Obama’s Crushing Burden of Debt

Posted on Mon 01/31/2011 by

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The Patriot Post Brief

Debt To The MoonThe Foundation

“Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends, determining to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question, on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.” –Joseph Warren

For the Record

“We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead. … Our debt is the product of acts by many presidents and many Congresses over many years. No one person or party is responsible for it. There is no doubt the president came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation. Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree that not only failed to deliver on its promise to create jobs, but also plunged us even deeper into debt. The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25 percent for domestic government agencies — an 84 percent increase when you include the failed stimulus. All of this new government spending was sold as ‘investment.’ Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt. Then the president and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement. … Our debt is out of control. What was a fiscal challenge is now a fiscal crisis. We cannot deny it; instead we must, as Americans, confront it responsibly. And that is exactly what Republicans pledge to do.”Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, with the official GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union

Opinion in Brief

“The curse of Bobby Jindal had no power over Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as he delivered the official Republican response Tuesday night to President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Unlike the youthful governor of Louisiana — whose hapless rebuttal of Obama’s February 2009 address to Congress eroded his prospects for national office (and prompted wags to compare him to Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock) — the 40-year-old Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, projected himself as a serious-minded leader who is going places…. Ryan promised that his party will offer ‘a better choice and different vision’ involving a ‘vital and limited’ government. It all sounded fabulous, but he only had 10 minutes, so there was very little time to get into specifics. The likely impact of Ryan’s speech will be not so much to persuade the general population but more to elevate Ryan into the top tier of GOP presidential and vice-presidential prospects — despite (and possibly because of) Ryan’s persistent claims that he has zero interest in national office.” –columnist Lloyd Grove

Political Futures

“The November election sent a clear message to Washington: less government, less debt, less spending. President Obama certainly heard it, but judging from his State of the Union address, he doesn’t believe a word of it. The people say they want cuts? Sure they do — in the abstract. But any party that actually dares carry them out will be punished severely. On that, Obama stakes his reelection. No other conclusion can be drawn from a speech that didn’t even address the debt issue until 35 minutes in. And then what did he offer? A freeze on domestic discretionary spending that he himself admitted would affect a mere one-eighth of the budget. Obama seemed impressed, however, that it would produce $400 billion in savings over 10 years. That’s an average of $40 billion a year. The deficit for last year alone was more than 30 times as much. And total federal spending was more than 85 times that amount. A $40 billion annual savings for a government that just racked up $3 trillion in new debt over the past two years is deeply unserious. It’s spillage, a rounding error. As for entitlements, which are where the real money is, Obama said practically nothing. He is happy to discuss, but if Republicans dare take anything from granny, he shall be Horatius at the bridge. This entire pantomime about debt reduction came after the first half of a speech devoted to, yes, new spending. One almost has to admire Obama’s defiance. His 2009 stimulus and budget-busting health-care reform are precisely what stirred the popular revolt that delivered his November shellacking. And yet he’s back for more.” –columnist Charles Krauthammer

Don't Look Now Cartoon

Re: The Left

“If Obama intended to change course, would he be signaling his intention to call for new domestic spending on education and infrastructure under cover of the euphemism ‘investment’? Even his virtual admission that he deceived the people with his promise of shovel-ready jobs hasn’t led to a change in policy. Just more of the same — with different packaging. Obama may throw business a few bones, e.g., reducing the corporate income tax rate, but until he abandons his class warfare against producers and wealth, declares a cease-fire in his war against domestic energy production, complies with the people’s will not to have socialized health care, gets serious about entitlement reform, shows the slightest inkling toward meaningful spending reductions, and commits to revamping the nation’s smothering tax system, for starters, we’ll know that any apparent shuffling to the center is designed only to disarm the conservative opposition so that he can continue on the same leftist path.” –columnist David Limbaugh

Government

“What can the GOP and conservative voters across the country do about an administration that ranges between wrongheadedness and inconstancy? We need to be a polestar of right-headedness and constancy. Regarding the vastly damaging economic (and deeply annoying personal) effect of excessive regulation, we need to take advantage of this momentary diversion of the administration toward at least rhetorical common sense. At the congressional level … we must identify, publicize and de-enact as many oppressive regulations as possible. This will require the Appropriations Committee to explicitly defund the enforcement of such regulations. And yes, unless the president genuinely follows through with his asserted intentions to rein in regulations, this will mean confrontation between the Republican House and the administration. But the GOP Congress must stand firm. And to help them, the conservative media and think tanks need to bring much more focus on such abusive regulations.” –columnist Tony Blankley

