'Tax and spend' vs. 'borrow and spend'

It is said that elephants never forget. It is also well known that conservatives have selective memory.

When Ronald Reagan became president, the national debt hovered around $880 billion. Eight years later when he left office, the national debt was more than $5 trillion. George Bush, in four years, did little to stop the bleeding. When President Bill Clinton left office, there were budget surpluses and predictions for the national debt to be paid off by 2020.

George W Bush slashed taxes, started two wars off the books, ran the debt to nearly $11 trillion and left the United States on the brink of the second Great Depression. During the following eight years, President Barack Obama cleaned up the mess he inherited and left the economy in fairly good shape.

Conservatives focus on the increase in the debt over the past eight years as a freestanding event, which in no way was influenced by the events that created the problem. Given the tragic condition that President Obama inherited and the challenges that had to be overcome, not quite doubling the debt is a better outcome then running the debt up over 500 percent as Reagan did.

When you compare President Obama's outcome to the outcomes of Reagan and G.W. Bush, he did a much better job of managing the economy than either of those other presidents.

Conservatives like to accuse Democrats of "tax and spend" while ignoring that their own leaders’ "borrow and spend," which hurts the next generations ability to achieve the American dream.

Lawton Maner

Williamsburg

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