Noted Obama endorser Anne Applebaum on spendthrift Republicans:
Of course, parties can change, politicians can see the light, lessons can be learned—and perhaps some Republicans have learned them. But you cannot start from scratch. You cannot forget history. You cannot pretend that the Republican Party has not supported big and wasteful spending programs—energy subsidies, farm subsidies, unnecessary homeland security projects, profligate defense contracts, you name it—for the last decade. Before the Republican Party can have any credibility on any spending issues whatsoever, Republican leaders need to speak frankly about the mistakes of the past.
They also must be extremely specific about which policies and which programs they are planning to cut in the future. What will it be? Social Security or the military budget? Medicare or the TSA? Vague “anti-government” rhetoric just doesn’t cut it anymore: If you want a smaller government, you have to tell us how you will create one.
All excellent points. So, take it from an Obama endorser: Don’t fall for vague rhetoric, don’t ignore big, wasteful spending programs, and remember that, before you can have any credibility, you must speak frankly about the mistakes of the past.
Debt held by the public as a share of GDP: