Letters to the Editor

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POLITICS: Both parties must share the blame

Letter by Donald J. Fritz, Tacoma on Jan. 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm with 53 Comments »
January 5, 2011 2:22 pm

Many letters to the editor seem to want to blame one major political party or the other, but both parties carry a big share of the blame for the huge financial hole that the U.S. is now in.

Both deserved credit, however, for the huge paydown of national debt that occurred in Clinton administration budget years 5 through 8 (U.S. fiscal years 1998 through 2001), when Bill Clinton was working with a Republican Congress. Since January 2001, there has been a total lack of fiscal responsibility by both parties (eight years of Republican administration, two years of Democratic administration, six years of Republican Congress and four years of Democratic Congress).

Also, the 2008 financial system meltdown derived from financial industry deregulation legislation passed in 1999 and 2000 – again, the responsibility of both parties.

Now the Republicans have a laudable (laughable?) target of reducing federal government expenditures by $100 billion per year, which not only will be insufficient to balance the budget but will not even be sufficient to end the era of trillion-dollar budget deficits.

Soon annual interest due on national debt will reach the level of $1 trillion. Paying interest does not employ one government worker, fill one pothole in our rotting public infrastructure or even buy one paper clip.

Who can we vote for to bring sanity to government?

Leave a comment Comments → 53
  1. beerBoy says:

    Almost…..the insanity started earlier than with Clinton……at least with Reagan.

    I suppose you could go further back to when the Gold and Silver certificates were junked in favor of fiat currency created by debt. Or the creation of the Fed….. Or allowing International Banks to conduct business here. But, let’s focus upon undoing the damage from the past 30 years first.

  2. hansgruber says:

    . Ah yes, the Clinton urban legend that he reduced the national debt.
    Let’s see, in Jan 20, 1993 when Bill Clinton took office the national debt stood at $4.188 Trillion dollars. When he left office as only the second US President ever impeached on Jan 19, 2001 the national debt stood after the supposed huge pay down at $5.727 Trillion dollars.
    So the national debt ACUALLY increased $1.539 Trillion during his presidency.
    Let’s look at 1998 to 2001. Jan 20, 1998 the national debt stood at $5.429 Trillion and Jan 19, 2001 it still stood at $5.727 Trillion.
    So the HUGE pay down of the national debt actually increased the national debt over $298 Billion dollars.
    The last time national debt actually went down over the course of a year was in 1956.

  3. Roncella says:

    BeerBoy, Without even researching it, I am certain that the Dems. had control of the Congress, the spending engine for the majority of the 30 years you mention.

    Look at the huge amount of spending Pelosi, Reid, and the dems in control of the congress the past two years, have spent.

  4. Fibonacci says:

    Roncella
    Are you REALLY this black and white about the two political parties? You can’t believe that the Republicans are all good and the Democrats are all bad. NO ONE is that uninformed. The writer is correct, BOTH parties are to blame and it will take BOTH parties to fix it. The trouble is, the Republikans think they are 100% in the right (NO pun intended) so why in the world should they compromise?

  5. Publico says:

    The letter writer fails to understand the difference between the deficit spending of most of the Bush administration and the deficit spending of the first two years of the Obama administration. One was called for the other was not. Guess which was appropriate? We can tell who the students of proved macroeconomics are from the answers. We might also hear from a few who rely on dead economists for their answers.

  6. The trouble is, the Democrats think they are 100% in the right so why in the world should they compromise? They didn’t and won’t in the foreseeable future.

    American politics have a long of history of rancor and squabbling. The only benefit for any of us is that we pretty much know how elected officials and candidates stand on the issue. And that issue is getting elected or re-elected.

    The business of running the country is usually done by appointed bureaucrats with help from lobbyists and outside meddlers. Every once in a while Congress decides that they should make an appearance and pontificate about the state of the universe and how their plan will restore American values.

    We really need term limits to keep the damage to a minimum.

