The editorial reprinted from The Washington Times ("The biggest spender," Record-Courier, Sept. 17) left me wondering who does the fact-checking on the articles that get published? I understand that the editorial page is about opinions. That works for letters to the editor, but the editorials selected for publication reflect on the integrity of the editors and thus the paper itself.
The editorial in question does not survive even the most basic fact-checking. "The biggest spender" is based on inaccurate facts and distortions. It is Obama-bashing instead of presenting legitimate information.
The claim that Obama's deficits have totaled $6.8 trillion so far, while Bush II's deficits totaled $2 trillion is false. The facts provided by "U.S. Federal Deficits, Presidents and Congress," by Stephen Bloch show otherwise.
Bush II inherited a $5.8 trillion debt from Obama and left an $11.9 trillion debt for Obama. That is a total of $6.1 trillion under Bush II. That is triple what The Washington Times claims.
Obama inherited the $11.9 trillion Bush II debt and, with the current debt at $16.7 trillion, totals a $4.8 trillion debt for Obama so far.
So by the facts Bush II is actually the "biggest spender." However, it is more important to compare the sources for the two debts.
When Bush II took office after Clinton, the budget was in surplus. Bush II then claimed that the surplus was because American were being taxed too much and passed his big tax cuts, which put us back into deficits. His debt then was the products of the tax cuts, the Iraq war, and worsened by the economic downturn.
Obama's debt is the result of the economic downturn, the continuation of the two Bush wars and the refusal of Republicans to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire.
So while Bush II took action that increased the debt, Obama proposed actions to reduce the debt but was blocked by Republicans. Also, when Obama proposed stimulus spending and infrastructure repair to increase employment, increase tax revenues and further reduce the debt, he was again blocked by Republicans and Democratic austerity hawks. That means the claim by The Washington Times that credit for deficit reduction goes to the Republicans is opposite the facts. The Republicans actively blocked serious deficit and debt reductions.
For the Record-Courier to reprint this editorial misleads the newspaper's readers and adds fuel to the Obama-bashing and partisan gridlock that infects our government. It has done nothing to seriously inform the public and help people to understand our debt and intelligently addrss the issue. Frankly, I expect better from the editors.
Charles Chlysta III, Shalersville
(Editor's Note: Editorials written for the Record-Courier, which are labeled "Our View," represent the editorial voice of the newspaper. Editorials are reprinted from other publications in an effort to provide a diverse rage of views on the editorial page. Reprinting an editorial is not an endorsement of its content or the opinions expressed in it.)