This post will be short and sweet. We've been hearing a lot lately about how hypocritical it is of Republicans to have suddenly found fiscal "religion," wanting to slash spending, when their party -- most notably the former president, George W. Bush -- was largely responsible for getting us into this mess.
Let's put aside for now whether that really matters. After all, if someone helped create a mess and then wants to try to fix it, isn't that a good thing?
Let's look, instead at a couple of facts that perplex me when I hear this blame-Republicans meme:
1. Until recently, Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the White House. During that time, they didn't make a serious effort to cut spending, so aren't they equally guilty for not trying to fix the mess, regardless who made it?
2. The president presented a budget earlier this year...that was voted down 97-0 in the Senate. As far as I know, he's not proposed anything since then to fix this mess that average Americans can look at and examine. Again, regardless of who made the mess, can you complain about those who created it if you're not putting forth anything to fix it?
I'm sincerely asking these questions. What am I missing?
Anyway, for what I consider to be a really level-headed, even-handed look at The Mess and how we got here, check out Megan McArdle's "A Few More Charts that Should Accompany All Debt Ceiling Discussions" over at The Atlantic (no conservative bastion there). A quote from it:
"...these blame games are really quite childish. In fact, most of what's driving our current deficits is the economy, and the onrushing retirement of the Baby Boomers. Those are the things that are changing rapidly, not the size of the Bush tax cuts. If you want to blame it on anyone, blame Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, but good luck getting any money out of their estates."