  7. whatIdo says:

    Maybe we should RAISE the DEBT ceiling…

  8. fatuous says:

    Donald I totally agree with you. Both parties are to blame.

    Between ignorance, the dirty money in Washington and the incredible amount of greed on Wall Street and Main Street, we got the “Great Recession” and just missed the “Great Depression II.”

    Now we get to pay the “Great Bill.”

    Sadly, nothing will change. Greed will conquer all.

  9. harleyrider1 says:

    Casting blame? Either party? Both parties? They don’t elect themselves. Blame the voter, blame yourself. Going forward, begin to examine the person’s history you are voting for and pay no attention to whether he or she is a Republican or Democrat.
    It’s time to start acting like an American and vote what’s best for America. People today only want to be partially American and proudly wear those labels. Norwegian-American is an example of what I mean by that. They also vote the same way by voting what is not the best for America, but what is best for their label. This is why we are where we are. What happened to being an American?
    What happened to electing a person that has strong basic beliefs and will balance a check-book instead of expecting those that work need to give more to those that don’t, whenever something more is wanted?

  10. beerBoy says:

    I see the defenders of partisan business as usual have weighed in to assure us that things would be so much better if we just could outlaw the other Party.

  11. Good words harleyrider. Did anyone else LOL when Nancy Pelosi said that the mantra of the dems is “pay as you go” yesterday?

  12. rr98411 says:

    Excellent point harleyrider – I too have wonder who the heck these voters are that have a person who has some serious charges against them and yet they still vote them in. I understand the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” but that is for a court of law.

    My thoughts usually are considering the charges and the behavior typically surrounding those charges… don’t you guys have someone better to vote for?

  13. JudasEscargot says:

    “When he left office as only the second US President ever impeached”

    Now THERE was a great use of taxpayers funds. Get ready. I understand that Issa is going to pull a Newt for the next two years.

  14. JudasEscargot says:

    “camas says:
    January 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm
    The trouble is, the Democrats think they are 100% in the right so why in the world should they compromise? They didn’t and won’t in the foreseeable future.”

    thus a record number of filibusters by Republicans during the last congress. geeeeeeeeeeeez…..

  15. JudasEscargot says:

    Now to the letter writer – both parties participate, but let’s be a little less surface about our thinking.

    A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. It doesn’t go way. He has to pay down THAT debt, current operating expenses, interest on THAT debt and any other catastrophic issues that occur.

    That should adequately explain the Obama Administration to date.

  16. Roncella “Dems had control of congress” but GOP had control of the White House for 20 of the last 30 years (Regan/Bush I 1980 – 1992, Bush II 2000 – 2008).

    Camas – It is the GOP that is the party of no compromise, and they are the ones who in two short years have used the filibuster more times that it was used in the 1980’s and 1990’s combined.

    Sozo – did you hear it when the new speaker (he with the big gavel) said the COP’s new mantra is “Cut as you go except for tax breaks and other corporate welfare”?

  17. fatuous says:

    “Good words harleyrider. Did anyone else LOL when Nancy Pelosi said that the mantra of the dems is “pay as you go” yesterday?”

    Well it’s better than charge as you go.

    Anyhow, I did laugh when I read the Republicans proposal to cut 100 billion dollars. That’s helpful, but it’s much like spitting in Puget Sound and saying it’s the end of the drought.

    At any rate, it looks like the house Republicans are going to require cuts in other programs to offset any increase in spending somewhere else.

    So it’s going to get interesting the next two years.

  18. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Be advised – the savings realized during Clinton’s term in office was accomplished as a result of reducing the U.S. military by approx 50%??? China, North Korea, & Iran are extremely grateful to Clinton!!!

  19. the purple party sucks; vote libertarian!

  20. Roncella says:

    xring, Its true Republican Presidents had control of the Whitehouse, but the purse strings are located in the Congress which has been controlled by dems a majority of the last 30 years.

    Both Dems. and Republs. are responsible no doubt, however the Dems are sooooo much better at spending creating new programs then taxing to try to pay for their mess. Example – ObamaCare ….passed with 100% of Dems votiing for it, not one Republican voted to pass it.

