He Owns It Now
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by JimmyMack 1 year, 8 months ago.

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I thought I'd share a very comprehensive and informative opinion piece on the federal debt posted earlier today at USATODAY.com. It was written by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, who is described by our friends at wikipedia.com as "a Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee...best known for his weblog, Instapundit, one of the most widely read American political weblogs. He has also worked as an author, a columnist, and a writer for academic journals."

In his column titled "Obama Owns The Debt Now," Reynolds says:

"The debt is up about 60% since Obama took office. This can't go on forever.

President Obama, the Democrats, and plenty of Republicans in Congress, would like it if you'd spend the next few weeks talking about gun control. That's because when you are, you're not talking about the country's financial situation.

And, as the graph included here (above left), taken from OMB budget data, illustrates, the situation is dire. Spending keeps going up. Revenues, however, are not. And, since we're borrowing the difference, President Obama has what Politico is calling a debt problem: "The staggering national debt — up about 60% from the $10 trillion Obama inherited when he took office in January 2009 — is the single biggest blemish on Obama's record, even if the rapid descent into red began under President George W. Bush. Obama has long emphasized Bush's role in digging the immense hole. But he owns it now.

Well, things did start to go south under Bush. But look at that graph more closely. In 2003, when we invaded Iraq (one of those "two wars on the credit card" that Obama likes to blame for the debt), and when we passed the Bush tax cuts (the other thing Obama likes to blame for the debt) revenue actually started to climb. The revenue and spending lines start to converge, and, as they head up to 2006 it actually looks as if the two might cross, with revenue outpacing spending.

Even the New York Times noticed, spotting unexpected increases in revenue in 2005, and in 2006 noting that a "surprising" increase in tax revenues was closing the budget gap. The heady possibility of surpluses was in the air. But -- look at the graph again -- everything changes in 2007.

What happened in 2007? The financial crisis hadn't struck yet. But we did elect a new Democratic Congress, with Democrats controlling both houses for the first time in over a decade. The trend immediately reversed, and became much worse with President Obama's election in 2008 and inauguration in 2009. (In fact, despite talk of "wars on the credit card," we could save a lot of money by cutting defense spending back to where it was in 2007.)

So does that mean that the ballooning debt is all Obama's fault? No. Most of those spending bills got Republican votes, too. But it does mean that, as Politico notes, Obama now owns the 60% increase in the debt that has occurred on his watch, and can no longer credibly blame Bush (under whom plenty of Democrats voted for spending bills).

Economist Herbert Stein observed that something that can't go on forever, won't. The United States can't go on forever increasing its debt by 60% every four years. Therefore, it won't. The only question is how things will stop -- smoothly or catastrophically.

As we head into the next debt-ceiling debate, it's worth considering these words from a patriotic senator concerned with America's future:

"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. … Leadership means that 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit."

The senator? Sen. Barack Obama, in 2006.

I wish that guy was President now."

See: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/01/14/debt-deficit-obama-congress/1830363/

Latest Activity: Jan 16, 2013 at 4:38 PM

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Funkentelecky commented on Wednesday, Jan 16, 2013 at 21:04 PM

Great post Chief, you are indeed the Most Valuable Blogger on this site because you can articulate in a manner that all who are principled will eventually acknowledge your keen insight to the facts. I’ve been attempting to do so too; however I’m considered to be a right wing conservative whom is a shill for the right wing agenda. I grew up a JFK Democrat and evolved into a Reagan conservative culminating in becoming a Libertarian with a little l. I’m a leader as you are and we know that doing the right thing will garner hostilities but history and the people will reward your great deeds of following the laws on the books. Here is a Bush vs. Obama Unemployment and deficit rates chart that the powers that be won’t report. Having lower unemployment, lower deficits and more revenue coming to the treasury is a failure and the opposite, is success, (BHO) go figure see the chart below.


And here is an article by the Great Thomas Sowell, if you really care about the man that is our Chief Executive this is a must read titled “Obama vs. Obama” it reflects on what he say’s against what he actually does. I’ve exposed some of these failings on this blogosphere since the beginning of his 1st term:


Where is the transparency?

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 06:56 AM

Excellent blog and equally excellent response.

Sebekm you and Funkentelecky are the best that we have on this medium.

I'd like to nominate the both of you as honorary "local yokels"

I appreciate both of you taking the time to voice opinion in an effort to make my native home a better place for me and everyone else.

HMJC commented on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 08:16 AM

Until the president genuinely starts to focus on solutions as oppossed to excuses; the status quo will remain the same. The fact that he has had four years that have not produced not one program that significantly reduces spending says it all.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 14:29 PM

Seems I remember my Political Science teacher Dr. Mann reminding everyone in class that when bad things happen we always blame the President.

Cept this go round the Congress' popularity numbers are just one or two points above Charles Manson's.

