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