Is anyone falling for this? It certainly seems the press is. Our President is chiding the Republicans for not coming to the table ready to make a “big deal”, implying $4 trillion in long-term debt reduction, prior to the August 2nd increase of the debt ceiling. Suddenly, out of the blue, with no expressed prior interest as President in this issue, Obama is ready to cut $4 trillion? And giving the Republicans 3 weeks to work with him on it? This man is despicable and he is playing these games at our risk.
Let’s consider the record:
1. President Obama had the White House and huge majorities in both Houses of Congress for 2 years. He did absolutely nothing about the debt (except add $1.5 trillion to it) and never expressed a concern about it.
2. In his State of the Union speech in January, he barely mentioned the debt. Never mind that it was the number 2 issue (next to unemployment) on American’s minds, he gave it short shrift.
3. His bi-partisan “Deficit Commission” submitted a comprehensive plan in December 2010 for reducing our debt, calling it “the moment of truth” for America. The President ignored the plan.
4. The budget he submitted this year was widely viewed, even by Democrats, as a joke. It was rejected by the Senate 97-0. Every Democrat that voted, voted against it.
5. While Paul Ryan developed an extremely detailed deficit reduction plan, as did the Deficit Commission, the President responded with a “framework” which contained no meaningful detail. See Charles Krauthammer’s comments on a speech by Obama in response to the Ryan Plan here.
Clearly the deficit and debt have not been a priority for the President. Suddenly, they are? As always, the man is playing politics, the fate of America on another critical issue hangs in the balance.
This man is so very deceitful, and so dishonest with the American people. What amazes me is that there are millions who think the opposite, who passionately believe in him, who think that everything he is doing is right and righteous. And he is supported by a media that now depicts him as the man willing to make a deal, the man concerned about debts and deficits as a top priority.
Can a deal be done? With the President waiting until the last weeks before we are in default, a deal is much harder to achieve, perhaps impossible in the timeframe. The President may be doing this now because he can shift blame for lack of a deal on long term debt reduction on Republicans, versus carrying the blame himself. Regardless, the debt ceiling will be raised, it’s just that had the President expressed sincere interest in long-term debt reduction even just 4 weeks ago a deal could likely have been struck for a $4 trillion reduction.
Watching his press conference yesterday, in light of the President’s record on this issue his word ring completely hollow, and he becomes almost impossible to watch.
Additional Material: For those interested in then Senator Obama’s statements about raising the debt ceiling under President Bush (Obama hammered Bush and the Republican Congress for raising the debt ceiling), please see below. Keep in mind as you read it that this quote is from the same man who is now saying (rightly) that the debt ceiling must be raised right now. But below you see the deceit and 2 sides to this man:
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.
Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.
And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.”