Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Balancing the Budget- Again!


In 1981, when he took office, Ronald Reagan inherited a national debt of $930 billion, and a budget deficit of $74 billion. His first budget was worse, at $79 billion, and in two short years, by 1982, that deficit had increased to $208 billion dollars. When George Herbert Walker Bush left office in 1992, the debt had climbed by over four times to $4 trillion, and the budget deficit for fiscal 1992 had climbed to a record $290 billion.

Bill Clinton turned that around, posting surpluses beginning in 1998, and culminating in 2000 in a record $233 billion dollar surplus. The national debt on Clinton’s watch rose to $5.7 trillion, but the public debt (which is the total outstanding amount of long-term debt held by entities outside the US government) declined from $3.8 trillion to $3.3 trillion.

The rise in total debt was due to the government borrowing from itself- a practice which was started in 1985 by James Baker under Reagan. The money to do this was primarily borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund. This is called “intragovernmental debt.” But since George W. Bush took office, the total debt has risen from the $5.7 trillion that Clinton left to $7.6 trillion, the public debt has risen from the $3.3 trillion Clinton left to $4.4 trillion, and the intergovernmental debt has climbed from the $2.2 trillion Clinton left to $3.2 trillion. So $1.1 trillion has been borrowed from public sources- and by the way, over 75% of that has come from outside the US- and Social Security has been raided for $1 trillion as well.

So what is George W. Bush trying to accomplish, and what were his father and Ronald Reagan trying to accomplish?

Note the raiding of the Social Security Trust Fund. Note also that during every year of Reagan’s presidency, and every year of Bush’s presidency, and every year of Shrub’s presidency, spending on social programs declined and you will begin to see what they are doing. They are trying to spend the US into a hole so deep that we cannot afford to spend money on helping the poor- because they want two things: a pliant workforce that will do as the “captains of industry” wish, and a pliant populace that will do as the government wishes. In order to accomplish this, they are selling debt instruments to the rich- transferring money that we all have paid in taxes, both FICA and FIT, to the rich, in order to take our power away and give it to their cronies.

This is their plan, and they have been at it since 1980. Clinton was a hiatus- he reduced public debt, and had Gore been elected, he would no doubt have moved forward to reduce the intragovernmental debt as well- but the US population was convinced that a crash was inevitable, and the stock market was raided for $7 trillion to add to the $1.1 trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund, and an additional $1 trillion was sold to them from the US to add to their ill-gotten gains. And whose money came out of the stock market? That’s right- people were investing for their retirement; not rich people, but people from the middle class.

Who do you suppose got all that money from the stock market and the Social Security Trust Fund and the federal budget? That’s right- the rich! They bought US Treasury Bonds!

To top all of this off, the next target is the housing market. With the Social Security Trust Fund raided, and the stock market raided, where is the rest of the US middle class’ money? That’s right- in their houses! Watch it happen. You heard it here first.
[Posted By Schneibster]
By Jonathan Weisman and Peter Baker
Republished from The Washington Post


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