Mr. Obama achieved the historic downgrading of America’s credit rating the old-fashioned way. He earned it.
President Obama achieved the historic downgrading of America’s credit rating the old-fashioned way. He earned it.
He came into office with federal spending already near an historic peak, with a percent of GDP at 20.7 percent and having increased by one-seventh during the Bush years. One year earlier Bush had joined with then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to enact a pointless Keynesian stimulus package of $168 billion, which the record will show created exactly 0.00 jobs, and stimulated nothing but national debt.
Send In the Clowns
Barack Obama surveyed the continuing wreckage of the financial crisis, and decided to follow the advice of the reknowned economist Otter, “who famously said in ‘Animal House,’ this situation ‘absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part,’” as quoted by Andy Kessler in Monday’s Wall Street Journal.
Barack Obama provided that gesture in the form of the nearly $1 trillion Keynesian stimulus package, which, though five times as big as Bush-Pelosi, still created exactly 0.00 jobs.
But that was just the beginning. President Obama went on to lead the nation to a mercurial increase in federal spending of 28 percent in his first three years alone. Then, after the nation’s voters repudiated these policies with an historic New Deal-sized shellacking in the 2010 elections, President Obama repudiated the voters with his historic proposed 2012 budget in February 2011.
That budget proposed to increase federal spending by another 57 percent by 2021, ensuring that President Obama would increase the national debt by more in just one term in office than all other Presidents in American history combined.
On the course set by that budget, America’s national debt as a percent of GDP is set to smash through the all-time record set during World War II, rocket right on through the level suffered by Greece when it fell into national bankruptcy, and keep right on rocketing into the unchartered stratosphere.
President Obama realized he had fallen behind the political curve when the adult in the room, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, proposed a budget instead that would not only lead to a balanced budget, but would ultimately pay off the national debt, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. And then the Republican-controlled House passed it.
So President Obama did what he does best. He gave a speech. On April 13, he demanded still more tax increases, on top of the sweeping tax increases he already has enacted in current law for 2013, to finance his runaway spending increases. When House Budget Adult Paul Ryan asked the Democrat-appointed CBO Director Doug Ehlmendorf if he had scored President Obama’s April 13 proposals, Ehlmendorf replied in exasperation that the CBO doesn’t score speeches.
For political atmospherics before the 2010 election, the President appointed his own debt commission, with great fanfare. When the commission reported a debt and deficit reduction plan in December after the election that rightly proposed to cut spending and tax rates, with tax reform, the President ignored it and took no steps to implement any of its recommendations. Instead he proposed the public policy malpractice 2012 budget discussed above, which kicked the proposals of his own commission to the curb.
When Tea Party Republicans tried to impose some spending
discipline on Obama in the debt limit fight, President Obama laid
on the negotiating table all of $2 billion in spending cuts, which
is the equivalent of cutting one penny out of every $20 in federal
spending. So all year long leading up to the credit downgrade
(despite record setting federal spending, deficits and debt)
President Obama effectively refused to cut spending at all,
proposing instead still more tax increases, on the road to doubling
federal taxes and spending relative to the economy.
Tea Party to the Rescue
The Tea Party-dominated Republican House majority already acted in the spring to completely solve the debt crisis by passing the Ryan budget, with $6.2 trillion in cuts in the first ten years alone. Despite President Obama’s unreasoned rhetoric, that budget was carefully crafted so no one would actually suffer as a result of those cuts. Sure some people would lose government windfalls and those who are able, in time, would have to pay for more themselves. But that is exactly what we need right now.
If Senate Democrats and the Obama Administration had acted to implement that Ryan budget, then there would have been no debt downgrade. But instead they responded with unreasoned derision, running an ad that showed Ryan throwing an elderly woman over a cliff, even though his reforms would not apply to anyone over 55 today. That ad itself contributed to last Friday’s debt downgrade, showing Washington unreasoned and unwilling to address the problem.
Then during the debt limit debate in July, the Tea Party-dominated Republican House acted to completely solve the debt crisis yet again, passing the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011. It cut government spending for fiscal year 2012 (which starts on October 1, 2011) by $111 billion — a modest, reasonable slice of Obama’s projected spending of $3,729 billion ($3.7 trillion). It also adopted a cap on total federal spending that would reduce it to the long run, postwar, historical average of 20 percent of GDP by 2017.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online