Over on Facebook, I'm debating with a guy who wants us to cut government spending in order to decrease the deficit, and says he supported Clinton because Clinton cut the deficit. Here's my latest response:
Keith, the reason Clinton cut the deficit was because the economy was booming. That brought in more tax revenues and because unemployment was at a ridiculously low 4% (a number economists thought was impossible), fewer people needed government services. And that happened after tax hikes by Bush Sr and Clinton. And then Bush Jr cut taxes and sent us to war, and as the chart I linked to shows, it put a HUGE hole in our budget.
The solution isn't to cut government spending, because it *WILL* shrink the economy. How could it not? If you take money out of the economy, it *MUST* shrink. And that's what we've seen nationwide, as states and local governments fired workers, and more people became unemployed.
The solution is to pump up the economy, which requires spending; as long as it's on the right things. Money spent fighting in Iraq was wasted money. Money spent on roads, bridges, education, unemployment benefits, and food stamps are *terrific* ways of spending the money. They have the added benefit of helping people and giving us what we need, but it's also good for the economy. And by building up the economy again and putting taxes back to Clinton-era tax rates, we can close the deficit again.
If you support Clinton-era policies, then you should support his tax rates and spending levels. And that means you support Obama, because that's what he wants, too.