Tag Archives: Social Security

$18 Trillion

“The federal government’s total debt is approaching $18 trillion. Its operating deficit was more than $1 trillion in each of the years 2009-12 and $680 billion in 2013. These numbers are too immense and unfamiliar to be useful. (A trillion is not yet even a standard measure—it means a thousand times a billion in the United States and a million times a billion in much of Europe.) Christopher DeMuth

Our Democratic Debt

Christopher DeMuth, National Review, July 21, 2014, p. 28, 29

Content imageThe federal government’s total debt is approaching $18 trillion. Its operating deficit was more than $1 trillion in each of the years 2009–12 and $680 billion in 2013. These numbers are too immense and unfamiliar to be useful. (A trillion is not yet even a standard measure—it means a thousand times a billion in the United States and a million times a billion in much of Europe.) Better to convert them to portions of the economy and government, so that the current debt is 103 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and the 2013 deficit was 4 percent of GDPand 20 percent of federal spending. These ratios put the dollar figures in perspective. The GDP ratio shows the burden of the debt (a larger economy can afford to borrow more, just as a higher-income family can afford a larger home mortgage), and the spending ratio shows how much of our government we are declining to pay for with our taxes. And they facilitate comparisons over time (effectively adjusting for inflation) and across nations with larger and smaller economies. But ratios are still just numbers: They need interpretation to tell us what they mean for our personal circumstances and those of our government.

We are not getting much help from public officials and policy experts, whose interpretations tend to be abstract and amorphous. The consensus formulation, embraced by President Obama, Speaker of the House Boehner, and the Congressional Budget Office, among many others, is that our current debt and deficits are “unsustainable.” This suggests that they are tolerable for the time being but will need to be reduced by some degree sometime in the future. Such a judgment has the advantage of sounding responsible and admonitory while suiting the short time horizons of democratic politicians and their preoccupation with immediate electoral exigencies.

And they have a point: Why not kick this can down the road? Experts have been warning for decades that our debt and deficits are unsustainable, yet here we are today, out and about and being sustained by an economy and government that continue to chug along even though the debt is bigger than ever. The only debt crises most of us have noticed have been the periodic impasses between the president and Congress over the debt ceiling—the statutory mechanism for enforcing Congress’s second enumerated power (Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution), which is to “borrow money on the credit of the United States.” Recurring annual deficits have obliged the Treasury Department to ask Congress to raise the ceiling a dozen times since 2000, and Congress is always reluctant to recognize the gap between spending and tax revenues that its policies have created. The most recent stand-offs threatened, in July 2011, default on U.S. debt service payments or drastic cuts in government spending, and then produced a two-week government shutdown in October 2013. But Congress invariably resolves these crises by raising the ceiling to make room for additional borrowing, whereupon everyone sighs in relief and gets back to business.

A somewhat edgier formulation of our fiscal situation is that debt and deficits are “robbing our grandchildren.” This is Speaker Boehner’s position today, and it was President Obama’s position when, as a senator, he opposed President Bush’s proposed debt-ceiling increase in 2006—but Obama renounced it when campaigning for his own increase in 2011. It seems to be the position of the opposition party—an attempt to use moral suasion when practical forms of persuasion are unavailable. I think there is much truth in the expression but that it is too broad and rhetorical. When a city sells revenue bonds to finance highway or airport improvements, is it robbing from future generations? The “greatest generation” of Americans that fought and won World War II borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars to do so; was it robbing from the future or securing the future? Continue reading

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Chuck Norris Doesn’t Call the Wrong Number. You Answer the Wrong Phone.

“On Feb. 2, 2009, President Barack Obama explained his chances to fix the economy to host Matt Lauer on NBC’s ‘Today” show: ‘I will be held accountable.  I’ve got four years…if I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.’”  Chuck Norris, Whistleblower, October 2012, p. 28

“Here are my Top 10 reasons why I believe President Obama shouldn’t stay a single day beyond his one term in the Oval Office.”  Ibid.

