Friday, March 17, 2006

Republicans Again Hock our Future

On a request straight from the White House, the United States Senate voted yesterday to raise the federal debt limit by $781 billion to almost $9 trillion, to avoid the first-ever government default on U.S. Treasury notes. This makes the fourth time since just 2002 that George W. Bush has asked the Congress to raise the limit on how much the government can borrow to cover the cost of his war in Iraq and the massive tax breaks he gives the wealthiest Americans.

Don’t let your eyes glaze over if you happen to not have a degree in Economics. This simply means that the GOP-dominated Senate gave its OK to keep borrowing money from Japan, China and other countries, to keep America from defaulting on its debt for the first time in U.S. history.

The Senate vote was close at 52-48, with every single Democrat voting against this monument to GOP irresponsibility and every Republican except Coburn (R-OK), Ensign (R-NV) and Burns (R-MT) voting to put every American citizen still further into hock.

“Any objective analysis of our country’s fiscal history would have to conclude this Administration and this rubberstamping Republican Congress are the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of our country,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) before the vote. “In fact, no other president or Congress even comes close.”

Since Bush took office, the federal budget has gone from four years of surpluses – and the biggest economic expansion in history under Bill Clinton -- to the largest budget deficit ever. All of this has occurred while Bush gained the distinction of being the first president ever to give tax cuts during a time of war.

“”When it comes to deficits, this president owns all the records,” said Reid in arguing against the measure. “The three largest deficits in our nation’s history have all occurred under this administration’s watch.”

I’m hopeful that in November voters will look at recent history and see that the Democrats are the party best able the handle the country’s finances while the people who used to be called fiscal conservatives can only offer billions spent on a needless war, while they cut taxes for their wealthy friends.

Let’s hope this has opened a few more eyes.