Sorry, I won’t promise $5,000,000 to your favorite charity if you reveal irrelevant information about yourself though I do favor Mark Cuban’s $1,000,000 offer to donate to Donald Trump’s favorite charity if he shaves whatever that is on his head.

No, this is pretty simple and it involves two of conservatives’ major complaints against President Barack Obama that are, surprisingly, grounded in real situations. These complaints are that the government still is steeped in deficit spending and that the National Debt has grown over $5 trillion ($5,000,000,000,000) during Obama’s term so far. (We won’t quibble about the precise amount…point taken.)

Deficits occur when more money is spent than is received in income. In private life that means you are eligible for the CSNBC show Till Debt Do Us Part. In government life it means you are eligible for immense criticism from the party not in power while they also demand their fair share of the largesse.

At this time the party out of power is the Republicans. Fortunately they have their own budget Wunderkind in Rep.Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) who, coincidentally, is now also the GOP nominee for Vice President.

His wisdom on budget matters is pretty much undisputed on the right and he has the evidence to back that up having introduced multiple budgets in the House of Representatives that have been adopted by that House but not by the Senate.

How terrible, you must think, an opportunity to end deficit federal spending lost. Would that it were so. Assessments of Ryan’s budget proposals by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office have resulted in the finding that deficits would still exist to about the year 2040 under the scenarios Ryan presents.

Now the Romney campaign, offering what I believe to be a mixture of past and present Ryan and Romney ideas, has as its budget mainstay a plan to cut taxes across the board for all income levels. That sounds fine but, of course, doing so will result in lost revenue that will perpetuate and hike deficits.

The 2 R’s (lacking a third R, most likely rationality) they maintain that reforms in the tax code together with economic growth will mean their plan is revenue neutral at worst.

The problem here is that all independent appraisals of this plan demonstrate that it is mathematically impossible for this revenue neutrality to be true. Other adjustments that the candidates have not revealed would have to be made to achieve their goal. But, in fact, they have no plan in place to deal with these factors.

Now let us address the National Debt. That is the cumulative effect of all deficit spending in the past. Recent history has seen few balanced budgets save for the last four years of the Clinton Administration. The debt virtually tripled when Ronald Reagan was President and nearly doubled when George W. Bush was in office as he returned to deficit spending.

In 2011 there was a prolonged battle in Congress over raising the debt ceiling, the total amount the U.S. is permitted to borrow to fund PAST deficit spending. Having actual debt that exceeds that ceiling with no balanced budget in place would mean that the nation could be in default of its obligations

Now, it is a mathematical impossibility to keep having deficits without the national debt growing thus requiring periodic hikes in the debt ceiling.

The CBO this past summer came out with an analysis of the elements of our national debt and determined that there are distinct causes of it. Among those are the recent recession itself, the ongoing effects of the two rounds of tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars being the largest components. The Stimulus plan passed under Obama was a contributing factor, and  which undoubtedly is the one action taken by Obama apart from anything else that has helped the debt grow. However, if the value of it is $1 trillion, as most estimates are in that range, over 80% of the growth of the debt under him is attributable to these other factors.

Now here is your challenge. Had John McCain been elected instead of Barack Obama would the deficit and debt situations  have been any different, aside from the Stimulus? If so exactly how?

Two connected questions are would he have, as Obama did, extended the Bush tax cuts, and would he have shortened the two wars substantially? My belief is that he would have not taken either action and, indeed, may have retained a higher commitment in Iraq than had been negotiated by Bush and adhered to by Obama. In addition I believe he may also have expanded our role in Afghanistan even beyond Obama’s “surge” and not initiated a timeline for withdrawal in 2014.

If you can factually and logically meet my challenge you will have a more convincing case for Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility. Remember, McCain would have been working with a Congress with a Democratic majority in both houses for two years and in the Senate alone for the past two years.

Okay, I welcome your responses.

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  • little_minx  On November 4, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    “Had John McCain been elected instead of Barack Obama would the deficit and debt situations have been any different…”

    What if the stress of the Presidency had killed McCain, so Sarah Palin had taken over? The mind truly boggles.

    • umoc193  On November 4, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Sorry, Halloween is past. No more horror stories.

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