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This is Harry’s wake-up call

If there’s any justice in the universe, there will come a day of reckoning for those in Washington who spent us into this economic hell. It’ll have to come later for President Obama, unfortunately, but for one of his chief partners in budget deficit crime — Nevada Sen. Harry Reid — it could come in 23 short days.

The Obama crowd and the Reid machine contest the notion that they are in any way responsible for America’s fast-mounting deficits and debt.

They say it was really President Bush’s fault. All they did was inherit it. Let’s lay that canard to rest once and for all.

John Merline of AOL researched the question of whether the fix we’re in is Bush’s fault or Obama’s fault. He found “the answer is both, but not to an equal degree.”

The Congressional Budget Office projects spending and revenue 10 years out into the future. Bush’s last budget produced very small deficits between 2011 and 2018. The CBO projected a balanced budget in 2012 and again in 2018 on Bush’s path.

That, of course, came before we knew how long and deep the recession was going to be. So the CBO now estimates revenues at $2.2 trillion lower over the next eight years. If you want to blame Bush’s economic policies for that drop-off in revenue, then fine. But it’s not the revenue shortfall that’s driving the big deficit and debt under Obama and Reid’s watch. It is the wildly uncontrolled spending.

According to the CBO, as reported by Merline:

“Between 2011 and 2018, Obama would spend $4.9 trillion more than Bush had planned. Keep in mind that this extra spending is after the economic stimulus has been almost entirely exhausted.

“In other words, if Obama had simply kept Bush’s spending policies in place, federal deficits over the next eight years would be 60 percent lower. In 2018, we’d have a deficit of just $188 billion, instead of the projected $996 billion under Obama’s budget.”

Therefore, Merline concluded, Bush shares in the blame, but “the majority of the blame belongs with Obama for putting the government on a far higher spending path.”

And you can’t blame Obama for this reckless spending without holding Sen. Reid accountable. He considers the Obama agenda one of his accomplishments. And Harry tells Nevadans that he’ll continue to support the Obama agenda.

Meanwhile, Nevada leads the league in a host of bad economic stats. From foreclosures to unemployment, we’re in an economic hell that’s gotten much worse under the Obama/Reid budget plan.

Harry likes the moniker “give ’em hell Harry,” coined in reference to one of our better presidents, Harry Truman.

If only Harry Reid possessed some of the traits of Truman and mustered the backbone to stand up to his own party and president on deficit spending.

Instead of giving ’em hell, he gave ’em his full support, thus helping to put us in this hole. Because of that, he stands at the threshold of what likely will be his day of reckoning.

Sherman Frederick (sfrederick@ reviewjournal.com) is publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.

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