  21. “A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. It doesn’t go way. He has to pay down THAT debt, current operating expenses, interest on THAT debt and any other catastrophic issues that occur.”

    A curiousity, is this your version of the Obama inherited thingy. Dude, he campaigned for the job for almost two years, he was a critic of the Bush administration so it not like he didn’t know what he was getting into. We, the voter, allow for a honeymoon period and he got it… Why are we pulling the inherit card two years later.

    To all politicians – you win the election, you got the job…. now… fix what you said you were going to fix… worst then you thought… ok, communicate that and do your best to fix it.

    Under no circumstances, none whatsoever… make it worse.

    Don’t think I am asking too much of any politician.

  22. JudasEscargot says:

    “curiousity, is this your version of the Obama inherited thingy. Dude, he campaigned for the job for almost two years, he was a critic of the Bush administration so it not like he didn’t know what he was getting into. We, the voter, allow for a honeymoon period and he got it… Why are we pulling the inherit card two years later.”

    NOW do I get to mention that you infer a two year fix to a 6 year problem? Did you infer this time?

  23. JudasEscargot says:

    Regardless of Obama’s campaiging or not, the scenario doesn’t change:

    A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. It doesn’t go way. He has to pay down THAT debt, current operating expenses, interest on THAT debt and any other catastrophic issues that occur.

    Now, if you can point out where my analogy is false, I’ll listen.

  24. JudasEscargot says:

    “Roncella says:
    January 6, 2011 at 9:58 am
    xring, Its true Republican Presidents had control of the Whitehouse, but the purse strings are located in the Congress which has been controlled by dems a majority of the last 30 years. ”

    The Republicans took control in 1995 and lost control in 2007 12 years. BARELY a “majority” of the last 30 years.

    Add in their “Party of No” record filibusters from 2007 through 2009 and you dang near have a 50/50 split.

    During the first 6 years of the Bush Administration they had all GOP – House, Senate, and Administration. What’s your excuse for the huge debt increases during that period?

  25. Roncella, It is the GOP that excels at tax cuts and corporate welfare give-a-ways; and running illegal, unnecessary wars ‘off the budget’. The major budget / deficit increase between 2006 and 2008 were due to the Dems putting the war funding back in to the normal budget.

    Judus, as my post says, I was talking about the White House, Roncella was talking about the Congress. The reason for the huge debt increase during Bush’s first 6 years was due to tax cuts and other corporate give-a-ways that reduced income, coupled with two wars.

  26. “NOW do I get to mention that you infer a two year fix to a 6 year problem? Did you infer this time?”

    One more time, no such inference was made… I made no reference to how long to fix anything. If Obama took a two years to fix the economy then clear Mount Rushmore and put him up there by himself… he would have earned it.

    Four years – he’s got a chance to improve the economy. If not or makes it worse then bye, bye… Gets a little better then a closer call on the election 2012.

    Two years later he is not doing so well. His midterm report card was mixed at best. He’s got two years to do better or… one term. Bottom line, he can not let the economy get worse.

  27. “A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. It doesn’t go way. He has to pay down THAT debt, current operating expenses, interest on THAT debt and any other catastrophic issues that occur.”

    False – on that issue. Obama applied for the job, and yes, he is now responsible and accountable for results for all that he “inherited”. Now, do you job sir… or at a bare minimum don’t make it worse.

    That’s all I ask.

  28. Fillibusters – maybe they were crappy bills and we should thank the non-secular Gods that they were the party of nope. We don’t have the sharpest knives in the drawer in DC ya know. Some of them… ???

  29. Should be – False???

  30. Roncella says:

    Judas, get your blinders off before you slip on Obama Koolaid.

    President Obama ran for office for two years, it was attack and attack Bush reading from his many tele-prompters he criss-crossed the whole Country, his handlers loaded the tele-prompters for him with all the answers to all the problems facing the Country.

