Who's to blame for the financial mess we're in?

August 10, 2011

In responding to a recent column ("Question for tea party: What now?" Aug. 4), Stanley J. Glinka accuses Dan Rodricks of forgetting that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress from 2007-2010, which he claims "was the time when our economy went downhill."

However, Mr. Glinka himself appears to forget that the Republicans previously controlled both Congress and the White House, and that during the Bush Administration tax cuts, an enormously costly Medicare prescription drug benefit, two expensive and unfunded wars and rising entitlement costs turned a $290 billion budget surplus in 2000 into a $455 billion deficit by 2008.

The Bush presidency nearly doubled the national debt from $5.6 trillion to over $10 trillion, and from 56 percent to more than 84 percent of GDP.

Then a Democratic Congress approved President Bush's bailouts of the financial industry that pushed the deficit and debt to higher levels. The Obama Administration has essentially continued the Bush tax and spending policies, while adding an expensive stimulus package.

But it was 2001 that marked the beginning of our damaging borrowing and spending spree.

Raymond Daniel Burke, Baltimore

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