After seeing that the U.S. is on the verge of a financial collapse I decided to see what it was like this time 10 years ago. I entered the job market at a time of unparalleled financial prosperity. It’s changed a bit since then. Here are some interesting stats*:
- When Clinton left office in 2000, there was a budget surplus of $237 billion, the largest surplus ever
- America had paid down $363 billion in debt over the last three years of Clinton’s presidency, the largest debt pay-down ever
- Under the Clinton’s budget, the debt held by the public would have been eliminated by 2012
Of course, this all changed. How soon we forget. Another fact that Republicans seem to have forgotten is the debate on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996. Back then, Republicans were worried about how this act would impact individual liberties (they seemed to have lost their way on this issue). From the CNN archives:
“It may put Republicans in an awkward position,” he said, in a reference to the watering down of the anti-terrorism bill last spring before it reached Clinton’s desk. “They have to decide between the NRA and the FBI. I hope they choose the FBI.”
Speaking of terrorism at home and abroad, Clinton told the Disabled American Veterans: “This is a challenge we can and will meet. It may well be the most significant security challenge of the 21st century to the people of the United States and to civilized people everywhere.”
Somewhere, somehow Republicans have been brainwashed into believing that their party is the party of small government and national security. Yet, under Bush we’ve had the largest increase in the federal government since FDR. Can you imagine a time when Republicans would water down an anti-terrorism bill because of concerns about civil liberties? My, how things have changes under Bush and his cronies. We now are in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, an irresponsible, unnecessary war in a country that does not want us there. Jobs are being moved to India and China faster than they can setup sweatshops. The dollar is becoming ever more inflated and unemployment is at a 10 year high. I think we can see what the consolidation of power in the Executive Branch has done to America.
Another “small government” Republican (McCain) today announced that he proposes creating a new government agency to handle this financial crisis. Is he serious? How could anyone be on the fence in this election? It’s unimaginable that there are people that want another 8 years of this.