How Many Liberal Myths are there?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by JRK, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. JRK
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    JRK Senior Member

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    Clinton Surplus
    The Myth of the Clinton Surplus

    So why do they say he had a surplus?

    As is usually the case in claims such as this, it has to do with Washington doublespeak and political smoke and mirrors.

    Understanding what happened requires understanding two concepts of what makes up the national debt. The national debt is made up of public debt and intragovernmental holdings. The public debt is debt held by the public, normally including things such as treasury bills, savings bonds, and other instruments the public can purchase from the government. Intragovernmental holdings, on the other hand, is when the government borrows money from itself--mostly borrowing money from social security.

    Looking at the makeup of the national debt and the claimed surpluses for the last 4 Clinton fiscal years, we have the following table:

    Fiscal
    Year End
    Date Claimed
    Surplus Public
    Debt Intra-gov
    Holdings Total National
    Debt
    FY1997 09/30/1997 $3.789667T $1.623478T $5.413146T
    FY1998 09/30/1998 $69.2B $3.733864T $55.8B $1.792328T $168.9B $5.526193T $113B
    FY1999 09/30/1999 $122.7B $3.636104T $97.8B $2.020166T $227.8B $5.656270T $130.1B
    FY2000 09/29/2000 $230.0B $3.405303T $230.8B $2.268874T $248.7B $5.674178T $17.9B
    FY2001 09/28/2001 $3.339310T $66.0B $2.468153T $199.3B $5.807463T $133.3B


    Notice that while the public debt went down in each of those four years, the intragovernmental holdings went up each year by a far greater amount--and, in turn, the total national debt (which is public debt + intragovernmental holdings) went up. Therein lies the discrepancy.

    When it is claimed that Clinton paid down the national debt, that is patently false--as can be seen, the national debt went up every single year. What Clinton did do was pay down the public debt--notice that the claimed surplus is relatively close to the decrease in the public debt for those years. But he paid down the public debt by borrowing far more money in the form of intragovernmental holdings (mostly Social Security).

    Bush lied, people died

    One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

    "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    "Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." --Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

    "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." --Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." Letter to President Clinton, signed by: -- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

    "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

    "Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." -- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

    "There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." Letter to President Bush, Signed by: -- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

    "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them." -- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

    "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

    "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

    "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." -- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

    "I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

    "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

    "He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" -- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

    "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

    "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

    "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

    What else we got?
     
  2. 8537
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    8537 Senior Member

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    Debt held by the public went down in 1999 and 2000. That was because the unified US budget was in surplus.
     
  3. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    The debt never decreased... not since 1957
     
  4. JRK
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    JRK Senior Member

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    I know another one
    That the war was never in Bushes deficit numbers
    The Bush Deficit, the Clinton Surplus and TARP by Gregory Hilton | The DC World Affairs Blog

    For eight years many liberals complained about the Bush deficit and praised the Clinton surplus. They had an excellent point, but overlooked many key factors. Bush created a Medicare drug entitle*ment which will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. He increased federal education spending 58% faster than inflation. He was also the first President to spend 3% of GDP on federal anti-poverty programs. For some reason the left wing is no longer talking about the deficit.
    The above graph does include spending on Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush years. While Bush did fund the wars through emergency supplementals (not the regular budget process), that spending did not simply vanish. It is of course included in the numbers above.
     
  5. 8537
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    8537 Senior Member

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    Debt held by the public - which is the only marketable debt backed by the full faith and credit of the US government - decreased.
     
  6. DiamondDave
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    DiamondDave Army Vet

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    That is like saying you earned 100K, borrowed 25K from mom, and spent 122K and claiming a 3k 'surplus' for the year...

    intergovernmental spending counts, except in liberal lala land
     
  7. 8537
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    No, it's not like that at all.

    In reality, the government issues two basic types debt instruments: Marketable debt, which is guaranteed payment and nonmarketable debt, which is payable at the discretion of congress.

    The nonmarketable debt is used as intergovernmental transfers and can not be bought or sold outside of the US government. The debt that matters isn't intergovernmental - the debt that matters is how much the government owes others - I.e. debt held by the public.

    The intergovernmental debt could be wiped away tomorrow without even dinging our credit rating (though it would piss off a bunch of seniors).
     
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  8. JRK
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    JRK Senior Member

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    you know whats the strangest event here?
    The GOP run congress 94-00, 03-07 and the dems run congress from 07-11
     
  9. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    Dimmocwat myth #1,275: Obama wasn't born in Kenya.



    Clinton ran a surplus. People who argue otherwise don't understand the dynamics and accounting of the US federal budget. I will post it later.
     
  10. DiamondDave
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    I give full credit that it was closer to a surplus than it had been in a LONG time.... just not this overblasted myth that we ran some surplus under Clinton.... you can exclude all the places you want, but in the big picture, we still spent and borrowed more than we took in
     

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