    Yes President Obama the candidate, had a solution to ending both wars, fixing the economy, creating jobs, oh yea.

    I also remember his great speech at the Dem convention a few years back when he said, reading once again from his tele-prompter, We are not Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives etc. etc. We are all Americans. Just words for him, without believing them himself. It was a great speech too bad he never followed what he said in the speech.

    Then Obama went on after winning the election to be one of the most partisan Presidents ever, spending, spending, spending, while the Countries problems grew and grew, unemployment at about 10% to this day.

  31. beerBoy says:

    rr98411 says:
    January 6, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Fillibusters – maybe they were crappy bills

    Maybe…..but there were also bills that the Repubs voted for and appointments of mid-level administrators that were held up. Much of it was just stalling for the sake of stalling.

  32. rr98411 says:

    “Maybe…..but there were also bills that the Repubs voted for and appointments of mid-level administrators that were held up. Much of it was just stalling for the sake of stalling.”

    Bills that Repubs voted for – yes, they were really crappy bills, the Repubs changed the bill and it became a less crappy bill.

    Appointment of administrators – different reasons for that but in general, those individuals previously sucked at their previous job so it is reasonable to conclude that they would suck at their new job, a little too radical for the Repubs taste… typically specific reason that can be ascertained by a lilttle research. Checked out a few an decided that this was a hill I could abandon.

    Stalling for the sake of stalling – Though I think the DC area is predominately populated by power hungrey 12 year olds, I will give them more credit that they don’t wake up in the morning, take a leak, move to the mirror over the sink and ask themselves “what bill can I stall today just for the sake of stalling”

    Olympia and DC are dysfunctional, thats for sure, but I do have some faith that there are some competent adults among them. I got my eye on a few.

  33. beerBoy says:

    I do have some faith that there are some competent adults among them. I got my eye on a few.

    Unfortunately there represent a tiny minority on either side of the aisle.

  34. JudasEscargot says:

    “Roncella says:
    January 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    Judas, get your blinders off before you slip on Obama Koolaid.

    President Obama ran for office for two years, it was attack and attack Bush reading from his many tele-prompters he criss-crossed the whole Country, his handlers loaded the tele-prompters for him with all the answers to all the problems facing the Country.

    Yes President Obama the candidate, had a solution to ending both wars, fixing the economy, creating jobs, oh yea.

    Oh, THIS will be fun.

    Teleprompters – Bush mangled his speechs using teleprompters.

    Ending wars – takes time, unless you are a Conservative holding the stop watch on a Progressive.

    Fixing the economy – it’s in better shape than it was in September of 2008 when the stock market plunged. (who was holding the Presidency?) The best thing about September 2008 was McCain’s “deer in the headlights” look on the economical challenge. Between that and his August announcement of a VP, Obama had a lock on the election.

    Now, along with all of that, it doesn’t change that Obama was handed a truck load of manure and expected to turn up a crop of fine grapes for a record wine.

    The only wine that happened is the continued WHINE from Conservatives about his job performance.

    Bachmann spilled the beans this morning saying that the repeal bill is nothing more than an opportunity to dump all the health care challenges in the Democrats laps. The TEAsheeple just nodded.

  35. JudasEscargot says:

    “rr98411 says:
    January 6, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Fillibusters – maybe they were crappy bills”

    Simple judicial appointments and other appointments???????

    Now who is drinking the koolaid? LOL

  36. JudasEscargot says:

    “rr98411 says:
    January 6, 2011 at 11:14 am
    “A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. It doesn’t go way. He has to pay down THAT debt, current operating expenses, interest on THAT debt and any other catastrophic issues that occur.”

    False – on that issue. Obama applied for the job, and yes, he is now responsible and accountable for results for all that he “inherited”. Now, do you job sir… or at a bare minimum don’t make it worse.”

    Not false – you now hold Obama responsible for not creating the “revenue” to make up the deficit he was handed (read “tax” for revenue). If there is any place he failed, it was letting the $250K and over crowd off the hook for tax increases.

