Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Bleeding Republican Red Ink

This is probably one of the better quotes I've heard in a while:

"All conservatives are such from personal defects. They have been effeminate by position or nature, born halt and blind, through luxury of their parents, and can only, like invalids, act on the defensive." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The current Republican party and their loyal followers really seem to fit this quite by Emerson. So many today are self-centered, thinking about the party which serves the greater good to their personal interests, as opposed to the interests of the country as a whole. The rich support the GOP because they are more tax-friendly to the wealthy, at the expense of fiscal responsibility. The top three deficits in American history belong to, in this order:

1. George W. Bush, 2004 - $ 477 billion (based on Congressional projections at the beginning of the year)
2. George W. Bush, 2003 - $ 374 billion
3. George H.W. Bush, 1992 - $ 290 billion

The biggest knocks against Democrats by their opponents has always been that they are fiscally irreponsible and pander to the lower and middle classes (who make up an overwhelming majority of the American population but possess an overwhelming minority of America's money) which results in "class warfare" against the rich. See, thats not really true. Yes, Democratic policies do tend to focus more on the people with less money to help empower them to higher socioeconomic levels. And you know what? They've been successful at doing it. Here's two other things the Democratic Clinton Administration was successful at - creating surpluses and millionaires at record levels.

When Clinton left office, he left a projected $ 837 billion surplus over the next ten years. Considering three Republicans from the Bush family hold the largest defecits in American history and Clinton holds the largest surplus, kind of refutes the whole image of Democrats being fiscally irresponsible, doesn't it?

If anything, Republicans, especially the modern-day versions, are the party of fiscal irresponsibility. During Bush's first term, Clinton's surpluses would have resulted in over $ 100 billion in surpluses for Bush. Bush squandered that surplus into tax cuts that mainly went to the wealthiest 1%, but even worse he actually put the U.S. back into deficit mode with two more rounds of reckless tax cuts that mainly went to that richest 2%. And now, he wants to make them permanent!

What about 'class warfare' against the rich? Well, Clinton has gone against providing tax cuts for the wealthy. Why? Because they don't need them. Personal wealth grew quite sharply during the Clinton administration, and there was also a record growth in the number of millionaires in the United States in the late-1990's. So Clinton waged war on the upper class by increasing their population?!? It simply doesn't make sense. What did make sense was that the taxes for HNWI (high-net worth individuals, or people worth more than $ 1 million USD) was fair, particularly in comparison to the reasonable cost of living in the United States. With increasing number of people becoming HNWI's thanks to Clinton's economic policies, more taxes were being collected which were going to increased social programs and opportunities to people in the lower classes as well as the surplus. More opportunities for people at the bottom of the income level means more likelihood that more of them will one day join the ranks of the HNWI's.

Then came Bush. The problem with Republicans (well, one of the problems) is that they pander to the wealthy. Even though HNWI's in the United States can live very comfortably with Clinton's tax rates, Bush wanted to keep his "base" supporters happy by giving them more money out of the surpluses that should have gone towards things like education, health care, and social security. But instead they turned into tax cuts, the majority of which went to the wealthiest 1%, not once, not twice, but three times, and we found ourselves buried in deficits again.

While its horrible that Bush is giving so much money back to the wealthy, and has rung up record deficits to do so, the absolute worst part of the deficits is that they are not being rung up to accommodate increased spending where we really need it, health care, education and social security. And that, to quote an old criticism Republicans had of Democrats, is "fiscally irresponsible."