Who and What Caused the Deficit?

"Our Republican friends are deeply, deeply concerned, as you know, about the deficit," Sen. Bernie Sanders said, with a hint of sarcasm, during an interview Wednesday with radio host Ed Schultz. "If that's the case, you might want to ask them why it was that when Clinton left office in January 2001, before Bush took office, we had a $236 billion surplus. And what was Paul Ryan's concern about the deficit when he voted for the war in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan? He forgot to pay for it. I didn't hear any concerns about the deficit. Did you? And then he gave a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the top 2 percent over 10 years - didn't worry about the deficit there.  He voted for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program written by the insurance companies and the drug companies - not paid for. So I find it somewhat hypocritical that these guys like Ryan, who are so worried about the deficit now that you've got to cut Medicare... destroy Medicare, make massive cuts in Medicaid, in education, force elderly people to pay more for prescription drugs because they are so worried about the deficit. But when it came to voting for tax breaks for the rich and wars, they weren't worried about the deficit.

"I think you've got just an enormous level of hypocrisy there," Sanders said.

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Federal Deficit