For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely. This is more of the same for middle class families who are suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. After 43 straight months of unemployment above 8 percent, it is clear that President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises and his policies haven’t worked. We aren’t better off than they were four years ago.
Goodman reminds us of this inevitable fact: Republicans grow government faster than Democrats. It’s good to keep this in mind as we observe the electoral “silly season” where facts that are inconvenient are either twisted or ignored. What’s pushing the national government into bankruptcy is the growth of Social Security (installed under a Democrat), Medicare and Medicaid (enacted under a Democrat) and unemployment insurance (under a Democrat administration in 1932). Goodman notes that entitlement (i.e., welfare) spending reached $2.2 trillion in 2010. That’s 100% of tax revenues! But who’s to blame? The Democrats, who enacted them? Or the Republicans, who expanded them? Says Goodman:
So who is to blame for this state of affairs? Lyndon Johnson, of course, gave us Medicare, Medicaid and the rest of the Great Society. But when Johnson left office, these programs were relatively small. The main expansion came under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Not only that, the expansions were largely the result of executive orders!
From a purely statistical standpoint, the growth of entitlement spending over the past half-century has been distinctly greater under Republican administrations than Democratic ones. Between 1960 and 2010, the growth of entitlement spending was exponential, but in any given year, it was on the whole roughly 8% higher if the president happened to be a Republican rather than a Democrat.
This is good to keep in mind as the politicians – especially Republicans – continue to make promises they have no intention of keeping.