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As we consider the 2012 election, shouldn’t we elect a President, Senator and Representative who can best serve the interests and needs of the American people including keeping America safe, resolving our economic situation, and creating jobs? Both Republicans and Democrats are making arguments on being the better selection for America, but let’s examine the facts and history of Presidential fiscal responsibility, job creation, and action against terrorism, to see which Party best served the American people.
One of the most significant acts of terrorism in this country occurred on September 11, 2001, during the Republican Administration. Instead of pursuing Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind this attack, President Bush decided to start a war with Iraq resulting in thousands of American casualties and costing billions of dollars to the American economy. When asked about Bin Laden, President Bush said he didn’t know where Bin Laden was and even gave up on the search for him.
President Obama’s record in fighting terrorism during his first term has been nothing short of outstanding. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, members of the Republican Party including Palin, McCain, Cheney and others, said that Obama was “weak on National security” and would not be able to keep America safe. Rudy Giuliani even warned that electing Barack Obama would mean that the U.S. would play defense, not offense, against the terrorists. But let’s look at President Obama’s record on dealing with terrorists.
The list of senior terrorists killed during the Obama presidency is extensive. There’s Osama bin Laden whom Bush couldn’t find and most recently, Anwar al-Awlak. Earlier this month officials confirmed that al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri, was killed in Waziristan, Pakistan. In August, ’Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman, the deputy leader of al Qaeda was killed. In June, one of the group’s most dangerous commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri, was killed. In May, al Qaeda’s number three commander, Sheik Saeed al-Masriwas killed. In addition, having been authorized by President Obama to kill the Somali pirates if Richard Phillips was in imminent danger, the US commander on the scene ordered a team of snipers to open fire when it looked like his captors were about to shoot him. Three of the pirates were killed and a fourth, aged 16, was arrested having earlier left their 15ft motorized lifeboat for medical attention and surrendered to the US Navy. All this during Obama’s first two plus years, an outstanding record.
New Jersey Governor Christi recently said that, “If you’re looking for leadership in America, you know you’re not going to find it in the Oval Office.” Christi and other Republicans continue to say that President Obama’s policies are “fiscally irresponsible” and he is engaging in “class warfare.” So let’s look at the facts and a brief history of real fiscally irresponsibility since the Reagan presidency, the “Republican model” of success.
- 1980: Ronald Reagan runs for president, promising a balanced budget
- 1981 – 1989: With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.
- 1993: Bill Clinton passes economic plan that lowers deficit, gets zero votes from congressional Republicans
- 1998: U.S. deficit disappears for the first time in three decades. Debt clock is unplugged.
- 2000: George W. Bush runs for president, promising to maintain a balanced budget.
- 2001: CBO shows the United States is on track to pay off the entirety of its national debt within a decade.
- 2001 – 2009: With support from congressional Republicans, Bush runs enormous deficits, adds nearly $5 trillion to the debt. The FY2009 budget was a spending plan by President Bush to fund government operations for October 2008 – September 2009.
- 2002: Dick Cheney declares, “Deficits don’t matter.”
- 2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit from Bush; Republicans immediately condemn Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility.
- 2009: Congressional Democrats unveil several domestic policy initiatives — including health care reform, cap and trade, DREAM Act — which would lower the deficit. GOP opposes all of them while continuing to push for deficit reduction.
- September 2010: In Obama’s first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion. Republicans again condemn Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility.
- October 2010: S&P endorses the nation’s AAA rating with a stable outlook, saying the United States looks to be in solid fiscal shape for the foreseeable future.
- November 2010: Republicans win a U.S. House majority, citing the need for fiscal responsibility.
- December 2010: Congressional Republicans demand extension of Bush tax cuts, relying entirely on deficit > financing. GOP continues to accuse Obama of fiscal irresponsibility.
- March 2011: Congressional Republicans declare intention to hold full faith and credit of the United States > hostage — a move without precedent in American history — until massive debt-reduction plan is approved.
- July 2011: Obama offers Republicans a $4 trillion debt-reduction deal. GOP refuses, pushes debt-ceiling standoff until the last possible day, rattling international markets.
- August 2011: S&P downgrades U.S. debt, citing GOP refusal to consider new revenues. Republicans rejoice and blame Obama for fiscal irresponsibility.
When we consider the facts since the Reagan Presidency, reasonable people would have to conclude that it was the Republican Administrations who were fiscally irresponsible. “Reaganomics” didn’t work and added 2 trillion to the debt. Bush cut taxes for the wealthy and added 5 trillion to the debt and created only 3 million jobs in eight years compared to Clinton’s 23 million jobs. George H. W. Bush created 2.5 million jobs; Reagan created 16 million jobs; Carter created 10.5 million jobs; Ford created 1.8 million jobs; Nixon created 9.4 million jobs; Johnson created 11.9 million jobs; Kennedy created 57.3 million jobs; Eisenhower created 3.5 million jobs; and Truman created 8.4 million jobs.
Even if you don’t consider the approximately 3 million jobs saved or created through the Obama stimulus package, since the Eisenhower Presidency, Republicans created only 36.2 million jobs while the Democrats created 111.1 million jobs. Remember, it took a Republican (Hoover) to get us into the first depression, and a Democrat (FDR) to get us out. In addition, since Eisenhower, there has only been one President who produced a balanced budget and a budget surplus.
President Bill Clinton left office in 2001 with a balanced budget and federal budget surplus of $236 billion. President George Bush ran a budget deficit of $319 billion by 2005 and sent Americans into two unfunded wars with mostly negative results, but that’s just my take.
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