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“No,” shout Republican leaders at President Obama, like pouty two-year olds. “We won’t raise the government’s statutory debt limit in order to avoid a national default,” they cry.
Four whiney GOP congressional leaders – John Boehner and Eric Cantor in the House, Mitch McConnell and Jon Kyl in the Senate – insist that it’d be the height of irresponsibility to raise America’s debt ceiling without first slashing spending on programs for the poor and middle class, while simultaneously protecting Big Oil and hedge fund billionaires from any increase in the paltry tax rates they pay. What the four pious partisans don’t say is that their pose of resolute fiscal responsibility is an entirely new shtick for them – and they’re hoping that you won’t remember the Bush years.
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George W had strutted into office promising to eliminate the $6 trillion federal debt in 10 years. Instead, he rushed America into his budget-sucking Iraq escapade, handed unwarranted tax cuts to corporations and the superrich, and oversaw a devil-may-care deregulation of Wall Street that caused our economy to crash. To cover these achievements, Bush had to get Congress to jack up the federal debt ceiling – not once, but five times in eight years. Far from eliminating the national debt, he expanded it by $4 trillion!
Guess who was side-by-side with him on this joy ride? Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, and Kyl, that’s who. Not only did they gleefully vote again and again for Bush’s war, tax giveaways to the rich, and coddling of Wall Street greed, but also to keep raising the debt limit. Kyl voted for four of Bush’s five debt-ceiling increases, while Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell had a perfect five-for-five record.
These crybabies aren’t against debt, they’re against Obama – and the games they’re playing with the national budget are putting party politics over country.
“During Bush Presidency, Current GOP Leaders Voted 19 Times To Increase Debt Limit By $4 Trillion,” www.thinkprogress.org, April 14, 2011.