Patterico's Pontifications

1/3/2011

The Debt Passes 14 Trillion (Update: Old Barack Speaks!)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:54 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Look at this chart and see if you don’t feel like shooting yourself, or tarring and feathering someone else:

In related news the Washington Examiner points out a slight contradiction between Goolsbee’s position today, and his boss’ several years ago:

Obama in 2006, while serving as an Illinois senator. Obama joined all Senate Democrats to oppose the 2006 debt limit increase.

“Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren,” Obama said in 2006. “America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.”

Obama later missed two votes in 2007 and 2008 while campaigning for president. Many Democrats who opposed the 2006 increase flipped their position once they took control of the Senate.

Mmm, so the need to raise the debt ceiling is a sign of a failure of leadership?  Funny, I agree.

Update: Thanks to Dustin, we see Senator Obama’s full comments when voting against an increase of the debt:

I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem.

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.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.

And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.

Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant tax on all Americans–a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.

But we are not doing that. Despite repeated efforts by Senators Conrad and Feingold, the Senate continues to reject a return to the commonsense Pay-go rules that used to apply. Previously, Pay-go rules applied both to increases in mandatory spending and to tax cuts. The Senate had to abide by the commonsense budgeting principle of balancing expenses and revenues. Unfortunately, the principle was abandoned, and now the demands of budget discipline apply only to spending.

As a result, tax breaks have not been paid for by reductions in Federal spending, and thus the only way to pay for them has been to increase our deficit to historically high levels and borrow more and more money. Now we have to pay for those tax breaks plus the cost of borrowing for them. Instead of reducing the deficit, as some people claimed, the fiscal policies of this administration and its allies in Congress will add more than $600 million in debt for each of the next 5 years. That is why I will once again cosponsor the Pay-go amendment and continue to hope that my colleagues will return to a smart rule that has worked in the past and can work again.

Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 Presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign-held debt. This administration did more than that in just 5 years. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing from foreign countries. But we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours.

Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. 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 problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.

(And he did as he intended.)

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

37 Responses to “The Debt Passes 14 Trillion (Update: Old Barack Speaks!)”

  1. I’d like the old Barack better if he’d stop crossing his fingers and winking at me.

    It’s interesting that he knew in advance he’d have to run for president as a fiscal conservative. Bush owned who he was, but Obama meant to fool the voters.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  2. Ahem …

    They are f@cking hypocritical lying liars that tell lies. No wonder William Yelverton loves him, and buggers non-consensual undage goats.

    JD (07faa1)

  3. JD, don’t type angry. Just do what i do. i turn on my ps3 and do pixelated violence.

    Aaron Worthing (1a6294)

  4. AW – Dustin did not link that unprompted 😉

    I never played Splinter Cell until tonight.

    JD (07faa1)

  5. jd

    splinter cell is a great series, but except for maybe the latest one, its not visceral.

    And thanks for getting dustin to find that speech.

    if we had a decent press, they would ask him about that, so um, its not f-cking likely.

    Aaron Worthing (1a6294)

  6. AW – don’t hold your breath waiting on the MFM to commit an act of JournoListism.

    JD (07faa1)

  7. 14 trillion.

    How many is that exactly?

    happyfeet (aa4bab)

  8. JD’s a slavedriver. And a racist. Goes hand in hand, really.

    Anyway, the GOP has a really strong hand to play. Obama will have a very hard time demonizing people who say they agree with this speech. He must have this debt ceiling passed, even though he denied Bush what Bush needed when the politics were reversed.

    The GOP should pass a bill repealing Obamacare and raising the debt ceiling, and insist now is the time for Obama to make a compromise. We should probably throw in other major reforms to our entitlements and spending.

    We have a strong position and shouldn’t squander it.

    The irony lies in the fact that such a deal could save Obama’s presidency and the US economy he needs to recover. But there are bigger things at stake. Obamacare is not what the American people want, and if Obama wants to press the issue, that’s just dandy.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  9. It’s one more than thirteen trillion, nine hundred and ninety nine billion, nine hundred and ninety nine million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine. HTH.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  10. thank you it’s cold and I left my abacus down in the car

    happyfeet (aa4bab)

  11. On the other hand, democrats are very skilled at pressing the GOP on issues they know the GOP will fold on because of some pressing concern. I think Iraq’s various funding issues saw this tactic employed, Reagen dealt with it all the time as he fought the cold war, and many republicans realize they will probably have to raise the debt ceiling to avoid serious problems that our irresponsible leadership has led to.

    If the GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling except in bills that undermine Obama initiatives, Obama will try to call their bluff, noting the harm America may suffer. He may actually not care much about the legacy of having a default and economic collapse on his watch.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  12. feets, I believe it is about $2,000+ for each person on the face of the earth. That’s one awesome Jerry Lewis telethon or NPR fundraiser.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  13. If the Chinese (among others) start to demand just a 1% marginal increase in the interest they charge,
    that amounts to another $140B/year in costs, with nothing to show for it.
    It is well beyond the point that it has become “real money”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ab7109)

  14. 14 trillion is the number of millimeters between Sarahcuda’s heart and yours.

    Icy Texan (fd5426)

  15. Gee, IT, that’s only about 10MM miles (+/-);
    it’s just next door.

    AD-RtR/OS! (ab7109)

  16. Thanks, W.

    Oplontis (0692b1)

  17. 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.

    Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities.
    — Senator Barack Obama, March 16, 2006

    Neo (03e5c2)

  18. Why do we allow senators to run for President. They should resign as senator first. It gives them a huge advantage with expenses paid and a salary over non-senators, and their states lose representation while he misses sessions, committee meetings and votes.

    I refuse to vote for any senator who runs for President.

    Wayne (df63da)

  19. It’s been almost 50 years, since the last Senator was elected directly to the Presidency, otherwise
    we would have had, Humphrey, McGovern, Dole, and Kerry, which by that last point, the coup would have ensued.

    narciso (6075d0)

  20. How about governors? Cabinet secretaries? Vice presidents? What about House members/governors/mayors/etc. who run for Senate?

    How do you feel about people resigning from elected positions in order to campaign for a different position? Does this make them “quitters”? Does it somehow betray a “commitment” they supposedly made when they were elected to serve the full term?

    And what about people who run simultaneously for two offices (e.g. Vice President and Senator)?

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  21. Narciso, you mean it was nearly 50 years, until two years ago.

    Milhouse (ea66e3)

  22. I think its up to the voters to decide how they feel about an office holder running for higher office while holding a “lower” office.

    although at the same time, i don’t like congressmen to become president because i like to see them have executive experience, first. which is part of why i think barry is such a sucky president.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  23. I hope that one of the new Congress would read this speech verbatim[change necessary names and dates]so we can hear the reply from the socialist/dems.Put them ON RECORD.

    Dein (1004c3)

  24. Oplontis eats boogers. BDS is ugly.

    JD (306f5d)

  25. Oplontis, was a town near Pompeii that was buried by Vesuvius, (is he trying to tell us something)

    narciso (6075d0)

  26. JD

    well, bush wasn’t an innocent in this, either. But its like the difference between a man stealing a DVD from target and robbing a bank.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  27. Agreed. Never said otherwise. This whole idea that he is now going to focus on fiscal responsibility just sticks in my craw. He knows the MFM will play along, and it shows his contempt for honesty and his audience.

    JD (b98cae)

  28. Heckuva job Barcky. Were you lying then or are you lying now?

    daleyrocks (a82d72)

  29. Obma’s own words from the $ 9 trillion debt period he so decried should be read into the Congressional record as the first order of business. If $9 trillion is a lack of leadership, how can $14 trillion be better leadership? And the Republicans have to make this stand and make it now.

    Bugg (4e0dda)

  30. It could also be pointed out that the Dems had controlled Congress since 2006, so 06-08 can’t be attributed to Bush alone.

    Estimating US population at 300,000,000, it is roughly $47,000 per person.

    I’m sure that the majority of American families would have a hard time adding that amount (cumulative as a family) of debt to be paid back over a 30 year period.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  31. It’s one more than thirteen trillion, nine hundred and ninety nine billion, nine hundred and ninety nine million, nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine. HTH.

    Yeah, but the US gov’t still must pay all of its debts regardless. After all, it’s about our honor, or integrity, or allegiance to the truth, or…ah, the hell with it, let’s just go bacnkrupt right now and be done with it.

    Dmac (498ece)

  32. When I consider the kind of person who eventually says ‘hey, why not just go bankrupt? It’s their fault for lending me this much and what can they really do if I refuse to pay?’ I think such a person is a lot like Barack Obama or Charles Rangel or Barney Frank.

    There probably will come a time where the democrats would suggest default, and perhaps trying to negotiate a smaller debt amid the chaos. Maybe China is building up their arsenal in order to make this less plausible.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. Dustin

    Well, to be fair, I did say this in the other goolsbee thread:

    > Either we will finally as a nation figure out how to live within our means. Or we will eventually default. And if a default is in our future, its better to come now than later when it would be even worse.

    Now i don’t consider myself very obama-like. I would like to see this government honor its debts and stop spending like it really believes the world will end in 2012. But if we can’t get our government to do that, then better to default now than later.

    i mean the really dishonorable thing is to keep borrowing from peter to pay paul, never actually paying anyone ourselves, but just promising others… yes, i really will pay this.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  34. 28. Heckuva job Barcky. Were you lying then or are you lying now?
    Comment by daleyrocks — 1/4/2011 @ 7:24 am

    — Answer: YES

    Icy Texan (489a36)

  35. This may have been the plan, from the start;

    http://www.amazon.com/Fiscal-Crisis-State-James-OConnor/dp/0312293305

    narciso (6075d0)

  36. Well my little comparison doesn’t take into account that credit card defaulters can’t start printing money in their basement. That’s an amazing power, when you think about it.

    We’ve entrusted the federal government to allocate shares of … everything, in the form of dollars, and they can simply cut all my shares in half any time they like.

    And that is exactly how they will accommodate this debt. They don’t intend to pay it off, but will stretch the buck as much as they need to as things continue to get worse for Americans.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  37. I had the same idea as post #23. Would be great to see every member of the new congress who intends to vote against raising the ceiling read that speech verbatim. And be sure to do it in a cool, professorial, intellectual, mocking snobby voice.

    Snarky, definitely. Theatre, without doubt. And oh so rich….

    rtrski (b47753)


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