“Congressman Reed believes that tough choices need to be made now to reign in the federal government’s excessive spending. We have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars. We cannot leave them a legacy of debt and the potential of a national bankruptcy.” from Rep. Reed’s website.
That phrase, or similar ones about leaving the debt to our children and their children has been used by the Republican Party, and the Tea Party to make us feel guilty–guilty of trying to raise our standards, guilty of making sure all have health insurance, guilty of…you name it.
The fallacy of their guilt trip is…except for one brief two year exception, the United States has been in debt every year from 1776 to the present. Between 1835 and 1837, when the Andrew Jackson ‘retired’ the debt, a budget surplus was maintained. Then the economy collapsed and a deep depression sweep over the country and the government. We have been in debt ever since.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio: “Every family in America has to balance their budget. Washington should, too.”
Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J.: “You know, every family in America understands the necessity of a balanced budget.”
Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.: “This is how every family tries to live in good times and in bad. Your government should do the same.”
Comparing Individual’s (and families’) debt and the Federal Government’s debt is another favorite activity of the Republican Party. This comparison is another economic fallacy. Many families run in a deficit. Do you have a mortgage? Do you use a credit card? Do you finance your car? Do you take out College Loans? If the answer is “Yes” then you do not have a balance budget.
The Republican leaders have tried to have us believe that President Obama’s lack of a balance budget is sign of doom for our economy. You might be surprised to know that since 1969 we have had only 5 years with a balance budget. Four of them were President Clinton’s last four budgets.
I’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about economics. Most of us don’t. I do understand that these are far from being the best of times. Something needs to be done, but not scaring us with untruths. We need to realize that sometimes people we should trust, are untrustworthy. They are using our lack of economic worldliness to have us believe that only they can save us. They are not representing us. They are using us.
- When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt (ncrenegade.com)