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More Lies From The ‘Experts’: “Get Trump At All Costs”

Sunday, November 27, 2016 2:38
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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

As flyover America has been suffering economically for many years, these Americans were immune to the oligarchy’s anti-Trump propaganda. However, everyone else in the country was taken in by the propaganda – liberals, progressives, the remnant of the leftwing, and even Patrick Martin of the World Socialist Web Site who normally writes intelligent commentary.

Like Green candidate Jill Stein, Patrick Martin wants a vote recount that could be manipulated to put Hillary in the White House. Apparently, Martin is unfamiliar with Hillary and her record of war crimes. Instead of expressing relief that the agent of the military/security complex, who has threatened military action against Russia and demonizes the Russian president as “the new Hitler,” was not elected, Martin unloads on Trump who has stated his goal of reduced tensions between nuclear powers. Trump’s government, Martin writes, “will undoubtedly be the most reactionary, militaristic and dictatorial government in American history.”

If war and dictatorship aren’t enough, Daniel Altman tells us that Trump will bankrupt us as well. We are on our way to debtors’ prison, says Daniel Altman in Foreign Policy:

Americans already know what happens when this strategy comes to Washington. Reagan and the younger Bush let the nation live beyond its means, too, stealing from legions of unborn Americans to fund their grand ideas. They also stole from as-yet unelected presidents; whoever followed them in power would be the ones to pay the piper. Their own party would return when times were good again.

A combination of rapidly rising deficits and higher interest rates could make the nation’s debt unsustainable even within Trump’s four-year term — and that’s if his stimulus works. If he stays true to his record in business, another bankruptcy could be on the horizon. This time, though, there won’t be any second chances, and all Americans will be left holding the bag.

Altman doesn’t seem to know any more about his subject than Martin knows about Hillary. Altman writes as if the tax and spending policies of Ronald Reagan and “the younger Bush” are responsible for the national debt by letting the nation “live beyond its means, stealing from legions of unborn Americans to fund their grand ideas.”

As economist J.W. Mason has shown, Reagan did not increase the national debt. During the Reagan years, the growth in the national debt was due to the high interest rates imposed by the Federal Reserve (in my opinion in the Establishment’s attempt to wreck the Reagan program).
Mason shows that it was the Fed-imposed increase in interest rates on the debt that raised the national debt.

The standard historical narrative about President Ronald Reagan’s budgets goes like this: He slashed taxes for the rich, spent a ton of money on the military, and the national debt exploded.

Now, that is a fair description of his policies. But it turns out Reagan may have gotten a bad rap on the debt charge.

In fact, the major culprit was another, often overlooked player: interest payments. Just why exactly this happened is extremely interesting, and also carries very important lessons for budgetary and monetary policy today. Put short, the conventional wisdom about debt and monetary policy is almost entirely wrong.

So when centrist types argue for austerity or greater interest rates as some kind of self-evident proposition, remember Reagan’s bum rap. Remember, too, that the whole point of all this budget and monetary policy is to facilitate the business of human life, and not the other way around.

In contrast, despite the Fed’s accommodation of the Oligarchy’s puppet, Obama, with zero interest rates, holds the record for the greatest increase in US national debt.

Obama added $8 trillion dollars to the national debt…:

One way to measure the debt by President is to sum all his budget deficits.

That’s because the President is responsible for his budget priorities. Each year’s deficit takes into account budgeted spending and anticipated revenue from proposed tax cuts or hikes.

But there’s a difference between the deficit and the debt by President.

That’s because all Presidents can employ a sleight of hand to reduce the appearance of the deficit. They can borrow internally from other government sources. For example, the Social Security Trust Fund has run a surplus since 1987. That’s because there were more working people contributing via payroll taxes than retired people withdrawing benefits. The Fund invests its surplus in U.S. Treasury notes. The President can reduce the deficit by spending these funds instead of issuing new Treasuries.

*  *  *

Barack Obama – The national debt grew the most dollar-wise during President Obama’s two terms. He added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase, in seven years. Obama’s budgets included the economic stimulus package. It added $787 billion by cutting taxes, extending unemployment benefits, and funding job-creating public works projects. The Obama tax cuts added $858 billion to the debt in two years. Obama’s budget included increased defense spending to between $700 billion and $800 billion a year.

Federal income was down, thanks to lower tax receipts from the 2008 financial crisis. He also sponsored the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was designed to reduce the debt by $143 billion over ten years. But these savings didn’t show up until the later years. For more, see National Debt Under Obama.

George W. Bush – President Bush added the second greatest amount to the debt, at $5.849 trillion. But that was a 101 percent increase to the debt. It was $5.8 trillion on September 30, 2001. That’s the end of FY 2001, which was President Clinton’s last budget. Bush responded to the 9/11 attacks by launching the War on Terror. That drove military spending to record levels of between $600-$800 billion a year. It included the Iraq War, which cost $807.5 billion. President Bush also responded to the 2001 recession by passing EGTRRA and JGTRRA. These were known as the Bush tax cuts and they further reduced revenue. He approved a $700 billion bailout package for banks to combat the 2008 global financial crisis.  Both Presidents Bush and Obama had to contend with higher mandatory spending for Social Security and Medicare. For more, see President Obama Compared to President Bush Policies.

Franklin D. Roosevelt – President Roosevelt increased the debt the most percentage-wise. Although he only added $236 billion, this was a 1,048 percent increase over the $23 billion debt level left by President Hoover’s last budget. Of course, the Great Depression took an enormous bite out of revenues. The New Deal cost billions. But FDR’s debt major contribution to the debt was World War II spending. He added $209 billion to the debt between 1942-1945. For more, see FDR Economic Policies.

Woodrow Wilson – President Wilson was the second largest contributor to the debt percentage-wise. Although he only added $21 billion, this was a 727 percent increase over the $2.9 billion debt level of his predecessor. Wilson had to pay for World War I. In fact, the Second Liberty Bond Act was enacted during his Presidency, giving Congress the right to adopt the national debt ceiling.

So, simply put, the leftist lies continue in their effort to besmirch the president-elect “at all costs.”


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