Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
Nevada is being pummeled by political attack ads paid for by an out-of-state, extremist right-wing political action committee. They wrongly attack Sen. Harry Reid for creating deficits and the financial crisis, which required billions of bailout dollars to prevent a world financial meltdown. That is not what history proves:
First, deficit spending took off under President Ronald Reagan.
Second, under Bill Clinton’s administration, Democrats pushed through “pay as you go.” By 2001, the George W. Bush administration had inherited a balanced budget with billions of dollars in surplus.
Third, the Bush administration resumed deficit spending and by 2008 ran up trillion-plus dollar deficits, trashed the world economy and let our financial system run amok until a catastrophic meltdown was imminent in September 2008. The bailout was an “emergency” request from the Bush administration and did receive bipartisan support in order to save us all. Some without courage opposed it to save their political skins.
Fourth, for 16 of the past 18 years Republicans ran the Senate, not Harry Reid. In the 2006 election the Democrats took the Senate majority (by one vote) only because two independents joined them. Not a powerful position when President George W. Bush had a veto.
Fifth, now in 2009, a firmly Democratic Congress and president are forced to clean up the huge mess Republican deregulation and failed economic policies have left us. The fix will be painful and costly — we need Harry Reid now more than ever, not GOP doublespeak that returns the cause of the problem to power.
Let’s send a message to extreme political organizations from outside of Nevada that we will not accept misrepresentations of our citizens. Now is the time for Nevadans to realize that Harry Reid is a powerful advocate for us in Washington as Senate majority leader. The price we pay for this advantage is exposure to attack politics at its worst. I implore Nevadans to not forget where Searchlight is and what Harry Reid means to us.