Liberty

“Today, we tend to think of John D. Rockefeller as just one of those famous rich people. But Rockefeller didn’t just ‘happen to have money.’ How he got rich is the real story — and it is a story whose implications reach far beyond that one particular individual. Before Rockefeller’s innovations reduced the price of kerosene to a fraction of what it had once been, there wasn’t a lot for poor people to do when nightfall came, other than go to bed. But the advent of cheap kerosene added hours of light and activity to each day for people with low or moderate incomes. … Henry Ford’s mass production methods cut in half the cost of producing the famous Model T Ford in just five years. People who had once lived their entire lives within a narrow radius of a relatively few miles could now go see places they never knew about before. … Today we seldom even know the names of those who have made … monumental contributions to human well-being. All we know is that some people have gotten ‘rich’ and that this is to be regarded as some sort of grievance. Many of the people we honor today are people who are skilled in the rhetoric of grievances and promises of new ‘rights’ at someone else’s expense. But is that what is going to make a better America?” –economist Thomas Sowell

The Gipper

“Those who would trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state have told us they have a utopian solution of peace without victory. They call their policy ‘accommodation.’ And they say if we’ll only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he’ll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. All who oppose them are indicted as warmongers. They say we offer simple answers to complex problems. Well, perhaps there is a simple answer — not an easy answer — but simple: If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based on what we know in our hearts is morally right.”Ronald Reagan Faith & Family

“After thirty-eight years of legal abortion, nearly every family has, in some way, been wounded by this tragedy. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, ‘At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion.’ Mothers who have had abortions — and the fathers involved — need us to reach through the fence to deliver the message of God’s forgiveness and love. And to the desperate mother headed for the entrance of her baby’s death chamber, as well as to those working inside, may we have enough faith in Jesus and in his life changing power to boldly speak and show His truth, in His love.” –columnist Rebecca Hagelin

Culture

“American reality has been turned upside down in just 20 years. Americans no longer count on their news to be filtered and shaped by the Associated Press or the New York Times. Nor do millions have it read to them in the evening by CBS, ABC or NBC anchorpersons — not with the Internet, cable news and talk radio. … The old notion that America’s most successful citizens are turned out by prestigious four-year universities — the more private and Ivy League, the better — overseen by disinterested professors is also nearing an end. Private for-profit trade schools and online colleges are certifying millions in particular skills. … Race relations are being redefined as never before. Interracial marriage, integration and immigration have made the old rubrics — ‘white,’ ‘black,’ ‘brown’ — obsolete. Rigid, half-century-old affirmative action preference programs have not caught up with everyday reality. … In response to this topsy-turvy world, the traditional media, tenured professors, well-paid public employees, rigid ethnic and racial lobbies, unions, organized retirees, open-borders advocates and entrenched politicians all are understandably claiming that we live in an uncivil age. We well may, but we also are seeing the waning of an old established order. And the resulting furor suggests that the old beneficiaries are not going quietly into that good night.” –columnist Victor Davis Hanson

Reader Comments

Mark Alexander’s position in Thursday’s essay that he is not constrained by certain ‘standards of collegiality’ is genius. Thank God that we have writers in this venue who are able to recognize this collegial element along with the other ameliorating effects of political reporting. His general observations are more central to an understanding of the SOTU than any news I have read elsewhere.” –Connie

“In the SOTU, Obama said, ‘We can’t win the future with a government of the past.’ Sort of like the one formed a couple hundred years ago by the Founding Fathers? He has said previously ‘it doesn’t say what the Government can do on your behalf.’ This is what he really wants. ‘Of course, some countries don’t have this problem.’ He is The One he has been waiting for, if only he didn’t have the problem of The Constitution. Frightening.” –Derek

“Mark, terms like ‘bucktoothed moron Al Franken’ are distasteful and beneath your usual standards. As a contributor, I suggest you leave that to Al Franken who prospered from his book, ‘Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot.'” –D Christenson

Editor’s Reply: Actually, there was a book in rebuttal to Franken’s book on Limbaugh. It was entitled, “Al Franken is a Buck-Toothed Moron.” My comment was just a play on that title.

“Regarding the Digest lead about spending, I am all with Rand Paul — let’s treat this budget thing like a bandaid, and just get to removing it as quickly as we can. Sure, it’s going to hurt; but if we do it quickly, it won’t hurt as long. Leaving the bandaid on indefinitely is no answer; after a while, it just starts to stink and get worse.” –GuyThe Last Word

“Obama compared ‘investing’ in education to our sending a man to the moon after the Russians launched Sputnik. Say, who was the president who recently gutted spending on NASA? Oh yes, that was Obama. So he reminded us of the glory days of the space program, but now he’s taking that money and funneling it to public school teachers. As the Democrats say: ‘If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we hire another 10,000 public school teachers?’ … Obama said, ‘We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook.’ And then the government outlawed Edison’s great invention, made the Wright brothers’ air travel insufferable, filed anti-trust charges against Microsoft and made cars too expensive to drive by prohibiting oil exploration, and right now — at this very minute — is desperately trying to regulate the Internet. … The big laugh line was when [Obama] said mockingly, ‘I heard rumors that a few of you still have concerns about the health care law.’ That’s called ’60 percent of the American public.’ It’s not a joke, and it’s not funny. … Actually, I was glad to hear him say that ‘there isn’t a person here’ — which presumably included Democrats — who would live anyplace else. Then why are they always trying to turn us into Western Europe?” –columnist Ann Coulter

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