In his eight years as President — veto power and all — Ronald Reagan added more to the National Debt than all previous presidents combined.  He was not forced to do it to pull the country out of a depression.  He was not forced to do it to fight a world war.  Yet the iconic conservative did it anyway.

Keep that in mind when you hear, as we did from Jim DeMint on “Face the Nation” Sunday, that President Obama may by the time he leaves office do the same thing.

(Though only if you include the $1.5 trillion 2009 debt he inherited from George W. Bush for the fiscal year that began even before he was elected.  And only if you include the fact that, actually, with the deficit falling so fast, he probably won’t.  And he did have a depression to avert; and two Republican wars to inherit, not just an invasion of Granada.)

The Debt as a proportion of GDP was gradually worked down from 121% in 1946 to 30% the year Reagan/Bush took and sent it soaring back up . . . until the Democrat, Bill Clinton turned that around and got the ratio dropping again . . . until the Republican, Bush 43, turned it back around to soaring again . . . until the Democrat, Barack Obama, turned it back around to falling once more.

Just sayin’.

(President Reagan, the iconic conservative, also agreed to tax wealth — dividends and capital gains — just as heavily as work.  To today’s Republican Party, that is anathema.)


Peter Jackson:  “I enjoyed Friday’s notes on food waste and agree: we waste way too much food.   Thought I’d share what I do with my 200 pounds of rinds and egg shells: I feed it to my chickens. Backyard chickens are becoming popular everywhere (even in Brooklyn, I’ve read!).  Where I live, maintaining compost through the winter is a challenge because it freezes.  Feeding it to the chickens has a dual benefit: 1) it turns food waste in to eggs, which I eat and 2) it turns the food waste in to chicken waste, which is even better fertilizer for the garden in the summer. And, if I may be slightly icky, frozen chicken poop is better than frozen melon rinds in the compost pile all winter.  Also: we just started selling the eggs to friends. We make $36 a week on the surplus eggs. Know what we do with it? We invest it. Between that and the garden, our food costs have dropped by a couple hundred a month in the summer.  And I’m no country hick! I grew up in DC and make software for a living!”


John Seiffer: “Another reason WheelTug should do well: preventing accidents like this one.”




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