Mommy, Where Does Government Debt & Deficits Come From?

Remember the good ol' days when our government was bless with surplus spending? Like when George W. Bush took office in 2001. Below is some interest bits of a Time magazine article from 2/19/2001 when Bush's tax cuts were being pushed through Congress. This would be when the House Majority Leader was Dick Armey. Armey if the current head puppeteer of the TEA Party movement and one of those currently squealing the loudest about growing government deficits and debt.

"The last gasp of liberalism."

Ari Fleischer
White House spokesman

"It looked like Big Government picking winners and losers."

Representative Ellen Tauscher
Democratic Leadership Council

"...During the campaign, Bush's tax-cut plan seemed too grandiose to many voters. But layoffs, slipping economic indicators and a blessing from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan made the idea credible--and now Washington can smell a big tax cut the way hogs smell slop. Politicians are scrambling to the trough. Some of their schemes are well-intended--Senate majority leader Trent Lott wants to change the alternative minimum tax so it doesn't take such a big bite out of middle-class taxpayers--but all of them threaten to grow the beast. Lott's plan would bring Bush's plan to $1.8 trillion; House majority leader Dick Armey would inflate the cuts to $2.6 trillion. Corporate lobbyists "are baying at the door" of the Ways and Means Committee, says Florida Representative Mark Foley, with pleas for up to $1 trillion in goodies--lower corporate tax rates, larger write-offs for computers, more tax credits. Kick in other tax subsidies that important constituencies like farmers want extended, and the tab runs up to nearly $4 trillion.

"Time out!" pleads Max Baucus, senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. 'Let's slow down here.'..."

"...Bush's surprise at the feeding frenzy is, of course, an act. White House aides wanted a fever for the political cover it provides. When G.O.P. conservatives howl for a $2.6 trillion cut and the Democrats come in at $900 billion, Bush's plan becomes the reasonable compromise at $1.6 trillion.

But hogs can be hard to control. Bush summoned CEOs to the White House last week and warned that he would fight any move toward business-tax breaks. "We should focus on people first, not corporations," he said. He delivered an even blunter message to Congressmen at the White House Thursday night: "I'm not going to let the tax plan get pencil-whipped." Brave words, but few in Washington believe them. Corporations gave $134 million in soft money to the Republicans to get Bush elected. Their chiefs expect more than White House cuff links in return..."

Here's a link to the Time article: What Is That Oink, Oink?

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