Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not-so-shockingly, Post-Dispatch editorial is way off base

I rarely read the local newspaper's editorial page.  Why bother?  I suspect that most St. Louisans could predict the Post-Dispatch's editorial position quite easily by reviewing the daily talking points from the Democratic National Committee and leaning a bit to the left.  However, for some reason, today's lead editorial, which was headlined "President Pariah" caught my eye.

This editorial criticises Robin Carnahan for keeping her distance from Barack Obama and his policy "achievements" and advocates embracing the president's policies.  No surprise there, and nothing really remarkable.  But the piece continues and argues that "Ms. Carnahan . . . should be hammering on the fact that today's economic woes, record deficits, and record income disparity between the rich and the rest of America are in large part a function of decisions made on the Republicans' watch over the last 10 years:  $2.1 trillion in tax cuts, a trillion dollars worth of wars conducted off the books and $373 billion in unfunded Medicare expansion."

This, of course, is right out of the old Democrat playbook . . . blame George W. Bush.  And, you know what, I agree.  President Bush and the Republicans spent too much when they were in power.  True.  No doubt about it.  But lets take a look at the approximately $3.5 trillion in spending that the Post chooses to cite - not to discuss the merits of tax cuts, or the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, or the expansion of Medicare (which it would surprise me if the Post didn't endorse at the time) - but in comparison with the levels of spending since the Democrats have captured the White House.

The facts are this, from the time that George W. Bush took office in 2001 until he left in January of 2010, the national debt increased by $4,899,100,310,609.  That's roughly $4.9 trillion.  That's bad, no doubt about it, but President Bush was in office for eight years.  Barack Obama has been in office for only 19 months.  In those 19 months, the national debt has already increased by another $2,736,401,236,918.  That's worse - and by a substantial margin.

During the Bush administration, the national debt increased at a rate of $1.68 billion per day.  But in the first 579 days of the Obama administration, the national debt has increased at a rate of $4.73 billion per day.  Almost $5 billion per day!

When it comes to government spending, the Democrats are Barry Bonds and the Republicans are Jack Clark.  It is disingenuous for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to criticize the spending record of George W. Bush and the Republican Party yet advocate embracing Obamaism.

I would give Robin Carnahan credit for running away from Obama if I believed that her run was anything more than a desperate and deceitful ploy in an election campaign.  But, alas, that's exactly what it is.

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