Lotterman: GOP late to party on fiscal responsibility

The next time one of your Republican friends complains about Obama’s spending, point him to this St. Paul Pioneer Press column by economist Edward Lotterman.  Republicans can talk about how they’re "small government" and "fiscally responsible", but history says they’re virtually indistinguishable from Democrats.

"Republicans opposed to the Obama administration’s fiscal stimulus bill fretted noisily about ‘spending money we don’t have’ and ‘passing a burden on to our grandchildren.’

"Their concern for fiscal prudence is laudable, but not credible, given the past 60 years. While Republicans had a deserved reputation for fiscal probity from Lincoln through Nixon, their contempt for balanced budgets since 1981 is at the root of our national debt problems…

"…George W. Bush is the champ, however. More than 36 percent of the total came from deficits between his first budget year, fiscal 2002, and February 2009"

And before you blame Democrat congresses for the debt, keep in mind Bush worked with a Republican congress for all but two years of his term.