During this midterm election the Republicans have found religion in terms of fiscal responsibility. Suddenly they are concerned about our national debt, and their negative ads are quick to blame Democrats for our $13.6 trillion national debt. Before we play their game of Pin the Blame on the Donkey, let's look at the facts.
When George Bush took office in January of 2001, the national debt was $5.7 trillion. When he left in January of 2009, the debt had increased to $10.6 trillion. So where were the "fiscal conservatives" during the Bush years, when our national debt was nearly doubled? Where were the cries for smaller government? Where was the outrage when we borrowed trillions from China, used the Social Security surplus to mask the true deficits and waged two "off budget" wars?
President Obama invested $800 billion to stabilize an economy that was in free fall. Undoubtedly he would have preferred to assume a healthy economy and the $300 billion annual federal budget surplus that George Bush inherited in 2001. Unfortunately, Obama didn't have that luxury, so he put people to work repairing roads and bridges, making our homes more energy efficient and investing over $7 billion in Michigan.
Three billion of the stimulus dollars created incentives for companies to build advanced batteries in Michigan for plug-in electric vehicles. These are revolutionary cars that will greatly reduce our nation's consumption of imported oil. As a result of these incentives, 16 companies have constructed or are in the process of constructing new production plants, creating thousands of good paying jobs in Michigan.
So the next time the "fiscal conservatives" start blaming Democrats for our national debt and a "failed stimulus," remember who created the real debt burden and buried a trillion dollars of our national treasure in Iraq. As Bush left office in January 2009, the U.S. was losing 500,000 jobs a month, GM and Chrysler were facing liquidation, stocks were in free fall, and the prospect of a second Great Depression was very real. To claim that the stimulus has failed because we not have returned to full employment is disingenuous. Failure would have been to sit on our hands and do nothing, and that apparently is what Republicans would have preferred. President Obama and the Democrats invested money into jobs in the USA, and more specifically, Michigan.