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Letter to the Editor

BY DI STAFF | JULY 28, 2011 7:20 AM

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Both parties to blame for debt

Since 1917, the national debt ceiling has been raised 102 times — in most instances without much controversy. Of those 102 times, 17 were under President Reagan and from the beginning of his to presidency to the end, the ceiling was nearly tripled. In addition, President George W. Bush raised it seven times during his tenure, and the ceiling was doubled. In the past 30 years, the debt ceiling has been raised 35 times under a Republican president compared with just seven times by a Democratic president.

Right now, the ratio of debt-to-GDP is standing at approximately 93 percent, according to the IMF. In 1946, that number was at an all-time high of 121.6 percent. That is quite high anyway you look at it, but one must also take into account that it was right after the worst war the modern world has ever seen. How did we lower that percentage of debt-to-GDP? Primarily by raising taxes on the rich, one of the options we have right now. And guess what? The economy grew just fine in the succeeding years.

Do we have a debt problem? Yes.

Has the ratio of debt-to-GDP been worse? Yes.

Is the debt the fault of both parties? Yes.

Can the Republicans accurately call themselves the "party of fiscal responsibility?" Absolutely not.

Brett Wallace
UI sophomore


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