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52 Reasons to Vote for Obama: #38, Balance Against Congress

09/24/2012 02:49 pm ET | Updated Nov 24, 2012
  • Bernard Whitman President/CEO of Whitman Insight Strategies, Author of '52 Reasons to Vote for Obama'

Whether you're PRObama, NObama, or still undecided, 52 Reasons to Vote for Obama gives you all the information you need to share with friends, debate with relatives and decide for yourself as we head toward one of the most important elections of our lifetime. I'll post a new reason in random order every Monday through Friday from now 'til the election.

Most pundits predict that the House of Representatives will remain in the hands of the Republicans after the November elections. My hope is that the Senate will stay under Democratic control, but that's far from certain. It is possible that, come next January, Republicans could be the majority in both houses of the 113th Congress. And with a Republican president, that would spell disaster for the country.

2012-09-11-Balanceagainstcongress.jpgLet's remember the last time the nation had a Republican president and the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress, from 2003 to 2007 (the 108th and 109th Congresses).

What happened?

  • Iraq war began
  • Tax cuts for millionaires
  • Out-of-control spending
  • Explosion of the deficit -- it more than doubled the first year
  • National debt skyrocketed 33 percent
  • Failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina
  • Failure of immigration reform
  • Attempt to classify illegal immigrants and anyone who helped them remain in United States as felons
  • Terry Schiavo debacle
  • Multiple corruption scandals --Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and Jack Abramoff, to name a few
  • 108th Congress: First time in American history that the government cut taxes as it went to war
  • 109th Congress: Met for only 242 days, fewest since World War II (less than "Do Nothing" 80th Congress)

The net result? A war completely funded by borrowing, with U.S. debt soaring from $6.4 trillion in March 2003 to $10 trillion in 2008, before the financial crisis. According to Columbia University's Joseph E. Stiglitz and Harvard University's Linda J. Bilmes, two of America's most prominent economists, the true cost of the Iraq War so far is $3 trillion alone. Add to that the Bush-era tax cuts, which reduced revenues by about $1.8 trillion between 2002 and 2009, and you start to see how we got into such an economic mess in the first place.

So the last time the Republicans had both houses of Congress and the presidency we got an irresponsible Congress that gave us huge tax cuts for the rich that we couldn't afford and an unfunded war we shouldn't have fought, setting us up for an economic catastrophe we didn't need.

Is there any doubt we need President Obama?

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