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January 25, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

President is burying us in debt

Another view?

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In response to the letter titled “The best stewards of our tax money?” by Robert Bencivenga, I would like to add light to the numbers. I take no objection to the numbers he used, but I would like to add our current administration to the comparison. At the end of the Bush administration, national debt was $10 trillion in September 2008. In September 2012, our national debt had grown to $16 trillion.

To compare: During the 12 years of Reagan and George H. W. Bush ($900 billion to $4 trillion) debt grew $258 billion annually. The Clinton years saw an increase of $200 billion yearly ($4 trillion to $5.6 trillion). George W. Bush grew at $544 billion yearly ($5.6 trillion to $10 trillion). During President Barack Obama’s four years, it has grown at $1.5 trillion annually. Now, I must ask, who has been the best steward of our tax dollars?

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  1. Former President Bush had a recession already starting in 2001 when he took office. Then 9/11 in 2001 and two wars. He should have told the American people that tough times had arrived and he should have led us to make some real tough calls. He didn't.

    President Obama came in amid another recession and a financial and housing crisis. He should have told the American people that tough times had arrived and he should have led us to make some real tough calls. He didn't.

    Now we are 16 trillion dollars in debt and spending 1 trillion more than we bring in each year. Both men have failed to lead. I have my doubts as to whether Romney will 'lead' if he is elected, but I know for sure we need someone who will. Bush had his chance and failed. Obama had his chance and failed. I am ready to try someone else. I hope most Americans are too.


  2. On this one, I am with you, Michael.

  3. Romney-Ryan on Nov 6. If not, it's Europe here in the USA on Nov 7. I like Europe. Just to visit. Not to live there.


  4. Republican Gov. Christie of Obama: "He means what he says."

    Now, if I can say the same of Romney....

  5. "President is burying us in debt". It's pretty easy to blame the President or Congress or generic Washington D.C. but the truth is we are all guilty of complicity in and responsible for the debt because we want things, but we don't want to pay for them.

    We want a stronger more expensive military but we don't want to pay for it. We want medical care but we don't want to pay for it. We want good roads, bridges, schools and teachers but we don't want to pay for it. We want safe food and prescription drugs that won't kill us but we don't want to pay for it. We pay a smaller percentage of our income in Federal taxes than we did 12 years ago yet demand everything the Federal Government provided 12 years ago and more.

    Sure, there is unfairness and inequalities in our system that need to be fixed. But until there is widespread agreement to accept less or pay more or some combination of the two we will continue to shift the blame rather than take some of the responsibility.

  6. I agree, Mr. Peel. The President is burying us in debt.

    But it's not this current President. The last one.

    We are STILL, to this day, operating on failed policies from the last President.

    Due to President Obama's strong leadership, we have extricated ourselves from a war we should have never been in (Iraq).

    And we are winding down another one (Afghanistan).

    The last President initiated a drug program that was never paid for. STILL to this day.

    And let me remind everyone that the Former President George W. Bush Jr. Tax Cuts For The Rich, The Filthy Rich, And The Obscenely Filthy Rich is going on.

    All of this dragged down our economy. And it STILL is doing that. When President Obama took office, he inherited trillions and trillions of dollars worth of debt.

    I don't buy this selective political history method of transferring all this on President Obama. Especially when the Bush shadow of utter fiscal incompetence is still hanging over this great nation.

    The long and short of it is this: Politics. Tea/Republicans don't know what to do about anything regarding running this country.

    When President Obama tries to initiate programs...programs that the money is accounted for and it is paid for....they complain he is spending too much.

    Then when he doesn't spend on something because of Tea/Republican Party intransigence, they complain he's not doing anything.

    The Tea/Republican Party and their incredibly short sighted policy of my way or the highway is going to get crushed.

    And soon.

    The American people are tired of spinning wheels by playing politics all the time.

    Get my ballot ready. I will be voting on November 6th. And I want to utterly DESTROY the entire Tea/Republican Party....all the way starting with dogcatcher all the way up to President of the United States of America....STRAIGHT up and down Democratic Party.

    I am not only voting smart, but angry too.

  7. "Republican Gov. Christie of Obama: "He means what he says."

    Sure hope Governor Christie is right about the President. Not just about Sandy but about Benghazi. "We don't abandon Americans."


  8. Colin,

    There are many valid criticisms of Romney, Bush and the R's, but you should really take a page from Jim Weber's comment of 4:57 AM.

    Nothing, nothing! that government has spent recently, will spend today or will spend in the near future is paid for... as you claim. We borrow or print almost 1/2 of every dollar spent. We run trillion dollar deficits each year. We are in debt 16 trillion dollars.

    Jim Weber is right. Americans want a big government that does many things....but we don't want to pay for it. That's the message that Obama and Romney should be sending our way...but neither is.

    I know you are angry but if we let the anger and frustration blind us to the truth, we just damage ourselves.

    Eventually, taxes on all Americans are going to have to go up and we are going to have to find ways to reduce what it costs to run our government. Our elected officials won't provide that bad news, but unfortunately, that doesn't make it not true.


  9. Oh, for the last time -- can we stop the nonsense about "job creators" being afraid to act because of "uncertainty" or "burdensome regulation" or because Obama "was mean to them." Businesses and entrepreneurs aren't that fragile and cowardly.

    The housing bubble was what allowed middle class people to maintain a decent standard of living despite decades of flat or falling wages. When the bubble burst, consumer spending plummeted. "Job creators" aren't creating jobs because there are too few people with the means to buy their goods and services. The only way to promote lasting growth is to implement policies that move more money into the hands of middle and working class people.

    Increased middle class wages = increased consumer spending = economic growth.

  10. @wtplv,

    "President Obama came in amid another recession and a financial and housing crisis. He should have told the American people that tough times had arrived and he should have led us to make some real tough calls. He didn't." (Michael Casler)

    Selective reporting, again...Mr. Casler?

    Do your research and the truth will set you free.

    You are interested in the truth, aren't you?

  11. Comment removed by moderator. - -

  12. Longtimevegan,

    Please enlighten me.


  13. Emthree,

    I'm glad that at least some people see that the reason businesses are hoarding cash is due to uncertainty, but the uncertainty is mostly about when, if ever, Americans are going to start buying stuff again. I'm in business and I don't expand for one reason....not enough customers to justify it. I don't like uncertainty about taxes or regulations, but those are not the reasons I don't expand. Show me demand and I will expand.

    The overriding question here is how best to get the economy going again. Obama has an idea. Romney has an idea. I don't happen to believe either one will work very well as they are currently stated, but if I have to pick, and I do, I'll take Romney's plan.


  14. Kepi,

    That is correct. I do enjoy debate. Is there something wrong with that? Debate keeps the mind sharp and if you are not closed minded, it can also teach us all stuff we did not know.


  15. @ReFNV,

    "Obama and his anti-business policies have created uncertainty in the private sector with both business and consumers. We cannot have economic recovery without private investment and those with means spending to boost recovery.."(ReFreeman)

    Where is the other side of this opinion? Sounds like a Republican talking point based in creating fear.

    Have you forgotten the new position that many Mitt Romney supporter has taken up? This how many see Mitt Romney and his supporters....

    ""So from now on, it can be reasonably assumed when reading anything you post, be it in your words or from a source you reference, your just providing information that you like, and not necessarily true and clear information, or not information you truly believe, or information you can explain.""

    The majority of the American People do not believe anything your guy says, or his supporters!

    Your guy, Mitt Romney, was rebuked in an official news released by two of the top car manufacturer in the USA. They said your guy lied. They said your guy is living in an alternate universe.

    "We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days," (GM spokesman Greg Martin said.)

    "No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country." (GM spokesman Greg Martin said.)

    Your guy, Mitt Romney, being called out publicly by an major car manufacturer, saying "He Lied." Your Guy...Mitt Romney. Your Guy!

    Just a friendly reminder;
    President wins re-electing by 6 to 8 points.

  16. @RefNV,

    "You're too vague. Mr. Casler gave his take on things and you didn't challenge his point. Don't be shy. If you're implying that his point is not the "truth" then what is untruthful within his point?" (ReFreeman)

    Do your research. Your smart, do your homework. Stop being a half-Empty glass responder. You can be a voice of true reference on articles posted here.

    You have access to the same information I have. Find it. I know you can, if you balance your thoughts on the issue being discussed.

  17. I agree with your definition of "uncertainty" Michael, although that's not how the GOP is using the term.

    I'm curious -- what is it that you find appealing about Romney's "plan." Apart from a 20% across the board tax cut (to be paid for by closing some set of unknown "loopholes" -- which I suspect may be code for "mortgage interest"), there are really no details.

    I'm worried that Mr. Romney's philosophy is really just old school Milton Freidman-style supply-side stimulus: reduce the burden on high income people and hope that some of the money trickles down to the middle class. As I'm sure everyone has gathered from my posts, I'm firmly in the J.M. Keynes camp. I will say, however, that Romney will undoubtedly have an easier time working with the House (assuming that it remains under GOP control), and that we might finally see as some movement in Congress.

    I also have to wonder, though -- if Mr. Romney is elected, which version will we see? The moderate governor of Mass. or the "severe conservative" of the primary? If it's the former, we might do well with Mr. Romney.

    Bull...having millions standing in line for assistance, mainly medical entitlements is the debt cause. Obama has nothing to do with it. Under Obama the debt situation has improved every year. Under Bush 5 out 8 years it got worse.
    The debt will continue to rise until medical inflation is contained and the baby boomers start to die off in large numbers.

  19. "The people to blame for the attack are the terrorists who carried out the attacks.

    "We spend over $600 billion a year on the military. We've got over 5,000 airplanes, 8,000 tanks and 1.5 million soldiers, and the terrorists murder our ambassador and three of his security detail in Benghazi, Libya on 9-11, because we can't defend one building. And you want to reelect Obama to run the country and the military? You must be insane."


  20. You could desolve the entire military and eliminate the federal work force of 2.5 million and we would still have debt issues. The 200 trillion in med bills coming due in the next 40 years will suck the blood out of the economy and make the 16 trillion debt look like child's play.

  21. Emthree,

    We agree that the GOP is erroneously using uncertainty to mean taxes and regulation. I firmly believe that if most business owners were asked directly, they would say of cause of uncertainty is 'not enough demand'.

    I have a basic understanding of supply side economics and the model of J.M. Keynes. I happen to believe both can work to a certain extent. Here is my fear with Obama and a Congress that loves to spend and Keynes economic model.

    Paul Krugman, for one example, says 'don't worry about the debt and deficit now and just spend. Our Presidents and our Congresses have shown no appetite for either raising taxes (except on the wealthy, which can't possibly provide enough revenue) or any real and serious cuts. So my question to Krugman and others would be: If your spending approach works and the economy picks up to 4 % growth but by the time it does, we are 25 trillion dollars in debt and Congress still doesn't want to raise taxes or cut spending, what then?

    My other concern is more basic. I've worked for small private companies, large private companies, startups and in Aerospace, which was essentially a government job and now own my own very small business. The easiest job I ever had was in Aerospace. Why? Because you just did not have to work hard. Very little if any competition; got good pay and benefits even if you were incompetent or a slaker, got a retirement package, etc. Now, in my small business I work with courts. Again, they have no competition, terrible customer service, inefficient to the max; in short a complete disaster and a a pain in the behind to utilize or work with ... and completely unnecessarily so.

    There are a % of people who work in government that work had a do a good job, but compared to that same group in the private sector, they are tiny.

    When you follow the Keynes model, which I don't argue, can help create an environment that can create jobs, you necessarily grow government. Our government is already too expensive and too inefficient.

    I have always believed Romney is moderate Mitt but I could be wrong. We need someone who will compromise and bend, and I really don't care if the fringes of the parties don't like that. Obama hasn't budged much and we have gridlock because the R's won't budge either. We cannot afford another 4 years of that or we will be 25 trillion dollars in debt.


  22. LastThrows,

    If you actually think Christie is going to change parties, you live in an alternate universe. If he does, I'll have to admit we are all living in an alternate universe. Here is what Christie is: He is a politician and because of that, he doesn't tell the truth at times. But he is more straightforward and honest than most politicians (which isn't saying much actually). He appreciated the assistance he got from President Obama and honestly said so. And that is all there is to it.


