While the Obama administration lectures Europe about the latter’s fiscal policies, Washington continues to run deficits. The problem is bipartisan. When George W. Bush took office the national debt was $5.8 trillion. When Barack Obama took over it was $11.9 trillion. Now it is $18.2 trillion.
And these numbers will look like the “good ol’ days” when the entitlement tsunami hits in coming years. Interest alone ran $431 billion last year. As interest rates rise to more normal levels, debt payments will be one of the big spending boulders, alongside Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and military. Worse, economist Laurence Kotlikoff figures total unfunded liabilities today run about $200 trillion. But who’s counting? Certainly not the president!