Jay Bookman at the AJC really nails the Republican whining over the stimulus package:
Republicans in Congress and on the TV and radio talk shows claim to oppose the economic stimulus out of concern about the national debt and a moral conviction that we should not saddle future generations of Americans with such a burden.
But who do they think they’re fooling? Apparently they believe the world began anew at noon on Jan. 20, and that everything that occurred prior to that date had somehow been wiped clean from the national memory banks.
Well, it hasn’t.
We do face a long-term problem. Our gross federal debt is at $10.6 trillion, with a good portion owed to lenders in China, Japan and the Middle East. But how did that number get so huge?
The answer is that it grew tremendously, both as a gross number and a percentage of GDP, during the administrations of Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. George W. was particularly hard on future generations:
The debt almost doubled under Bush, from $5.7 trillion to $10.6 trillion. As a percentage of GDP, it grew from 57.4 percent to 68 percent, the highest since the aftermath of World War II.
As Bookman points out, many of the same Republicans who are whining now went along with everything W asked:
And of course, the same congressional Republicans now preaching the dangers of deficit spending were right at Bush’s side, writing and passing the budgets that drove us deeply into the red.
Unfortunately, the Republicans are fooling some people with their rhetoric. And Obama keeps reaching out to them, as if they’ll ever come around and support his proposals. I fear we’ll end up with Republicans wringing a bunch of concessions and still refusing to vote for a bill so gutted that it doesn’t work — and then taking credit for their amazing “foresight” if it fails. And a good portion of the media will buy it. Again.