Blaming economic woes solely on Democrats is partisan nonsense

August 17, 2011

J. Shawn Alcarese blames Standard & Poor's downgrade, along with all of our economic mess, on "[t]he unchecked government borrowing and spending since 2009, when Mr. Obama became president and the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress" ("U.S. was warned of a possible credit downgrade," Aug. 10).

This is more of the partisan nonsense that passes for political debate these days. In fact, the Republicans previously controlled both Congress and the White House, and, during the Bush administration, tax cuts, an enormously costly prescription drug benefit in Medicare, extremely expensive and unfunded wars, and rising entitlement costs turned a $290 billion budget surplus in 2000 into a $455 billion deficit by 2008, and nearly doubled the national debt from $5.6 trillion to over $10 trillion and from 56 percent to over 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. Our economic state is an entirely bipartisan affair.

Raymond D. Burke, Baltimore

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