Obama Also Claims Raising Debt Ceiling Doesn’t Boost Debt
Budget: President Obama suggests raising the debt ceiling won’t add a penny to a U.S. debt already spiraling out of control. What planet does he live on?
In a speech to the Business Roundtable this week covered by CNSnews.com, Obama added this gem to the budget debate: "Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy."
What? This kind of gibberish is a big reason voters have so little faith in their public officials these days.
Suffice it to say that if the debt ceiling has been raised "over a hundred times" and each time the debt went higher, one would have to conclude there’s a very high — indeed, perfect — correlation between a higher debt ceiling and higher debt.
Yet, Obama goes on to say how tough a vote it will be because "the average person thinks raising the debt ceiling must mean that we’re running up our debt."
Again, the president must think he’s talking only to the low-information voters who returned him to office. He’s the one who’s running up the debt, both in relative and absolute terms. This is fact, not opinion.
When Obama assumed the presidency in 2009, total U.S. debt, after subtracting what the government owes to itself, stood at 52% of GDP. That, economists say, is elevated but manageable. Today it’s 73% of GDP, a dangerous level.
And according to new data from the Congressional Budget Committee, based on the added spending the president has put into place — from misbegotten health reform to failed stimulus to uncontrolled entitlements — the debt-to-GDP ratio will hit 100% by 2038. The CBO rightly calls this "unsustainable."
As for claiming that raising the debt ceiling doesn’t "promote profligacy," please. Runaway spending is the source of our budget problem. The nonpartisan CBO’s own estimates say spending will rise from a 40-year average of about 20% of GDP to 26% by 2038 — a 30% jump in government’s share of U.S. output.
So why is Obama saying things that are patently false? With a showdown looming later this month over raising the debt ceiling, he hopes to shut down the government and blame the GOP for it. That would weaken the GOP before next year’s elections, while letting Obama continue his spending spree — a win-win.
Republicans would be wise to call Obama on his fiscal blackmail and hold out for a deal that slows spending, reforms taxes, cuts entitlement outlays in the future and defunds ObamaCare (one of the main drivers of future spending growth, according to the CBO).
The last five years have been the most fiscally irresponsible in this nation’s history, a period that will have Americans decades from now scratching their heads.
Already it’s costing investments, jobs and economic growth. Unless we act now to reverse the madness, our children and grandchildren will be justified in asking: How could we have stood by and let things get so bad?