Bill Clinton is Right: It’s the Arithmetic

Bill Clinton said at the Democratic Convention that, when it comes to budget deficits, "it's the arithmetic." I agree.


I was fascinated by former President Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic Convention.  But the thing that resonated with me most was the part about arithmetic.  Clinton was able to achieve four years of budget surpluses when he was president while deficits have exploded under Republican administrations.

Bill Clinton began his remarks about dealing with the deficit this way: “Now, people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. What new ideas did we bring to Washington? I always give a one-word answer: Arithmetic.”

His point was that Republicans only have three choices about how they will lower the deficit if they also cut taxes (primarily for the wealthy) by $5 trillion, as they have said they will do.  The first possible outcome, Clinton said, was to “cover it by cutting deductions, like the ones for home mortgages and charitable giving.”  In that case, “middle-class families will see their tax bills go up an average of $2,000 while anybody who makes $3 million or more will see their tax bill go down $250,000.” 

The second scenario, said Clinton, is to “cut so much spending that they’ll obliterate the budget for the national parks, for ensuring clean air, clean water, safe food, safe air travel. They’ll cut way back on Pell Grants, college loans, early childhood education, child nutrition programs, all the programs that help to empower middle-class families and help poor kids. Or, they’ll cut back on investments in roads and bridges and science and technology and biomedical research.”

Or, alternatively, the Republican will just cut taxes without cutting spending, as Clinton correctly says they’ve been doing for more than 30 years, which will “explode the debt and weaken the economy.”  

As a CPA and candidate for Congress in this area, I believe strongly in looking at the numbers behind campaign promises to analyze what they actually mean.  In my opinion, a budget like that sponsored by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and enthusiastically supported by Representative Peter Roskam will only add to our deficit problem.  We need to grow the economy in order to start solving our budget crisis, not slash programs that help people when they need it.  As President Clinton said, “It’s the arithmetic.”

