

So, while no conservative will ever condone the ridiculous Democrat-like spending that went on during the Bush administration, the fact that revenues to the government did go up following the 2003 Bush tax cuts only reinforces the fact that conservative principals – when applied correctly – actually do work. Unfortunately for Bush, spending like a lib in conjunction with those tax cuts was akin to having two fully loaded double whoppers and cheese fires with a diet soda.

Libs cannot have it both ways.

If out-of-control government spending is deleterious to a healthy economy, then it doesn’t matter who is occupying the Oval Office when it happens. The argument that the economy can reach a point where the only way to cure the ills of out-of-control spending is with more out-of-control spending is Leftocrat doltism at its finest.

And let’s be perfectly clear, there was never a true surplus under President Bill Clinton.

Indeed, it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but the numbers do not, in any way, back up such a claim.

For example, the surplus announced in 2000 – $230 billion – was really a nifty bookkeeping stunt. It was not a genuine surplus, because only the “public debt” was accounted for.

Remember, there are two components to the national debt: public debt – which includes such things as savings bonds and treasury bills – and intergovernmental holdings, which includes income tax revenues and governmental borrowing from itself.

During the last years of the Clinton administration, the public debt did go down, but intergovernmental debt increased by a greater amount.

Not once during Clinton’s time in office did the national debt decrease.

It is not possible, by definition, to have a surplus if the national debt keeps increasing.

First of all, the official Clinton “surplus” numbers, which can be seen here, via the Congressional Budget Office, are as follows:

Fiscal Year 1998 – $69.3 Billion surplus.

Fiscal Year 1999 – $125.6 Billion surplus.

Fiscal Year 2000 – $236.3 Billion surplus.

Please note that these very numbers were also reported by CNN.

Now, if you go to the Bureau of the Public Debt website, which is part of the United States Department of Treasury, you’ll find a link that reads “See the U.S. Public Debt To The Penny.” (You may need to scroll down a bit)

Once you click on that, you’ll be brought to page that gives you the current total national debt (divided into two subgroups: “Debt held by the Public” and “Intrgovernmental Holdings”) along with a search application that enables you to type in the dates of your choosing to see what the total national debt was on that given date.

The important thing to check are the FISCAL YEAR parameters. (The fiscal year always begins on October 1st and runs through the end of the following September).

For instance, if you type in “October 1, 1999″ in the first box and “September 30, 2000″ in the next box, you will be asking to see the total national debt figures for Fiscal Year 2000. You’ll note, after typing in those parameters, that if you scroll all the way to the bottom, the total debt held by the public at the end of Fiscal Year 2000 was “$3,405,303,490,221.20.” You’ll also notice that Intragovernmental Holdings total was “$2,268,874,719,665.66.”

These are official Department of Treasury numbers.

Adding those two numbers together gives you a grand total of “$5,674,178,209,886.86.”

That is what the total national debt was at the end of FISCAL YEAR 2000. The National Debt is thus calculated by adding the Public Debt and Intragovernmental Holdings together.

Compare the total public debt of FY2000 to that of FY1999.

President Clinton did technically pay down the PUBLIC NATIONAL DEBT from FY1999 to FY2000.

FY1999 PUBLIC DEBT: $3,636,104,594,501.81

FY2000 PUBLIC DEBT: $3,405,303,490,221.20

It was paid down by a total of $230,801,104,280.61 – amazingly close to the announced $236 Billion surplus for that year. But it was done so by borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund (primarily) which ran a surplus that year. The Social Security Administration is required by law to buy government securities with its surpluses (convenient, isn’t it?). That money was thus used by the government to do its business without having to get it from the public. Hence, the public debt was “paid down.”

I fully concede the point that President Clinton paid down the PUBLIC debt, but not the national debt.

Unfortunately, that $230 Billion “pay down” does not take into account Intragovernmental Holdings, which is as much part of calculating surpluses and debts as the Public Debt is.

Intragovernmental Debt ROSE in FY2000.

FY1999: $2,020,166,307,131.62

FY2000: $2,268,874,719,665.66

That’s an increase of $248,708,412,534.04

The difference between how much of the public debt was paid down compared to the growth of the Intragovernmental debt was: – $17,907,308,253.43

That means FY2000 resulted in a true deficit of almost $18 Billion under Bill Clinton.

Granted, it is miniscule compared to the yearly deficits of the Bush years and what is waiting for us with the Obama regime, but it was not a surplus.

Those pesky facts.
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Posted in Bailout, Big Government, Economy, George W. Buah, National Debt, Obama Bonehead | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

IS THERE NOTHING THAT GEORGE W. BUSH’S INFLUENCE CANNOT TOUCH?

