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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 24,780

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Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it.

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I shut down a winger today with facts I showed him how to research

I won't go into the circumstances, but this guy wanted to find out where he could get info to refute what someone was saying about the country having zero debt when Clinton left office. He said he knows its been decades since the country had no national debt. I told him that he was right, that we did have debt when Clinton left office but what I think the folks meant was that we were on track to pay off the debt when Clinton left office.

SOOOOO... not being one to miss an opportunity.... I showed him how to use Google to research things. We found http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm, which shows in on September 30, 2000 the country had $5.7 trillion in debt. He said "I knew it!" I said, of course you're right! (heh! heh!) I then said, Ok, well lookee here... Clinton left with the $5.7 trillion and when Bush left it was $10 trillion. Gee! He said, you mean it doubled under Bush? I said, "sure looks like it!" (Heh! Heh!) After pondering a bit HE says, "I'll bet it was the wars." I said, exactly, they were never funded and paid for. I also mentioned the $1 trillion for Medicare Part D that was never funded and paid for. He's kinda quiet now. The figures were only good through 2010, but they show $13.6 trillion in 2010. He said well, it's $15 trillion now under Obama. I said, yeah, that's what they say.

Then I said, let's go look back some more. I then took him to http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo4.htm. I said, "Lookee here!" When Reagan took office in 1980 (using the 9/30/79 figure), the debt was $826 billion. And look here... when Bush I finally left office in 1992, the debt was $4 trillion. He said, "you mean they ran it up that much?" "Hmmm... sure looks like it to me!" I also showed him how the debt was $4 trillion when Clinton took office in 1993 (9/30/92 figure). I said, "I didn't know this (heh! heh!). The debt only increased about $1.5 trillion under Clinton." After a long pause he just says, "Well somebody needs to do something about it. We can't... blah, blah, blah...." I just said, "I dunno... but it just looks to me that here's a lot of info on who NOT to vote for." I also told him simply that debt is not a bad thing. I told him businesses do it all the time. It's called OPM or Other People's Money. I said with interest rates practically nothing, it's better to borrow than to print money and cause inflation. He didn't snap to the fact we are printing money but I was ready to explain how the Fed has it under control by buying back debt. I left him with the same puzzled look dogs have when they cock their head to the side and look confused about something they don't understand. In his case it is something contrary to what he believed due to watching Fox and listening to Rush, et al. I'll see him again in a few days after he has some time to digest and sleep on all this info he had no idea about.

It was beautiful! Isn't the Internet great!
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