Television news shows featuring Members of Congress from each party often yield little, if any, substantive dialogue. The dribble-drabble, hocus-pocus, mind-numbing, and highly partisan discussions, where Members talk past each other and interrupt each other incessantly, can get really old, really fast. These shows leave some viewers, like myself, extremely frustrated and more curious than ever to know what the facts really are in a given situation.
That’s why I decided to do my own research about the Clinton tax increases when the Fiscal Cliff mess was all over the TV during the holidays. Click here to see a chart that I created which reveals actual tax receipts, expenditures, and corresponding deficits or surpluses from 1983 to 2011, including my notes about recessions and changes in tax rates during this time period. This information can also be found by clicking on Budget in the site’s header.
Different people will interpret the data in different ways, but it is interesting (but not surprising) how much tax receipts increased following the Clinton capital gains tax cuts of 1997 and the Bush tax cuts of 2003. The data also show that Clinton spending was relatively modest compared to ‘Big Spending 43,’ but no president has ever spent more than the one we have now. Yet, the most revealing and disturbing data is the insanity revealed in the surplus/deficit column. No doubt, Republicans own our fiscal mess as much as Democrats, but at least the former has passed a budget that addresses our deficits, while the latter has failed their constitutional duty to pass one in almost 4 years.