    As a person who has taken charge of bad running departments and companies, I can tell you the first thing I told people was “I’m not a magician”. Obama said the same, but Conservatives have selective listening.

  37. JudasEscargot says:

    “xring says:
    January 6, 2011 at 11:09 am
    Judus, as my post says, I was talking about the White House, Roncella was talking about the Congress. The reason for the huge debt increase during Bush’s first 6 years was due to tax cuts and other corporate give-a-ways that reduced income, coupled with two wars. ”

    thank you

  38. rr98411 says:

    “Now, if you can point out where my analogy is false, I’ll listen.”

    “Not false – you now hold Obama responsible for not creating the “revenue” to make up the deficit he was handed (read “tax” for revenue). If there is any place he failed, it was letting the $250K and over crowd off the hook for tax increases.

    As a person who has taken charge of bad running departments and companies, I can tell you the first thing I told people was “I’m not a magician”. Obama said the same, but Conservatives have selective listening.”

    I made the correction below the original post but my intent was to question whether your statement was a false choice. Either way you responded and moving on I offer the following…

    Again with the mind reading and false premises, one more time I never said nor is Obama responsible for a reduction in revenue. Since you bring it up, he is responsible for adjusting (or not) to that reality. His response was to excessively spend before a case could be made for a tax increase.

    I don’t speak for conservatives so I have no clue who you are talking to or referring to there.

    Are you a mindreader

  39. rr98411 says:

    “Simple judicial appointments and other appointments”

    And I said maybe they are not the best choice for the position. Not too sure if there is an issue here.

  40. rr98411 says:

    8:01 post – the last sentence was not edited out. Ignore if you wish.

  41. hansgruber says:

    JudasEscargot says:
    January 6, 2011 at 10:49 am
    “Regardless of Obama’s campaiging or not, the scenario doesn’t change:

    A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. It doesn’t go way. He has to pay down THAT debt, current operating expenses, interest on THAT debt and any other catastrophic issues that occur.

    Now, if you can point out where my analogy is false, I’ll listen. ”

    This should read more like:

    “A company changes CEO’s and the new CEO was part of a board that voted for the previous 4 budgets. Now he is complaining that he inheriting a debt (a debt he help create) In his effort to pay down this debt, he actually has increased this debt of 30% in just under 2 years and continues to blame the past CEO.”

  42. beerBoy says:

    And I said maybe they are not the best choice for the position.

    You have put forward a couple of “maybes” that need to be supported in order for them to have any credence.

    Demonstrate with some evidence that that is the reason why the appointments were delayed – not prevented – by Senate rules manipulation by Republicans.

    And….while you are at it….demonstrate that the delays on bills that were later supported by Republicans were changed in order for them to become palatable.

  43. rr98411 says:

    beerBoy – I also said the following:

    “…typically specific reason that can be ascertained by a lilttle research. Checked out a few an decided that this was a hill I could abandon.”

    But if you want to go there then, a couple of things here… Are you challenging because you don’t know this? You think I am full of it? Don’t believe me? All the above?

    If you don’t know this then find out for yourself, I am not your personal google. It can be found by using Thomas and doing a review of the bills that were fillibusted by the GOP and then eventually passed. If that is what we are talking about. (Dude my original was nothing more than a what if bs remark, but if you want to take me seriously then OK, have at it)

    You think I am full of it… don’t know how since I wasn’t specific. But I ‘ll take a nice Chianti if you got something.

    Don’t believe me… then do the first suggestion, combined with the second suggestion.

    Some things I really care about… some things, not so much… this subject… if you follow the paint drying on the wall congressional sessions, then you will see that this whole discussion also goes for the Dems. The Dems themselves actually changed the fillibuster rule in 1974, in an attempt to reduce the ability of the GOP to fillibuster while they were in power.

    Kinda works both ways for both parties… duh.

  44. JudasEscargot says:

    Oh, I see Hans, you want to embellish my scenario – let me add to yours.

