Budgets improving

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Under Ronald Reagan the annual budget deficits increased and the national debt more than tripled, but the Republicans were silent.

Under George H.W. Bush the national debt increased but again the Republicans were silent.

Under Bill Clinton the annual budget deficits decreased to the point that they disappeared and the budget even had surpluses. The national debt increased, but it decreased during his final budgets (depending on how one calculates the debt). And the Republicans had hissy fits and shut down the government.

Under George W. Bush the annual budget deficits increased to more than $1 trillion and the national debt more than doubled. But again the Republicans were strangely silent.

Under Barack Obama the annual budget deficits have been decreasing.

In 2009 the deficit was $1.4 trillion, or 10.1 percent of the economy (George W. Bush's last budget).

In 2013 the deficit is estimated to be $642 billion, or 4 percent of the economy

In 2015 the deficit is estimated to be $378 billion, or 2.1 percent of the economy. (This is more than a $1 trillion decrease from 2009.) It's entirely possible that Mr. Obama's final budget for 2017 will show a surplus, that is if the Republicans were to quit acting like spoiled brats and avoid doing something to screw things up.

The national debt is growing at a slower pace and may not grow at all in Mr. Obama's last budget. But again Republicans are still having a hissy fit even though the budget situation is improving.

I think it's strange that Republicans only get upset about the national debt when there is a Democratic president. I wonder if this is strictly politically motivated.

FRED LEONARD
Jefferson Hills


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