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 2, 2010

I have taken to the ever-growing national past time of blaming former President George W. Bush for every malady, affliction and woe in my life. It just seems to make everything better somehow. Whether it is a physical impediment, an emotional burden or a natural occurrence beyond my control, it feels good to place the blame on the last pre-Messianic Age President ever to serve in the White House.

And it really does feel good – like finally making it to the restroom after holding it for so long.

It’s a relief.

Thus, as I take inventory of all the ills and imperfections on and around me, big and small, the unseemly weight of personal responsibility and accountability is thrust off my sagging shoulders.

Freedom never felt so good.

Those hangnails that sit like surf boards off the side of my big toe can now be blamed on former President Bush. Cracked molars that absorb the cold of ice cream with the subtlety of an anvil to the skull can be attributed to the man who couldn’t say “nuclear.” Volcano eruptions, twelve-car pileups, fragrant flatulence, unsweet cantaloupes and canker sores can all be laid at the feet of the Crawford, Texas King Daddy … and I can finally kick back and focus on writing poetry and complaining about stuff.

Even divorce can be blamed on “W.”

The news of the separation of climate god, Al Gore, and his wife, Tipper, has spread like wild rice on a tea saucer.

It was the latest chapter in the BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) anthology.

From CBS News, via Real Clear Politics, via Zip, at Weasel Zippers:

“It’s been ten years since that oddly public passionate kiss at the Democratic convention. That was followed by Gore winning the popular vote for President but losing the electoral vote. Family friend Sally Quinn says that may have done the marriage irreparable harm.”

QUINN: He obviously suffered a lot. And still is suffering. He’ll never get over that, and neither will she.

George Bush’s election in 2000 did irreparable harm to the Gore’s marriage?

I’m willing to be a sport and accept that there are a host of things that can be pinned to the juggernaut that was the evil of George W. Bush – hail storms, gas pains, in-grown hairs, muscular dystrophy, Keanu Reeves – but the break-up of the Gores?

Sure, I can see blaming Bush for the Gulf oil spill, the Tennessee floods, chronic halitosis, third-world hunger, seasons seven through eleven of M*A*S*H and painful rectal itch, but this too? Al and Tipper’s marital demise?

Very well.

Who am I to say any different?

However, reports that cancer is now being linked to Bush cannot be confirmed.

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Posted in Al Gore, George W. Buah | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

HOW MANY WANT BUSH BACK?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 11, 2009

Like a man offering his seat to a lady on a New York City subway train, or seeing Derek Jeter in a Boston Red Sox uniform, there are things in this life that just don’t happen. Like an Obamacratic White House invite to Rush Limbaugh, a liberal pushing a policy position without making someone out to be a victim, and finding someone in the Western Hemisphere whom Tiger Woods has not slept with, there are some things one just doesn’t expect to see.

This is one of those instances.

When George W. Bush left office eleven months ago, his approval numbers had dipped so low, he wasn’t even popular enough to be called unpopular. People on both sides of the aisle were sticking pins in their little George Bush dolls as the Messianic Age approached. A CBS/New York Times poll had Bush’s final approval rating at just 22%. His Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index dipped to -30. The man who caused more Hitler moustaches and swastikas to find their way onto demonstration posters since the days of the Third Reich couldn’t have left Washington quick enough.

With the anointment of Barack Obama, it became difficult to imagine a time when every magazine, newspaper, t-shirt, and button would not be about the new boss. He was everywhere – plastered to every dry surface, pouring from every orifice, heard from every corner of the broadcast media, and even had schools named after him before ever taking the Oath of Office. That his approval numbers would ever dip below 70% seemed as likely as having a national holiday named after Donald Rumsfeld.

But, my, have times changed.

In fact, almost a year into the era of Bamification, the percentage of Americans who would rather see George W. Bush back in charge is only six points less than those who favor Bammy.

Ben Smith from Politico writes:

Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama’s declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they’d rather have his predecessor. Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that’s somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country’s difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.

What analysis of the failure of the Obama presidency would be complete without the obligatory, “It Was That Way When I Got Here” approach.

Still, regardless of how the house looked when Obama moved in, his “pointing the finger” routine is wearing thin with the American people. They’re not buying his “Everything Wrong With the Earth is due to George Bush” nonsense anymore. Obama’s astronomical spending spree and deficit escalation has made the idiotic stimulus checks sent out by Bush in 2008 look like a tax cut.

And while there was plenty I openly opposed President Bush on – illegal immigration, TARP, entitlement increases – he was no socialist. He was a terrific wartime leader, an honorable man, a good man, the antithesis of Barack Obama on many levels – hence, the closing gap between one who couldn’t even garner one quarter support of his own nation a year ago and a Messiah from Chicago.

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Posted in George W. Buah, politics, Polls | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »