Bush Borrowed More Than All Previous Presidents Combined, Group Says
By Melanie Hunter
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
November 04, 2005

(CNSNews.com) - President Bush and the current administration have borrowed more money from foreign governments and banks than the previous 42 presidents combined, a group of conservative to moderate Democrats said Friday.

Blue Dog Coalition, which describes itself as a group "focused on fiscal responsibility," called the administration's borrowing practices "astounding."

According to the Treasury Department, from 1776-2000, the first 224 years of U.S. history, 42 U.S. presidents borrowed a combined $1.01 trillion from foreign governments and financial institutions, but in the past four years alone, the Bush administration borrowed $1.05 trillion.

"The seriousness of this rapid and increasing financial vulnerability of our country can hardly be overstated," said Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition and member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"The financial mismanagement of our country by the Bush Administration should be of concern to all Americans, regardless of political persuasion," said Tanner in a press release.

Earlier this year, the Blue Dog Coalition unveiled a 12-step plan to "cure" the nation's "addiction to deficit spending." It included requiring all federal agencies to pass clean audits, a balanced budget, and the establishment of a rainy day fund for use in emergencies specifically a natural disaster.

"No American political leadership has ever willfully and deliberately mortgaged our country to foreign interests in the manner we have witnessed over the past four years," said Tanner. "If this recklessness is not stopped, I truly believe our economic freedom as American citizens is in great jeopardy."



Posted on Tue, Nov. 08, 2005

Making a mockery of fiscal discipline

Mercury News Editorial

With the federal budget deficit coming in at $319 billion for the year that ended Sept. 30, Congress has reawakened to fiscal rectitude. It is quite the thrilling spectacle.

The Senate has a bill. The House has a bill. They will cut spending by $35 billion to $54 billion -- over five years.

Yes, with annual budgets running about $2.6 trillion, Congress is managing to find about $10 billion a year to trim. It's like a person who needs to lose 100 pounds cutting out the mint after a six-course dinner.

But it gets even sillier. Republicans, who run the show, are also proposing to make certain tax cuts permanent, at a cost in lost revenue of $70 billion through 2010.

The tax cuts will disproportionately benefit the wealthy. The spending cuts, such as trims to food stamps, to Medicaid, and to welfare reform aid, will hurt the poor. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., was not simply show-boating when he proposed calling the budget bill the ``Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportions Reconciliation Act.''

The enthusiasm with which President Bush and a Republican Congress have shucked off the fiscal restraints that used to define the party is remarkable. The Democrats have shown little interest in spending cuts.

Granted, the war on terror arrived in America. Hurricanes pummeled the Gulf Coast. Expenditures had to rise to compensate.

More a matter of choice were the war in Iraq and a drug benefit for Medicare ($70 billion a year). And spending has gone up across the board.

If it's all necessary, then it is necessary to raise the money to pay for it. Instead, Bush has peddled the magic elixir of tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

Since 2001, however, $1.3 trillion has been added to the national debt.

That growing debt is a problem right now. But with baby boomers about to retire by the millions -- and about to start drawing on Social Security and Medicare -- the distance between income and outgo will grow even larger.

Rising debt pushes up interest rates, which are a drag on the economy. ``Unless the situation is reversed,'' says Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, ``at some point these budget trends will cause serious economic disruptions.''

Instead, Congress prefers to avoid serious political disruptions and pretend that the elixir will kick in soon.


America's Total Debt Report
$ 40 Trillion - - and soaring

http://mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat.htm or http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/hodges/2005/0313.html



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