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

The Sentinel September 11, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Imagine that...the pot calling the kettle black.
McCloud September 11, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Yeah, the Democrats caused the housing collapse. They restricted the lenders from using underwriting guidelines, claiming that some of the lender's procedures were racist, perhaps you should read up on the CRA, Community Reinvestment Act. The lenders were given the option of selling off mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, leaving them with no risk and high rewards, an artificial market. Its no wonder the bubble burst, and it was an easy political play to blame Bush, you were the perfect prey to fall for their rewriting of history. With you being so educated, how did you miss this one?
McCloud September 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Leslie, are you running away from your constituents? Why write an article in the Patch, stating your beliefs, and not answer a basic question? How do tax increases improve an economy? Huh, I thought so, no answer. I guess you would rather duck real questions, so how am I to think of you if you were wlected?
Paul September 12, 2012 at 09:03 AM
Mccloud, I took yesterday off due to 9/11. She will not answer you because she realizes that first of all, you really have never listened to Bill Clintons speech and what he said, and second of all, she is with me, your a MORON. Especially based on your last few posts which are so untrue one might think you have not broken that drug habit.
McCloud September 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM
I get insulted, but I don't get an answer to a basic question. I stopped listening to Bill Clinton when he was President. See, when you lie to the American people, and tell other people to lie under oath to subvert justice, and you are the President, you have nothing more for me to hear.
McCloud September 12, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Paul, here is some homework for you, read this article. There will be a test afterward. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/11/obama-on-track-to-have-worst-job-record-since-worl/?page=all#pagebreak
Carol Clausen September 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Who lead pushing the Lewinsky scandal? Newt Gingrich, the same guy, at the same time was having an affair with his third wife while married to his second wife. He did the same with his first and second wives. How is that "Contract with America" working?
Lead Follow or Get Out of the Way September 12, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Let's focus on the issue at hand and not deflect from it by bringing up someone else's transgressions from the 90's.
RidgewayVol September 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Not bringing up transgressions, missteps or mistakes from a previous administration or President? Wow, that's a great idea. But I keep thinking about some saying involving a kettle and a pot.
Paul September 12, 2012 at 02:20 PM
McCloud, you said in an earlier post that you don't believe anything you read from any of those publications. You just prived one thing, You are still a Moron. And a hypocrite to boot.
McCloud September 12, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Paul tried to answer my question earlier by claiming that Obama was going to raise taxes, collect more revenue, and pay down the national debt. Never in history has the national debt been "paid down". Like when you decide to pay down or pay off a credit card, Obama is going to do this. He had mentioned drugs earlier, perhaps he's had some magic mushrooms when he attempted to answer me. As I stated earlier, raising taxes on the "rich" naturally leads to lower consumption, lower investment, lower GDP and more unemployment. He's just too high to get it.
George September 12, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Our economy has been held hostage for the last four years, not knowing from year to year what to expect for income tax, and knowing fees, penalties and now taxes expected from Obamacare, threats from Obama on the "rich" to raise their income tax, irresponsible spending wasted on green companies starting with Solyndra and about 25 other companies all have filed for bankrupcy and were owned by Obama supporters. A potted plant would make the better President.
KAL September 12, 2012 at 10:23 PM
I agree that George Bush spent too much money but how can you say that and then ignore the 5 trillion more that have been added in the last four years. Clinton is right. It is about math and Obama increased the deficit by almost 50% in four years (from 10.5 trillion to 16 trillion). Both sides are at fault and we need to keep throwing the bums out until someone does what the American people want - which is to get control of the spending. Kris
Paul September 12, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Kal, He had to because if he did not pump money into AIG, GM,Chrysler and there are couple of other huge corporations that helped bring down the housing our economy would have really tanked putting us in a great depression. that's how I can say that. He has had the best Economist in the world tell him this. A couple actually said he did not spend enough. Folk, we can all agree to dis agree. I do know this and it has been substantiated by every fact finding source available right now, that the deocratic party has created almost twice as many jobs then the republicans since 1961. I also do know that I for one, will never want an elitist like romney running the country. No, I feel for obama. He has had to deal with Boehner, name is very fitting and a couple other clowns who refuse to do anything but get this guy out. By the way my republican friends, wheres mitts tax returns? What is he hiding? Hugs and kisses all. OH, almost forgot, sad to say, but a lot of teabaggers want him out because he is black.
McCloud September 12, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Well educated one, these cheap comments that somehow make sense to you, like "He had to if he did not pump money into AIG, GM,Chrysler", given such nonsense, let us look at the arithmetic. AIG bailout = 40 Billion, GM Chrysler Bailout = 80 Billion, totals 120 Billion. Now if you take the 5 trillion Obama added to our national debt, that means you have about 4.8 Billion unaccounted for genius.
McCloud September 13, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Really, I'm not even sure why I continue here with comments. Still no answer to a simple question, another liberal goes down in the gun fight of logic, Blammooo. (cue the Clint Eastwood music)
The Sentinel September 13, 2012 at 02:08 AM
How ironic, Paulie...a lot of libbie lefties want to elect him again BECAUSE he's black. Well, half black, anyway.
Paul September 13, 2012 at 09:14 AM
Hey Mcclud and now sentinel. Let me help. I said a few other big corps also. Again, read!! A basic fundamental to get by life with. And a leftie? Another term created by ignorant slobs on the far right!! You boys have a great day!! I am. And yes Mccloud I am educated. Thanks. The facts kill you 2. Hey, I think we should make it mandatory that all who enter this domain have at least an IQ of 100. That would eliminate you 2 for sure. LMAO.
McCloud September 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM
You said enough to easily determine your complete and undeterred loyalty to a failure. There are many people like you, unwilling to face the clear results after 4 years and admit you were wrong when you cast your vote in 2008. It's obvious when you present weak answers to basic questions, and have limited ability to parrot obtuse political nonsense that you heard from some hack who has already been exposed as a liar.
McCloud September 13, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Normally, I let this go, but our country cannot afford four more years of this guy. I hope that someone else reads this and understands the evasive and intellectually dishonest points coming from the supporters of a failed President.
The Sentinel September 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM
"Leftier" is another term created by the people on the far right? Izzat so. Prove it. And by the way, you'd be eliminated from this page yourself. But I have to admit, there have been very few posters on this site who are as pompous and insulting as you. Congrats. You made the big time.
Paul September 13, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Thanks sentinel. And mccloud, lets talk losers. Did you cast your vote for bush? The 2 of you are so so funny. Sentinel, nothing to prove to you. As for the IQ thing, not proud of this, but at least mine truly is higher then the arsewipe you 2 probably voted for the last 2 times around. And it is sad but true. So if you 2 clowns think that i am stupid because I am a democrat, then I guess bush and his new clone romney are like ape house material.
Paul September 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM
And one last thing sentinel, you were not insulting? HMMM interesting perspective.
The Sentinel September 13, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Just WHAt did you find insulting that I said? "Nothing to prove to you" eh? I guess then that you can't prove what you said and made it up on your own, hoping we'd believe it just as you think we should believe everything you've posted. I DID have to laugh...you didn't say anything about "pompous" so I guess you're agreed on that. A bit of news for ya...MY IQ is a good number, which you won't accept simply because I vote repuublican. Your constant refusal to accept people who. for one reason or another, do not agree with your political beliefs shows you to be as narrow-minded as you say we are. And for your info...yep. I voted for Bush the first time but had considerable doubts about him for re-election. And for this election, I'm not all that sure that Romney is the best the republicans could have come up with. But, Paul, he's better than Obama who, because he doesn't have to think about being re-elected again, is going to give away the entire country to illegal immigrants. He's already started with the Dream Act. Wait'll you see what he does next. Now, I'm going back to the start and stopping email "updates" about this topic so I won't be reading the trickle of tripe you've been spewing these many days. Good day.
Paul September 13, 2012 at 03:58 PM
OKay Sentinel. Have a good day. Whatever you say. Hehehehehhe.
James Hurley September 13, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Sorry friend the wealthy do not drive our consumer economy, that's driven by the middle class and Obama has said what he'll do with the money, he'll use some to reduce the deficit but in the main he'll use the new funds to begin the long process of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, building things like highways and bridges
McCloud September 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM
"Sorry friend the wealthy do not drive our consumer economy" Was that what you decided on your own? According to new research from Moody’s Analytics, the top 5% of Americans by income account for 37% of all consumer outlays. A large chunk for just the top 5%, and consumer spending accounts for roughly two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product. "he'll use some to reduce the deficit" Again is this something you just decided? Never in our history has the national debt been reduced, yet somehow you think some of the "expected" revenue gain will be used for that? Roads and infrastructure? Did I not hear that was what the trillion dollar stimulus was supposed to be for? How did that one go? Raising taxes on anyone will reduce consumption, investment, GDP and employment. The economy will shrink more than it is doing so now. Please get some help understanding economics before you vote.
Paul September 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM
The deficit never paid down? Mccloud, Read history of our country. Read some stuff on FDR. And Henry Ford. You have to grow the economy from the middle not the top and there once was a surplus, granted not very much before the GWB administration. I did not want to reply again on this subject but someone has to reign in your falsehoods.
McCloud September 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM
Please stop replying, I am embarassed for you.
Paul September 15, 2012 at 09:32 AM
No, I can'y help myself. When someoneas far off as you keeps replying, I need t oput them in there place. If I were you, re-read some of your posts and who would be embarrased. Again, the truth kills you teabaggers.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something