The MAJORITY of the nation, once again my conservative friends, sides with the President. Yall can cry and quote your statistics all you want but most of us ain't listening to your wailing and shouting.

Ship America may or maynot turn out to be the Titantic. However, on the otherhand it just may turn out to be the Carpathia.

My chips are on it being the Carpathia. Some of ya we will turn around and come back and pick ya up. The rest of ya, well...y'all will be down at the bottom of the cup, like a fully soaked Tea bag.

Sheran commented on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 20:02 PM

Let us focus on our state at this time!


HuDhat1 commented on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 21:15 PM

Ever notice how people on the left really struggle with their sense of humor.

timeontarget commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 05:52 AM

All sickness does not bring death.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 07:23 AM

Yea Tot...and people with no teeth find ways to gain nourishment(think mashed taters)

Ever notice how people on the right have no sense of humor.

You two cretins should go on tour.

HuDhat1 commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 09:36 AM

Very witty comeback.

Fannie73 commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 10:41 AM

I likes me a good piece of satire.

sebekm commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:17 PM

The bottom line of my basic blog post was that President Obama "owns" his share of the deficit. No more blaming Bush - he has to LEAD. Seven years ago he condemned the action he plans to take now. What happened? Has his position "evolved?" NOOOOOO - he wants to keep spending, in accordance with the Democrat philosophy that we can spend our way out of debt. IT IS INSANITY. It has to stop somewhere, and in my experience - in this game of musical chairs - each party wants the REALLY BAD news to come at the expense of the other guy. And if we continue to kick the can down the road and continue to spend the way we are for the next four years, the REALLY BAD news will occur when the next administration is forced to face the music and do what is necessary. They will get blamed as Obama will be in the rear view mirror, with a significant legacy that he was the first black President and was beloved by the left.

We need to start working to get out from under all of this debt NOW. To force compromise, the Republicans only have one item of "leverage" to move the President to the center: the debt ceiling. IMHO - if they cave on that, they lose whatever credibility they have left as the party of small government and fiscal responsibility.

On principle alone the GOP needs to stand fast and stay the course.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Ok Hudat, I will try harder: Let's all go read your profile. It is loaded with witticisms.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Or, Hudat, you can go read my profile. However, I doubt it would meet your threshold for witticisms.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 12:52 PM

BTW....Who are you besides a hidden sniper?

HuDhat1 commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 14:12 PM

They could take a stand on the debt ceiling but they don't have the guts. Did they not just pass a huge 'Sandy' bill? Any question in your mind that it was full of unnecessary spending. Why don't they accept the Democrat talking point and make sure the bill is 'paid for' with cuts to other programs.

timeontarget commented on Friday, Jan 18, 2013 at 14:40 PM

They need to cut spending.

If necessary increase taxes.

But they need to stop borrowing money for things which are not vital to our security.

I hope some of you who are better at research than I will look into what the pork was in the Sandy Aid bill

sebekm commented on Monday, Jan 21, 2013 at 16:33 PM

There was plenty. Unfortunately, that's what it takes in the legislative "sausage factory" process in our democratic republic.

But as to the debt, I repeat: President Obama owns it now. He needs to get going on creating more jobs to expand the tax base and increase revenues, because the only other way to do reduce the deficit and debt is to raise taxes on the middle class. You can tax the millionaires at 100% and you STILL won't take a bite out of that elephant's butt.

The majority of the people - despite his win in November - have given him a poor approval rating for his first term. In fact, they rated Obama's first term more than 13 points BEHIND the rating they gave DUBYA'S FIRST TERM. Ho! Ho! Who would have believed that? See:


So a majority of the people weren't "fooled" (or you can call it "persuaded) that the President had a good first term - either for himself or for the country. They reelected him for a whole host of reasons, but the majority didn't do it based on his JOB PERFORMANCE.

But now he has his second term, and - being the smart man that he is - he knows that he will be judged on the ECONOMY. That's where his legacy lies. He still has a chance to go down in history as a winner.

However - if he leaves this country 24 trillion dollars in the hole; the debt/deficit can kicked further down the road; and a society as racially polarized as it is now, history will certainly view Dubya's Presidency as the more successful one.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013 at 06:09 AM

The economy is in a virtual stall.

We need to get our manufacturing base back in order.

Or our people at least occupied at some manufacture of some product.

The private sector needs some juice.

JimmyMack commented on Thursday, Jan 31, 2013 at 16:28 PM

Pot is part of the cure all. Course it would lower our prison population and therefore a need for guards and for prisons. Some down side there. But over the long haul there would be alternative job creation for growing, selling, marketing, educating, packaging, transporting etc.

And of course, taxation. Whether we like it or not we are all going to die and be taxed until the end and in some cases after we get planted.

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