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James Hanson, Published May 01 2011

Conrad ia deficit hawk in name only

I wonder how long Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., will be allowed to live in his dream world. I guess we all have fantasies, and there is nothing wrong with that, but when reporting to the people, the truth should be told.

I heard him on a Sunday talk show lecturing about deficits, and I thought that was pretty bold of him. I know that in his heart of hearts Conrad believes he is a deficit hawk.

Just a few facts might further clarify the truthfulness of that statement. He was sworn into office in 1987. The total outstanding debt at that time was $2.3 trillion, which, of course, was too high. Conrad then said that if the budget was not balanced, he would not seek re-election, which history has proved was a lie. The debt today stands at $14.3 trillion, and the “deficit hawk” is stepping down.

I was just thinking how fortunate we are that we had “the hawk” in office or maybe it would be something like $20 trillion or $30 trillion. Of course we all know it is not one man’s fault – except if you are a Democrat and then it is George W. Bush’s – but this hawk mantra is more than I can take.

If that is a true title, then maybe we should call President Bill Clinton an advocate for monogamy, Richard Nixon an advocate for truth telling, John Dillinger an advocate for bank safety – they are all just as ridiculous as Conrad being called a deficit hawk.

Maybe upon his triumphant return to North Dakota, Mr. Deficit Hawk will clarify the definition once and for all. I think we as citizens should demand that the true and actual debt figure be released to the media on a monthly basis. The truth of this is vital to our survival.

I have heard many an argument over the past two to three years about how Bush spent us into oblivion. Bush added $5 trillion to the debt in eight years. President Barack Obama has added $3.5 trillion in two years. It should be pointed out that of the $5 trillion added to the debt under Bush in his eight years, 54 percent of that came after the election of a Democrat-controlled House and Senate and that the Democrats controlled all branches of government for Obama’s first two years.

Again, it is not one man’s fault, not one party’s fault, but I think it is imperative that the voter be given the truth if we want our nation to survive.