    “A company changes CEO’s and the new CEO was part of a board that voted for the previous 4 budgets. The prior CEO didn’t report all of the spending and kept borrowing. Now he is complaining that he inheriting a debt (a debt he didn’t help create) In his effort to pay down this debt, he actually has increased this debt of 30% in just under 2 years, because he is now reporting all the debt and not hiding it under the rug and continues to blame the past CEO.”

    Why do Republicans always forget that Bush wasn’t reporting all of the spending in Iraq?

  45. JudasEscargot says:

    Oh..and Hans….you let out the catastrophic event – September 2008 – from the scenario, that had a direct impact on future spending needs.

    Sort of like how you guys didn’t report Iraq spending…..

  46. hansgruber says:

    “a debt he didn’t help create”

    LOL! Are you really saying Obama didn’t vote for all the Bush budgets from 2005 to 2009 including the military budgets to run the wars?

    BTW, Hillary Clinton & Joe Biden voted for all of them too.

    I needed a good laugh this morning, thanks Judas!

    PS- Pay Go! There is another laugher too! How can “pay as you go” and still run up over $3 Trillion in debt in 23 months?

  47. Roncella says:

    Judas, stop your complaining about having to defend President Obama’s terrible performance his first two years as President.

    Obama ran for President, he wanted to be President,
    He said he had all the answers to everything(loaded in his tele-prompters only),
    He won the election,

    he had total control of the congress a democratic majority in both houses, for two full years.
    Now Its Time He Accepts The Responsibility of Being President,

    Stop with blaming Bush for all his problems and get to work in trying to solve the many problems the Country is facing. Maybe he could review one of his tele-prompters for the answers.

    Maybe a few less vacations, a few less golf outings, basketball games, parties at the whitehouse etic. etc.

  48. I was quoting Pelosi, xring while, I’m thinkin’ you invented a quote. If not show me where Bohner said this please.

  49. the Congress which has been controlled by dems a majority of the last 30 years

    Maybe you should have done some research ron…….facts are stubborn things.

    Congressional control

    Reagan years
    1980 House D, Senate R
    1982 House D, Senate R
    1984 House D, Senate R
    1986 House D, Senate D
    Bush I years
    1988 House D, Senate D
    1990 House D, Senate D
    Clinton years
    1992 House D, Senate D
    1994 House R, Senate R
    1996 House R, Senate R
    1998 House R, Senate R
    Bush II years
    2000 House R, Senate R
    2002 House R, Senate R
    2004 House R, Senate R
    2006 House D, Senate D
    Obama years
    2008 House D, Senate D
    2010 House R, Senate D

    Totals
    Presidency
    Republican 20 years, Democratic 10 years

    Congress:
    Split control 8 years
    Both Houses: Democratic 12 years, Republican 12 years (including 2010 Congress as 2 years)

    The major difference is in the Executive control, not in Congress

  50. oops – the Split control is what includes the 2010 election results – not the control of both houses tally.

    from 1980-2010
    Republicans held majority in both Houses 12 years
    Democrats held majority in both Houses 12 years

  51. Roll_On says:

    You should further break out the senate and show when each party had a 60 vote super majority, otherwise it really isn’t one party control because of the filibuster.

    It was during those 10 years of Democrat presidents that things went to hell in a hand basket…..

    ;-)

    Oh yeah, Go Seahawks. :-(

  52. Roll_On says:

    Yay Seahawks! :-)

  53. larsman says:

    (Former) Squeaker of the Mouse sez” Nancy Pelosi said that the mantra of the dems is “pay as you go” yesterday?

    Translation : We pay until they (ingressives) go.

    Judas sez – ” A company changes CEOs and the new CEO inherits a million dollar debt. ”
    Thanks for admitting how refreshing it would be if our government WAS operated like a seriously make-or-break for profit business.
    BTW- No one Inherits an elected office….No one close to a promotion in the business world is a clueless pollyanna “inheriting” some mysterious situation. Go back to Phobos…

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