‘This is George W. Bush’s debt’

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough talked about the debt-ceiling fight this morning, and said something rather unexpected. (thanks to F.B. for the tip)

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For those who can’t watch clips from your work computers, Scarborough, the former Republican congressman, argued, “Let’s make no mistake about it right now: increasing this debt ceiling? This is George W. Bush and the Republican Party’s debt.

“Five years from now? It’s Barack Obama’s. But right now, this is what happens when you spend the type of money you spent from 2001 to 2009…. This is what we have been led to in 2011. This is George W. Bush’s debt…. You can’t just put this on Barack Obama.”

Now, to a certain extent, Scarborough is only telling part of the story. From his perspective, Bush-era fiscal irresponsibility is the result of reckless spending, and it’s a point with merit. Republicans paid for two wars, health care expansion, and a new education law without even trying to pay for any of it. What Scarborough neglects to mention is that the debt spiraled because of tax cuts, which the GOP also didn’t try to pay for.

But the host’s larger point is accurate and important. Those complaining most about raising the debt ceiling don’t fully appreciate the fact that Democrats aren’t the ones who created this mess.