From Politico: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/81872.html
By Sen. Bernie Sanders
Yes. We must address the very serious problem of a $16 trillion national debt and a $1 trillion federal deficit.
But at this pivotal moment in American history, it’s essential that we understand how we got into this deficit crisis in the first place and who was responsible for it. More important, we must address the deficit in a way that is fair and does not balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor — people who are already hurting.
Let us never forget that when Bill Clinton left office in January 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion surplus, and the projections were that this surplus would grow by a total of $5 trillion over a 10-year period.
What happened? How did we go from a significant federal budget surplus to a massive deficit? Frankly, it is not that complicated.
President George W. Bush and the so-called deficit hawks chose to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and put the funding for those wars on our nation’s credit card. By the time the last wounded veteran is cared for, those wars will end up adding more than $3 trillion to our national debt.
During this same period, Bush and the “deficit hawks” provided huge tax breaks to the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans who were already doing phenomenally well. These tax breaks for the very rich will increase our national debt by about $1 trillion over a 10-year period.
Continue reading at: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/81872.html