  23. Surveys are done when businesses fail and mass layoffs take place. 92% of layoffs and business failures over the last couple of years have been due to lax demand. During the financial crisis Americans lost close to $20 trillion worth of their wealth. Our economy is 70% consumption. People don't have the money that they had and that's affecting their consumption patterns. Lack of consumption equals a slow growth economy.
    You and I have both worked for government and have both been involved in businesses. The factor that would keep me up at night was how many customers would walk through the door. If you have enough customers you're in good shape. You can make adjustments for all the other variables.

  24. @ReFNV,

    "Your comments are pointless and you've stopped making any sense. I hope you're alright." (RefFreeman)

    Maybe I've given you too much credit.

    Here is something to ponder. Have you considered why a person with your talent has so much time to spend posting comments to the Sun editorials?

  25. in terms of the $25 trillion worth of debt, you're going to get it whether you want it or not. There are tens of thousands of people a day either retiring or lining up for other entitlements. The current tax code doesn't provide enough money to pay for this. Either we get a national sales tax to cover the shortfall or the debt goes up ad infinitum.

  26. "He appreciated the assistance he got from President Obama and honestly said so. And that is all there is to it.


    Recall Mr. Casler, it's taxpayers' money not Obama money.


  27. Ref... I wish you all the best of luck in your cancer battle. I enjoy your companionship on the Sun blog. Try to keep a positive state of mind. It helps!

  28. Hombre... You obviously don't follow the economic statistics. We have one of the fastest growing economies in the world right now. Last quarter GDP was stronger than the quarter before. This is the only country that I know of where this has happened.

    Unemployment in the Eurozone is about to break 12% which is the highest on record. Asia's collapsing with unemployment going up all over the region.

    America's economy is a fraction of the world economy. One of two things is going to happen. Either the rest of the world is going to drag us back in recession or we're going to pull the rest of the world out of recession. The former is more likely. If that happens 7.8% unemployment and a $16 trillion debt will be looked at in a couple of years as the good old days.

    The fact that we are still growing is nothing short of an economic miracle.

    I agree with you that Romney will probably win. I wish him the best of luck. Is he ever going to need it.

  29. "Have you considered why a person with your talent has so much time to spend posting comments to the Sun editorials?" I'm pretty sure the same question could be asked of you. You post a ton.

  30. Mr. Peel,

    How much of that debt can be attributed to the wars and the Bush tax cuts? Where were you conservatives when the crap hit the fan under the Bush administration? Not all of it can be laid at Obama's feet.

  31. I find it funny, over on the sports page, you will find some of the same Obama lovers telling teams that have a bad year to trash the coach. "The coach is in charge and responsible for the team, Its His Fault"

    But when it comes to Obama, its "He needs time to clean up the mess he helped create as Senator. besides, its not his fault!"

    Make up your mind. Either the team leader is in charge or he is not... It can't be both!

  32. PART I

    The President proposes and the Congress disposes!

    The Republicans in Congress are burying us in debt!

    Republican obstruction in the Senate and the House has been a deliberate and publicly stated strategy. Yes, a real Machiavellian scheme for all to see, as a result of a coup in the Republican Party by Tea Party radicals, and Grover Norquist.

    The Republican allegiance to a non-elected single human being, Grover Norquist, extracting tax pledges from elected Republicans, over allegiance to all the people of the US, approaches treason.

    They sent other Republicans into retirement because of their unjust tactics and lack of bipartisanship.

    "President Obama proposed and John Bohner agreed on his budget which included many compromises, and sweeping deficit reductions, until the Mitch McConnell got hold of him and refused to go along.

    Boehner and Obama had been negotiating over what the speaker called a "big deal" to try to save between $3 trillion and $4 trillion in the federal budget.

    Obama told reporters Friday evening that he had offered Boehner more than $1 trillion in cuts to discretionary spending -- both domestic and defense -- and $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He said he had sought revenues that were less than those put forward in a bipartisan plan by the Senate's "Gang of Six." He said the $1.2 trillion in revenues could be accomplished without raising tax rates but by eliminating loopholes, tax breaks and deductions."