Top 10 Reasons Not to Re-elect Obama

By Chuck Norris – Whistlerblower – October 2012 – p 28

On Feb. 2, 2009, President Barack Obama explained his chance to fix the economy to host Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today”: “I will be held accountable. I’ve got four years. … If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Here are the top 10 reasons I believe President Obama shouldn’t sit a single day beyond his one term in the Oval Office:

10) Obama’s economic actions have failed to lower the unemployment rate in the U.S. to less than 8 percent for the past 42 months, which is a record.

Nearly four years into his presidency, Obama’s economic progress was reported on Aug. 3 by Reuters: “Details of the household survey, from which the unemployment rate is drawn, gave a downbeat assessment of the labor market, with the share of the population that has a job falling to near cycle lows. In addition, the labor force participation rate, or the percentage of Americans who either have a job or are looking for one, fell to 63.7 percent last month from 63.8 percent. That is a sign of low confidence in the labor market. Data last week showed the economy grew at an annual pace of 1.5 percent in the second quarter, also far short of the 2.5 percent rate needed to keep the unemployment rate stable.”

9) The Obama administration’s out-of-control spending has led America to the economic brink and destroyed our country’s credit rating.

In 2009, Obama spoke out of one side of his mouth when giving financial advice to the people in New Hampshire: “When times are tough, you tighten your belts. You don’t go buying a boat when you can barely pay your mortgage. You don’t blow a bunch of cash (in) Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

But he then spoke out of the other side of his mouth when he informed the American public that he was proposing a record-breaking $3.8 trillion budget for 2011, which equates to spending $7.3 million a minute. (The federal budget was only $1.9 trillion in 2001.)

Tragically, the president expects Americans to live one way financially (fiscally prudently) and the federal government to live another (extravagantly wildly). Not so surprisingly, the day after the president proposed his 2011 budget, Moody’s Investors Service announced that his fiscal policies “test the AAA boundaries” and pushed the U.S. government’s credit rating below those of Canada, Germany and even France.

8) Obama’s reckless spending and fiscal policies have added more to the national debt than most U.S. presidents combined — roughly $6 trillion in his first term in office (making the total debt nearly $16 trillion and, by White House projections alone, $21.3 trillion by the end of fiscal 2017, $25 trillion in 2021 and $25.9 trillion in 2022). Continue reading

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Obama Undermines America

“So let’s look at what [President] Obama has done, to test the thesis that he is not a failed president (in his and the left’s eye) but that he is transforming America into a European-style dependency society. Do the facts and the evidence support the notion that Obama is undermining America and doing it willfully and by design?” Lewis K. Uhler

OBAMA OPTS FOR DEPENDENCY IN RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN

Obama opts for dependency in re-election campaign

By: Lew Uhler – HumanEvents.Com – 9/18/2012 

As we enter the final stretch of the presidential countdown, many are puzzled by how close the race seems to be, despite the apparent failure of Obama and his policies to restore jobs, growth and vibrance to our Nation.  But wait.  That may be the wrong prism.

The Obama administration’s recent unlawful administrative action of ending the “work requirement,” key to the success of the ’96 welfare reform law (TANF), was convincing proof that this president is seeking to win re-election by increasing the dependency voter base, turning America into a European-style welfare state with a “culture of dependency,” as Mitt Romney described it recently.

Common-sense citizens who believe in traditional American values have thought that Obama’s failure to bring us out of the recession with jobs and economic growth policies may be attributable to his lack of private-sector experience, realizing that neither he nor his advisors have ever run a real business, not even a candy store.  But we should have listened more closely to his talk of “change,” and that he intended to “transform” America.  And we should have been putting two-and-two together by watching his actions and decisions that have actually prevented and killed job creation and economic growth, and incentivized dependency.  That’s the transformation he and his Saul Alinsky-trained cohorts learned in “Rules for Radicals.”

Continue reading

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