Can we, as Americans, at least those of us who still have some grasp of reality, once and for all discard the myth that the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility, while the Democrats are the party of "tax and spend?"

That myth has been debunked at the national level for at least 30 years, beginning with Reagan running up record national debt, then the two Bush presidents doing the same. It took a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, to clean up the Reagan/Bush fiscal mess and actually balance our budget, which led to a period of unprecedented peace and economic prosperity. Then it took another Democratic president, Barack Obama, to clean up Bush Jr.'s mess that took the form of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Now, the new Republican tax scam that Trump just signed into law, besides primarily benefiting the rich and corporations at the expense of the middle class, creates an estimated $1.5 trillion deficit.

At the state level, this myth should also be thrown into the trash heap of history. Exhibit A: Republican Gov. Schwarzenegger leaves behind a record $25 billion deficit at the doorstep of the incoming Democratic Gov. Brown, who then erases that deficit and converts it into a huge surplus.

Even Republicans at the local level, not to be outdone, proudly show their fiscal incompetence in dealing with a budget shortage by shutting down Bakersfield's legal cannabis dispensaries that would provide much-needed revenues to solve our city's financial woes without cutting city services.

Richard Thesken