    Apparently, "eliminating loopholes, tax breaks and deductions." represented a tax increase to McConnell.

    Isn't there something familiar about the proposal in Romney's Plan, even though we don't know which ones?

    How would Romney succeed in realizing those cuts, "loopholes, tax breaks and deductions", since Romney has made a pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes, and those were already defined as tax increases by Republicans?

    So, we end up with tax cuts, but no offsetting with "loopholes, tax breaks and deductions".

    Or maybe the Tea/Republicans and Romney will Flip Flop again.

    It has become clear that Romney does NOT mean what he says, with all the endless statement shifting along with his image shifting in the campaign.

    It isn't any more difficult than that for people to understand who they can trust. It's NOT Romney or the Tea/Republicans.

    People can put all the figures and statistics here that they want, and try to blur the reality, until people's minds begin to blur. It doesn't matter!

    It appears to be a game to try to go around the merry-go-round of competing statistics. One has to go further, listen are read Romney's words. We cannot help but ask, "Does he mean what he says?" The conclusion based on Romney's actions and words is NO!

  33. PART II

    Republican Chris Christy declared the truth about President Obama, "he means what he says".

    It isn't an accident that Gov. Christy used those words. He is smart. He understands what that means for himself, and he understands the deeper meaning he was communicating about Obama in contrast to Romney.

    He defined a difference when he said, "he means what he says". It is Obama, who ignored Christy's campaign rhetoric, and Christy who put partisan politics aside, as both reached out in bipartisan leadership to serve their people in need, as they were elected to do. They cared and they acted.

    That is the bottom line. Romney doesn't say what he means, nor mean what he says. Obama does.

  34. teamster,

    Good list. I have some more to add.

    Even with slow growth, we are beginning to see the sun rise...





    We are moving forward and it is no time to change directions and begin an AUSTERITY plan that has caused havoc in Europe, with increasing unemployment, a disappearing safety net, and forcing them to find growth solutions. In other words, the ROMNEY-RYAN PLAN.

    The idea that business cannot grow without consumers is crazy, if business won't hire to create consumers.

    We have heard over and over that business owners take the "risks" and "invest". Now is the time to do just that and begin hiring to produce consumers.

    It will happen after the elections anyway, no matter who is elected, when the election extortion ends. It is a matter of wanting more profits.


  35. Vernos,
    "How much of that debt can be attributed to the wars and Bush tax cuts? Where were you conservatives when the crap hit the fan under the Bush administration? Not all of it can be laid to Obama's feet".

    Your talking on deaf ears.When it comes to anything that former Pres.G.W.Bush has done during his failed 8 years as president. Most Republicans ignore what is being said about him. And proceed on to attack Pres.Obama as the Pres. that put our country in 2 wars,a bursting housing bubble,crashing stock market, millions of job losses, and the worst recession since the great depression.

    Former Pres.G.W.Bush is so far removed from the minds of most Republicans,it's almost as if he never existed as Pres. for 8 years. So they blame everything that happened to our country on Pres. Obama. History will not be kind to former Pres.G.W.Bush.

  36. Mr. Peel suggests that the national debt was $10 trillion in September 2008 the end of President Bush's term. President Bush's term ended in January 2009. By not including this 5 months, he misses the callapse of our Stock exchange, the money to save the banking system, continued expenses on two wars, and other expenses. You can prove anything just by timing your start and end times to best prove your theories. The economy did not hit bottom until about a half of a year into the Obama Presidency. Unemployment did not hit it's worse until that time also. Even though unemployment was around 8% at the start of Obama's term, it got to around 12% at it's worst. Most economists say that the stimulus voted on at the beginning of the term did not start moving the numbers in a positive manner until about July-September. There has been a significant move from that bottom in summer of 2009. If we had a Republican Congress working for the American people, instead of trying to make the President a one termer, the economy would be better than it is today. Imagine how Obama would look if we used the summer 2009 recession numbers.

  37. Excellent points, Don!

  38. Many good posts. Nice to read. The result: hyper inflation, devalued currency, lower standard of living, more poverty. We are unable to keep funding new government programs to deal with what is coming. Learn to make do with less.