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LETTER: Debt rises under Republican leadership

To the Editor:

Last week, Bob Ziller treated us to another example of his partisan number crunching and blamed Congressman Ron Kind for increasing the federal debt limit to $14.29 trillion.

Ziller never mentioned the words "Reagan," "Bush" or "Republican" in his letter. Currently, the national debt is $12.4 trillion. How did we get to that number? Who is responsible for this debt?

Since Ziller does not provide these details, I will.

Prior to Ronald Reagan taking office in 1981, the debt was approximately $1 trillion. Reagan added $1.8 trillion. George Bush Sr. added $1.5 trillion, Bill Clinton added $1.4 trillion, George Bush Jr. added $5 trillion and Obama has added $1.8. Since Reagan, the debt has increase $11.5 trillion - 72 percent under Republican presidents and 28 percent under Democratic presidents. Remember, Republicans call themselves "fiscal conservatives" and call the Democrats "big spenders."

I do not recall a letter to the editor from Ziller in 2002, when the Bush administration said the debt limit must be increased or the government would face default for the first time in its history. Where was Ziller's letter in 2003, when President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress approved a 15 percent increase in the debt ceiling? There was no letter of outrage in 2004, when Bush and the Republicans again increased the debt ceiling - immediately after the November election.

Last week, Ziller raised the current rallying cry of Republicans that "we're passing our debt onto our children and grandchildren." In 2004, concerning the growing Republican debt.

Congressman John W. Splatt (D-SC) said, "This is the burden Republicans are passing on to the next generation, and they have no plan or prospect for addressing it."

Ziller told us Ron Kind does not care if the debt is passed on the future generations. I say Ziller does not care about the facts and prefers to pass along Republican lies to today's voters. Perhaps future generations would be better served by honesty today.

James P. Nelson

New Richmond