Monday, April 4


Here's the ammunition you need, folks, when the gang around the water cooler starts excusing Republican excesses with the old canard, "But Republicans are more fiscally responsible."

It has not escaped notice that the Daddy Party has been fiscally misbehaving. But it hasn't really sunk in how completely the Republicans have abandoned allegedly Republican values — if, in fact, they ever really had such values.
Our text today is the 2005 Economic Report of the President. I did this exercise a year ago, and couldn't quite believe the results. But the 2005 data confirm it: The party with the best record of serving Republican economic values is the Democrats. It isn't even close.
Statistics in the Economic Report back to 1960 tell the story. And a consistent pattern over 45 years cannot be explained away by shorter-term factors, like war or who controls Congress. Maybe presidents can't affect the economy much. But the assumption that they can and do is so prominent in Republican rhetoric that they are stuck with it.
Consider federal spending (a.k.a. "big government"). It has gone up an average of about $50 billion a year under presidents of both parties. But that breaks down as $35 billion a year under Democratic presidents and $60 billion under Republicans. If you assume that it takes a year for a president's policies to take effect (so, for example, President Clinton is responsible for 2001 and George W. Bush takes over in 2002), Democrats have raised spending by $40 billion a year and Republicans by $55 billion.
Leaning over backward even further, let's start our measurement in 1981, the date when Ronald Reagan took office on a platform of shrinking government and many Republicans believe that life as we know it began. The result: Democrats still have a better record at smaller government. Republican presidents added more government spending for each year they served, whether you credit them with the actual years they served or with the year that followed.
Spending goes up faster under Republican presidents than under Democratic ones. And the economy grows faster under Democrats than Republicans. What grows faster under Republicans is debt.

Under Republican presidents since 1960, the federal deficit has averaged $131 billion a year. Under Democrats, that figure is $30 billion. In an average Republican year the deficit has grown by $36 billion. In the average Democratic year it has shrunk by $25 billion.

Hat tip to Mahablog.


Post a Comment

<< Home