We are living in troubled times. Many American people seem to believe that Democrats promote spending while Republicans promote saving. Republicans constantly use the refrain, 'tax and spend Democrats.' Let's analyze that phrase in light of what has happened over the last 40-some years.

During the four years Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, occupied the White House, the national debt grew by 3.3 percent.

Then Ronald Reagan, a Republican, came into office and during his eight years in office, the national debt expanded by 29.6 percent. Reagan was followed by

George H.W. Bush, another Republican, who increased the national debt another 13 percent over four years.

Bill Clinton, a Democrat, followed Bush and a funny thing happened; he had a surplus of 9.7 percent over his eight years.

Finally, we have George W. Bush, a Republican. The first thing Mr. Bush did was lower taxes for everyone but, especially, the super rich. Then Mr. Bush funded an unnecessary war off budget, added a very expensive drug program to Medicare (planned and created by the pharmacy industry) and left office with the nation in the greatest recession since the 1930s. He increased the national debt by 27.8 percent.

I guess these two phrases uttered by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney must be true: Karl Rove said back in 2004, 'We create our own reality,' and Dick Cheney uttered this amazing statement when confronted by Treasurer Secretary Paul O'Neill who was worried the government was heading toward a fiscal crisis, 'Ronald Reagan proved deficits don't matter.'

Evidently John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and all of the members of the tea party don't really believe in Reagan's proclamation.

To understand the Republican philosophy, one can just Google the words, 'two santa clauses' on his/her computer. Thom Hartman has written a brilliant article explaining what has happened over the past 40 years.

- Marion Langton, Scappoose

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