Last updated on 2012.09.15
But I hear the Republicans put up a national debt clock. This visual aid says nothing about what a President Romney would do to slow down or spin backwards that clock.
It also ignores the important discussion of where that debt has come from. Ezra Klein fills that gap:
The biggest chunk of the national debt is the tax cuts President George W. Bush passed in 2001 and 2003. President Barack Obama extended those tax cuts in 2010, given fears that letting taxes return to pre-2001 rates would hinder recovery from the recession. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan promise to cut even more taxes.
The next biggest contributors to the debt are the economic downturn, which drove down revenues, and our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which among the GOP choices only Ron Paul would have ended immediately. That skinny dark blue line is the TARP and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailouts necessitated by the 2008 economic crisis.
So consider: if the Bush era hadn't happened, if we hadn't returned to failed trickle-down economics and global butt-kicking and poorly regulated Wall Street gambling, that clock on the GOP stage would be spinning much less quickly.