RNC Debt Clock - Yes, You Did Build It

There was much irony to the RNC's debt clock prop and Congressman Paul Ryan's speech at last week's RNC Convention.

The media, political pundits and the general public are still analyzing and discussing the implications of last week’s . 

While entertaining, at times, I’m still not convinced that the American public received an honest depiction of what the Republican Party plans are for our families as we move ahead. 

Being a Democrat, and a moderate one, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there wasn’t much I agreed with in terms of the RNC’s content during their convention.

Aside from the speeches and messaging, what I found most troubling was the debt clock that continuously ran inside the arena.  The mere placement of that clock seemed to be the most dishonest aspect of the entire convention.

The Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, was quoted saying, “this clock reminds every delegate and every American why we are here in Tampa - because America can and must do better.”  The implication was that President Obama was solely responsible for our nation’s debt.

We all know this is very untrue.  There is certainly a lot of blame to pass around, and rightly so.  Leaders in both of our two major political parties have contributed to our massive debt.

However, while watching the GOP’s vice presidential nominee Congressman Paul Ryan’s speech, I could not help to ponder about the sheer irony while that clock continued to wrack up some hefty and unfortunate numbers.

Wasn’t it Congressman Ryan and his Republican counterparts in Congress who pushed for, and voted in favor of, the Bush tax cuts over the past decade?  Didn’t Mr. Ryan support war spending in Iraq (a needless war) and Afghanistan?  The answer to both questions is, yes.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has told us that these tax cuts and war spending were the biggest policy drivers of the debt we incurred over the past decade.  These policies had the most damaging effect on our overall economy.  These are facts that cannot be denied.

While a pipedream, I wish Mr. Ryan simply looked up and pointed at the clock during his passionate speech to say, “you know what, let’s be honest.  My GOP friends and colleagues in Congress helped to add a great majority of this debt to our country.  I take responsibility for my part, and now we want to reverse course and do something about it.”

Of course, that didn’t happen.  I would imagine doing so would have been a difficult thing to do given the venue and circumstances surrounding Congressman Ryan.  But it certainly would have indicated real leadership.  Mr. Ryan could have picked up that mantle and done better, as Mr. Priebus previously noted, by taking responsibility for his record.

The catchy slogan of the RNC Convention was - We Built It.  As far as the numbers read on the debt clock prop, yes you did.

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Steve September 06, 2012 at 01:13 PM
You do avoid paying taxes.....everytime you fill out your taxes. Do you take any deductions ? Charities,mortgage interest, real estate taxes, health expenses ? Do you take any credits such as the energy credit, etc ? Do you tax your long term capital gains at the normal tax rate ? Do you take the $500,000 real estate exclusion ? Do you have an tax deferred IRA ? Do you have an HSA ? If you were so patriotic, you would pay taxes on your gross income and interest....and not take any of these deductions.......but you don't. You avoid paying taxes..... like anyone else does when they follow the IRS rules. I suggest you practice what you preach !
Amend September 06, 2012 at 01:44 PM
@steve- so you take no issue with a presidential candidate housing untold funds in off shore accounts so he can avoid his domestic tax burden? That's not the same as utilizing a deduction, and it's far from patriotic. If you're ok with that, then you should take no issue with someone on the opposite side of the income scale taking advantage of welfare. Practice what you preach indeed.
Steve September 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I actually looked it up a while ago and found out that these countries have reciprocal tax agreements with the US. Look it up yourself. There was NO tax avoidance according to Romney saying his holdings in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere have no effect on the amount he pays in U.S. taxes. I wonder if you know there are about 10,000 hedge funds in the United States and they all have off shore accounts with thousands of investors within the USA. You think that IRS would allow such a tax shelter ? Do you think investors would try to "hide" such investments after what happened last year with UBS and the US holders of hidden swiss bank accounts ? Romney's funds are managed through a custodial account, do you think that custodian would jeapordize his reputation and business by promoting something irregular ? You've been watching too many movies.
Amend September 06, 2012 at 02:34 PM
@steve- I'm not sure which countries you are referring to, but the ones I looked at that Romney had accounts with, Panama and the Cayman Islands, are notorious for their use as tax shelters. It seems naive to believe that those using such accounts aren't deriving some benefit from doing so in light of the evidence, even if it isnt something the IRS is able to control due to gaps in global finance tax agreements. Why else would they bother with offshore accounts if there wasn't some benefit? Why not just keep their money on domestic soil? The rules may not make it illegal, but that still doesn't make it right.
Ronnie DelBacco September 07, 2012 at 04:47 PM
@ Amend, WOW, you covered almost all the talking points except you forgot that we're racist too. Aside from that, the DNC should award you their top prize...a life-time supply of cool-aid. Facts are a stubborn thing. But in this case, blind followers are even more stubborn. Post your name and stop hiding behind rhetoric monickers and fact-less arguments. Include actual CBO numbers to back up your charges and we can then have a real conversation. But thanks anyway for the laughs.


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