Mini-Rumination: The Party of Fiscal Responsibility

In his last four years in office, Richard Nixon ran modest budget deficits totaling $64 billion.  (All budget deficit figures come from the very cool “Find the Data” web site, which you can find here.)

Every year Gerald Ford was president, he ran modest budget deficits – modest, but larger than Nixon’s:  three years, $133 billion.

Ronald Reagan, Mr. Conservative himself, pushed deficit-spending to new levels:  eight years in office, eight budget deficits, starting from $79 billion in his first year, 1981, and rising to a consistent $100 billion or $200 billion in his remaining years in office.  Reagan’s grand total:  about $1.2 trillion in deficit spending for eight years in office.

His successor, George H.W. Bush, increased the deficit, up to $300 billion in each of his last three years in office.  His total:  $1.3 trillion in deficit spending.  (Those Bush men are such achievers.)

Bill Clinton had five years of budget deficits, all smaller than his predecessor, totaling $300 billion.  In his last three years in office he ran budget surpluses totaling $430 billion.  The Clinton legacy:  eight years in office and a $130 billion surplus.

George W. Bush inherited a budget surplus, ran one his first year, and then had seven years of budget deficits.  His deficits were bigger than Reagan’s and bigger than his father’s – all the way up to $500 billion in his last year, 2008.  His grand total for seven years of deficits and a lone year of surplus:  deficit spending of more than $2 trillion.  (Who said junior was an under-achiever?)

So can someone please explain to The Curmudgeon why Republicans are viewed as the fiscally responsible party?

Author: foureyedcurmudgeon

The Four-Eyed Curmudgeon is a middle-aged male who is everything right-wing America despises: he is a big-city, ivy league-educated, liberal Jew. He currently resides in a suburb of Philadelphia. He chooses anonymity for the time being because this is his first experience blogging and he wants to get comfortable with it, and see if he likes it, before he exposes himself (figuratively speaking, of course) to the world.

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