Reading posted comments on the internet can be quite frustrating. It not only indicates how many highly opinionated commenters are greatly mis-informed, it also indicates how much damage the main stream media has done to the truth and common sense.
I noted a post Yesterday on a CBS poll where a commenter suggested that the country had a surplus when President Clinton left office and President Bush generated 12 Trillion dollars of debt in only eight years.
News flash to the uniformed. Only one President in the history of our nation paid off the public debt. That was President Andrew Jackson.
When President Clinton left office this country owed Trillions in national debt. The budget surplus Democrats often refer to was the difference in the amount the public paid in taxes and what the government spent. In other words, the government spent less than what it took in. It did not however pay off the debt.
Now, to the Clinton surplus.
Those of us with long-term memory will recall the savings and loan scandals that plagued our nation during the 80s. President Reagan pushed for a law to bailout the savings and loan industry. He also demanded the laws be changed to prevent a reoccurance of the problems that lead to the failure of the savings and loan industry.
In effect President Reagon signed into law a new set of standards that the savings and loan industry had to accept to get the necessary funding to stay in business. The law required they pay the loaned monies back to the taxpayers.
When were these monies paid back? You guessed it, during the Clinton Administration. Clinton benefitted by having funding in addition to the taxpayer funds.
Another item often overlooked by Democrats and political pundits when lauding Clinton’s budget surplus is a man named Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America.
Again, those of us with long term memory will recall the public battles, the shutting down of the government and main stream media interference in regards to the national budget.
Eventually, Gingrich and Clinton developed a private working relationship. During they day they would snipe at each other in public. However, in the evenings, out of the public eye, they would meet at the Whitehouse and work out solutions with each other.
This was a great working relationship while it lasted. It gave us a balanced budget, welfare reform, etc.. Who knows how far they could have gone if both of them could have remained faithful to their spouses.
Lastly, and again unnoted, President Clinton had the fortune of being elected at the close of the Cold War. He was able to cut the military budget, draw down military forces, cancel military contracts for future weapons and divert the monies elsewhere.
As often happens in any president’s tenure they make policy decisions that benefit their timeframe and create problems for future administrations. President Clinton’s gutting of the military logistics corp provided a huge stumbling block for President Bush when he was deploying forces to the Middle East.
While President Bush was lambasted in the press for the cost of contracting in regards to the war effort. No one in the media pointed out the fact that the contracts may not have been necessary if President Clinton had not destroyed the military logistics corp leaving our military dependent on contracts for transportation, fuel, ammo, water, shelter, equipment maintenance, basically everything needed for war, but the servicemen themselves.
So yes there were budget surpluses during the Clinton Presidency. But, much of this had to do with timing. He was fortunate in that the cold war ended, the Republicans took over the house and most of all, he was fortunate that Hillarycare went down in flames.
I would also like to note that during the recent melt down of our financial industry, savings and loans were generally unaffected. Could it be that President Reagan did something right that our current administration could learn from?
There has been little interest by this administration to correct the policies that allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to break the back of the American Economy. In fact, they are doing just the opposite. They are pushing the banks to go back to the same lending practices that created the financial meltdown in the first place.