A Primer On The National Debt From Reagan’s Economic Advisers.

Teapublicans have elevated Ronald Reagan to God-like status. They have named a Washington D.C. airport after him. They worship at his presidential library. They even want to add his image to Mount Rushmore National Monument.

So why don’t they follow his economic example?

This has never been more puzzling than during the current debt ceiling debate. Under Reagan, Congress was forced to raise the debt ceiling 17 times. But under Obama, Teapublicans refuse to raise the debt limit even once. To save Social Security, Reagan raised the income cap on FICA deductions. But under Obama, Teapublicans want to destroy Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. Reagan raised capital gains taxes to 28 percent. But under Obama, Teapublicans consider the current rate of 15 percent too high. Under Reagan, the highest income tax rate was 50 percent or more. But under Obama, the highest rate is 35 percent. And under Reagan, tax revenues averaged 18.2 percent of GDP. But under Obama, tax revenues are just 14.9 percent of GDP as reported by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Indeed, former Reagan Policy Adviser, Bruce Bartlett, recently stated on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, “The dirty secret is that Obama’s a moderate conservative.“ Further, he noted that $7 trillion of the national debt is due to George W. Bush’s policies and tax cuts. $2 trillion is due to the Great Recession that President Obama inherited. And only $1.4 trillion of the debt is due to Obama’s policies, including the measures taken to keep our economy from sliding into the abyss.

And speaking about the Teapublican refusal to increase revenues as part of their plan to cut the deficit, the father of “Reaganomics” and former Reagan Budget Director, David Stockman, said, “When I look at the Republican plan, I have to say I think it’s half right on some things, and it’s half-baked on a lot of others… you’re telling the people of America that we can solve this issue – which is very dangerous, the deficit that we’re facing and the debt we’re building up – by not raising taxes on anyone. That, in my judgment, is a big lie.”

Bartlett was even stronger in response to a question about the Teapublican-dominated Congress. “A good chunk of the Republican caucus is either stupid, crazy, ignorant, or craven cowards who are desperately afraid of the Tea Party people. And rightly so,” he said.