Any time the discussion turns to the national debt, a popular tactic among Democrats is to go back to the origin of exploding debt numbers under President Reagan. They like to point out that when Reagan took office in 1981 the debt was $998 billion and when he left in 1989 it was $2.9 trillion, due mostly to tax cuts and spending increases over that time. That is true, but here’s the rest of the story.
Spending and revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives, and at no time during Reagan’s 8 years did Republicans control the House. In the 4 Congresses during Reagan’s 2 terms, the 97th thru the 100th, the average spread in the House of Representatives was 257 Democrats to 178 Republicans. The Kemp-Roth tax cuts of 1981, for example, passed 323-107 and there were only 191 Republicans in the House at that time. Likewise with spending. Democrats had the numbers to stop any of those proposals but didn’t.
Let’s be honest, when parceling out blame for our massive national debt there’s plenty of blame to go around, and plenty of fingers to be pointed in both directions.