Friday, January 7, 2011

Obama's Changing Views on the Debt Ceiling

Back in 2006, a young Senator Obama was adamant about not raising the national debt ceiling and said it would reflect a "failure in leadership" to do so.  Fast forward to 2011 and the national debt is rapidly approaching that congressionally-approved debt ceiling.  President Obama, contrary to his earlier statements when he was a senator, now seems to think that raising the debt ceiling is critical to ensuring that America does not default. 

Hmmm... how about we start cutting massive amounts of spending and shut down all federal departments and programs that are not provided for in the Constitution instead, Mr. President?  You were right in 2006.  It is too bad that under your leadership and that of the 111th congress that we are now in a position in which we must decide whether to raise our debt ceiling yet again.  What you once saw so clearly is now something to which you are apparently blinded, sir.


S.W. Anderson said...

In 2006, the budget was just beginning to suffer the full effects of unfunded Big Pharma/GOP prescription drug bill. We were spending upwards of $180 billion/year on two waste, fraud and abuse-plagued wars in the Mideast, both off budget, of course. And, President Bush's wildly irresponsible "cut taxes and spend like it's play money" policies were merrily adding $1.4 trillion to taxpayers' debt.

Then, the Wall Street criminals collapsed the economy, robbing the rest of us of $7 trillion in investment losses and $2 trillion plus in bailout/big-bonus lucre.

Now, you come along and write this post as though when Obama took up residence in the White House, it was all green lights and sunny skies, and our astronomical debt was all his and congressional Democrats' doing.

It won't wash, Paine. History happened. Circumstances alter cases.

Obama put both wars on the budget, collected payback, with interest, from GM, Chrysler, AIG and others, and got health care reform through, which will save more than a trillion over a decade from the time it's fully implemented. Meanwhile, his defense secretary is pointing out billions in cost reductions — savings that will have to be achieved in spite of obstruction from the fiscal idiots of the Party of No.

T. Paine said...

Anderson, I have no disagreement with you in your first two paragraphs. It was absolutely irresponsible for Bush and the Pelosi congress to handle things this way. Further, Senator Obama was right to criticize accordingly as he did.

The fact that we have only added to the national debt by historical amounts under the 111th congress and President Obama's tenure does not negate the fact that there have been no significant spending cuts to offset what I and many consider to be egregious spending which has continued.

The spending must stop and severe cuts must be made NOW. Raising the debt ceiling now without providing SUBSTANTIAL spending cuts is dangerous and foolish.

The change in Obama's stance on the subject is not just a matter of changing circumstances, other than the fact that now the buck supposedly stops with him.

Lastly, you are sadly mistaken if you think health care reform will do anything but destroy more jobs and add to the federal debt. The false and exagerated assumptions that the CBO was forced to use by law to score this crappy bill was asinine. Garbage and unrealistic numbers in; garbage and unrealistic numbers out.

I am sorry that you believed the Democrats on this when common sense, and indeed facts now coming out, would dictate that there is NO way this law will do anything but add to our national and personal financial woes, sir.

S.W. Anderson said...

". . .the fact that there have been no significant spending cuts to offset what I and many consider to be egregious spending which has continued."

Egregious spending is exactly what's been needed to keep the economy from tanking any worse than it already has. To keep as many people in jobs as possible and stimulate demand so more who are out of work will be rehired, along with keeping a whole lot of businesses afloat.

As I've pointed out before, you don't worry about water conservation when the town's on fire. First things first.

T. Paine said...

Well, I would respectfully disagree with you as this Keynesian pump-priming has not saved our burning economy from ruin. If anything it has prolonged and exacerbated the recession.

Harding and Coolidge's model that stopped that "forgotten recession" and created the wealth of the roaring 20's is what we should be using; not the failed policies of FDR that took WWII to get us out of recession.

To use your analogy, when your town is on fire and your wells are now dry, tanking water in from other towns and doing rain dances won't work. In the end, you will have a burnt down town, owe your neighbors for the water borrowed, and have sore dancing feet.

Far better to use the Hayek model and cut spending, remove job-killing regulations and laws, and let people blossom through their own entrepreneurial genius in furthering their own interests and that of their families. It is by this method that jobs and wealth are created.

Nowhere in history has our government created wealth. They have only served to destroy wealth and have subsidized dignity-stealing dependency, sir.

It is amazing what rugged independent individuals can accomplish if government will throw off the burden of its yoke upon them.

By your preferred method, once the government can no longer provide and thus stops spending trillions of dollars in stimulus, the artificial economy it has tried to prop up will simply collapse, as the foundation was never repaired by this foolishness.