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Are Republicans responsible for the national debt?

  • A provisional yes.

    The National debt is a common bogey man touted by conservatives as irresponsible borrowing by liberals. Nothing could be further from the truth. The debt started ballooning under Reagan, mostly due to stimulus programs which helped boost the economy. Not long after, Clinton left his presidency with a balanced budget.

    Then, Bush Jr comes along and implements the Bush tax cuts, which are estimated to have added over 4 trillion dollars of debt because they didn’t do it alongside a balanced budget. He then introduced stimulus packages which added more debt, and didn’t do much to help the economy. Then Obama came along and actually listened to economists. They were able to introduce yet more stimulus packages that, while flawed, were actually able to move things in the right direction with the help off Dodd Frank legislation.

    This isn’t necessarily dogging on Republicans, as Democrats are from from perfect, and I consider myself a moderate. The problem here is that people are so politicized they are incapable of actually looking at history and thinking rationally about the long term, and I must say Republicans are much worse at that.

    This all being said, it’s not even a foregone conclusion that the national debt is even a problem. If you borrow money at a low rate to invest in something at a higher rate, and you can continue investing in that high rate indefinitely, then it never makes sense to pay down that debt. The money that was borrowed has already helped and continues to help more than it would if it were paid off. There’s nothing wrong with paying down debt or consolidating, but it is far from the boogey man that naive conservatives always claim it to be.

    I’m a real estate investor, and I’ve borrowed a hell of a lot of money in various forms, and without doing so I would never be where I am today. The return I have received from leveraged capital is vastly greater than what I would be able to achieve by simply paying off the loans. Why would I pay off a 5% APR loan when I could simply invest in more real estate and realize a return much greater than that? One of my properties has a non-realized return of 110% if you include asset appreciation.

    Nothing is ever as simple as it’s made out to be. For instance, Obama contributed HEAVILY to the debt, but he also oversaw a very consistent recovery of Wall Street and the housing market. While it’s difficult to blame one party over another, and it comes across as a bit simplistic, I would definitely argue that Republicans are more to blame insofar as they don’t seem to do a very good job with the money they borrow.

  • Yes and "Reaganomics" is to Blame

    I am not going to say 'oh it was both' because the truth is one party does hold more responsibility over the other. Reagan while a good president for foreign policy did a lot that hurt this country economically. Reaganomics (called Voodoo economics by George Bush Sr his own VP) caused the middle class in America that came from the New Deal of FDR to begin shrinking. National debt tripled and due to those policies and bad/false promises George Bush Sr could not hold a 2nd term. When Clinton was in office our national debt was expected to be paid off by 2012 due to our large surplus. The surplus was due to raising taxes on the rich and cutting spending. Keep in mind that the Clinton years still made some bad choices as stated by a previous poster.

    Enter the Bush Jr era, now this is where the problems came. See he destroyed our surplus by starting two wars which increased govt spending and cutting taxes on the rich, then he allowed deregulation of Wall Street and the banks who ran around uncontrolled. He then did a govt bailout which clearly didnt work. Leaving the economy in the crapper for the next pres to try and fix.

    Now we have Obama, who lets face is it, not the best president but better than the last one and better than the GOP options presented to us. He gets a lot of blame for spending in his first term which was allocated by the previous administration (as every first term is for all administrations). There was no way he was going to get the debt down, deficit maybe but not the debt. However due to all the constant obstruction from the GOP while he has been in office no compromises have been made and well you see the result.

    The national debt will only continue to increase until we get rid of the extremists in both parties and start getting those who are willing to actually work together and not the "my way or the high way types". You can help by voting so be sure to research your candidates and vote. Make sure your friends and family do the same.

  • Yes, and so are Democrats.

    During the Reagan years, the debt went into the trillions.

    During the Clinton years, a Democratic President with a Republican Congress passed many laws which encouraged banks and other financial institutions to lend out poisonous loans/mortgages.

    During the Bush years, for the 1st part of his Presidency, a Republican President with a Republican Congress helped us pass disastrous policies. For the 2nd part of his Presidency, a Republican President with a Democratic Congress gave us more disastrous policies.

    Now, during the Obama years, for the 1st part of his term, we had a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress giving us plans that we couldn't pay for. Now, with a Democratic President and Republican (House of Rep.) Congress, we aren't making much progress.

    The way the questioned was worded asked if Republicans are responsible for the debt. They are, but that doesn't mean Democrats aren't.

  • Of Course They Are

    When Bill Clinton, a Democrat, left office this country was thriving and doing the best it had been in years. Fast forward 8 years after the Bush Administration and we are in one of the biggest deficits that this country has ever seen. I don't see how this couldn't be their fault.

  • Republican Fiscal Policies to blame for National Debt

    The last President of the United States to balance the budget was a Democrat. Since the election of George W. Bush, we have seen soaring national debt thanks to conservative led tax breaks given out by congress. Permanent elimination of the Bush era tax cuts is the first step in getting our country back on track.

  • Republicans are NOT responsible for the national debt

    After 4 years of a democratic president, there is no way to point fingers at republicans. An accusation such as this had some support in arguments the past 4 years, but at this point, what the republican may have caused, should be getting fixed by now. We all know it is not though. This administration keeps racking up new debt, and refuses to fix spending problems. Republicans compromised and offered a deal that raised taxes, which conservatives and others in the republican party were wholeheartedly against, and the democrats refuse to negotiate their end. The republicans and conservatives have done their part. It's time now for the democrats to take some responsibility and make a move on fixing the problem.

  • No, Republicans are not responsible for the national debt.

    At least, not solely responsible. The national debt our country has incurred over the last decade and a half can not be attributed to one person or one group of people. We must all take responsibility for what we have contributed to the national debt, whether a Democrat or a Republican. Both sides should accept equal responsibility on the issue.


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