CNS News and the Media Research Center climb into the Wayback Machine and travel to January 4, 2007, Nancy Pelosi’s first day as Speaker of the House, to recall this gem of a political promise. After years of overspending by Republicans, Democrats had run on a platform of fiscal responsibility and taken control of both chambers of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections. Pelosi started off the 110th Session of Congress by declaring an end to deficit spending:
Yeah … how did that promise work out, anyway?
At the close of business on Jan. 4, 2007, Pelosi’s first day as speaker, the national debt was $8,670,596,242,973.04 (8.67 trillion), according to theBureau of the Public Debt, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department. At the close of business on Oct. 22, it stood at $13,667,983,325,978.31 (13.67 trillion), an increase of 4,997,387,083,005.27 (or approximately $5 trillion).
Pelosi, the 60th speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, has added more to the national debt than the first 57 House speakers combined.
The $4.997-trillion increase in the national debt since she took the gavel is more debt than the federal government amassed from the speakership of Rep. Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, who became the first speaker of the House on April 1, 1789, to the start of the speakership of Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia, the 58th speaker, who took up the gavel on Jan. 4, 1995.
The national debt first topped $5 trillion on Feb. 23, 1996, more than a year into Gingrich’s speakership.
Democrats will often blame this on the continued existence of the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. However, the CBO reckons that the federal government will only get $4 trillion over the next ten years if all of the Bush tax cuts expire, as they are set to do on December 31 of this year. That ten-year revenue (which is itself highly debatable) still wouldn’t have covered all of the deficit spending Democrats did while in control of Congress in just four years. In fact, at their rate of deficit spending in three budget cycles, Democrats would add almost $15 trillion to the national debt in ten years:
- Republicans in control for 12 years: Added $4.034 trillion (avg $336.17 billion per year)
- Republicans in control during Bush era: Added $3.201 trillion (avg $533.5 billion per year)
- Democrats in control of Congress during Bush/Obama era: Added $4.603 trillion (avg 1.48 trillion per year)
Democrats did not aim to control spending when they took control of Congress. They aimed to expand government at a historic rate, and they succeeded beyond even their wildest dreams. And what happened when Democrats finally got around to passing pay-go, more than three years later? They made more exceptions to it than bills that actually got the pay-go treatment.
The NRCC should look at this clip and start cutting some last-minute ad drops in close districts. This is exactly why voters can’t trust Democrats on spending, deficits, and taxes.