"It's the economy, stupid", was the winning phrase Bill Clinton repeated often in his 1992 presidential campaign to defeat George H.W. Bush.

A review of the records for the past four presidents shows that Reagan increased the federal deficit by 11.3 percent in his first term and by 9.3 percent in his second term.

George H.W. Bush increased our deficit by 13 percent during his four years.

Then Clinton REDUCED the deficit by 9 percent during his two terms, only to watch George W. Bush reverse course and pad our federal deficit by 7.1 percent in his first term and then assault the record books with a whopping 20.7 percent increase in our federal deficit during his second term.

Our current deficit can be split into four quarters:

One quarter can be attributed to the loss of tax revenue from the Bush tax cuts.

One quarter can be attributed to Bush's two wars.

One quarter can be attributed to the Republicans' insistence on forbidding the government to negotiate lower drug prices for their unfunded Medicare Part D program.

And the final quarter is the result of the economic recession that followed the collapse of Wall Street and the big banks, which is attributed to the attempts by conservatives to continually deregulate those industries in the mistaken belief they could self-regulate themselves.

How is this even a choice, America? Do we keep listening to the same old song and dance from those who created this mess over the past 30 years, or do we start singing a new tune about creating American Jobs now.

Rod Livdahl

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