In 2007, when I began writing my New York Times best-seller “Black Belt Patriotism,” unemployment was less than 5 percent; the annual federal budget was about $2.9 trillion; the federal deficit was $161 billion; and the national debt was $9 trillion.
Today unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent; the federal budget is $3.8 trillion; the national deficit is $1.3 trillion; and the national debt quickly is approaching a staggering $16 trillion.
And to add insult to injury, our vassalage to other countries deepens as they bankroll increasing amounts of U.S. debt, and more than 50 percent of our public debt is held by private investors in foreign lands.
Last week, the International Business Times reported: “China overtook Japan as the largest holder of U.S. national debt in 2009. As of December (the most recent data available), it held about 23.1 percent, or $1.15 trillion, of all foreign investment in U.S. privately held federal debt, according to a newly released report by the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO. … Without monetary policy change, the CBO warned in its 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook on June 5, the U.S. federal debt could be twice the size of the U.S. gross domestic product by 2037.”
The national debt is not merely the result of excessive spending; it is also the result of revenues not being high enough to pay for government outlays. In other words, while the feds have spent trillions of dollars bailing out everyone from automotive businesses to zebra-loving environmental companies, they have done virtually nothing to build up Main Street business productivity. (Disturbingly, just a few days ago, Vice President Joe Biden again called for more government spending.)
When the receipts don’t cover the outlays, it should be a sign that the U.S. government is in trouble, but that’s just another typical day of federal government operation. When the federal government wastes more than $100 million a year on minting pennies, which cost 2.41 cents each to make, and nickels, which cost 11.18 cents each, it should be the first to recognize that it runs the worst business in the world; but it is the last to admit it. (Between 2006 and 2011, the government’s production of pennies and nickels is estimated to have generated losses of nearly $360 million.)
In 2008, the country elected Barack Obama to clean up Washington and lead the economic restoration of our country based upon his following campaign promises:
“Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office.” (Spoken at the opening of the fiscal responsibility summit on Feb. 23, 2009.)
“We will launch a sweeping effort to root out waste, inefficiency and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov.” (Spoken in a speech Jan. 28, 2009.)
“There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means, and we’re going to have to make some adjustments. Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.” (Spoken during a presidential debate Oct. 15, 2008.)
“Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase — not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” (Spoken in September 2008 at a town hall meeting in Dover, N.H.)
Last week, The Fact Checker, a service by The Washington Post, quoted Crossroads GPS’ itemization of the Obama administration’s fiscal debt record:
“January 20, 2009: The National Debt Was $10,626,877,048,913.08 (Obama Takes Office). (Treasury Department, accessed 5/23/12)
“May 22, 2012: The National Debt Was $15,721,218,607,447.09 (Most Recent). (Treasury Department, accessed 5/23/12)
“Obama Has Been In Office For 1,219 Days (1/20/09-5/22/12). (Convert Units, accessed 5/17/12)
“$5,094,341,558,534.01 (divided by) 1,219 Days (equals) $4,179,115,306/Day.”
And people want to re-elect President Obama? Why?
It’s tragically unfortunate that President Obama turned a deaf ear to the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission. Instead, while serially blaming his presidential predecessor for excessive spending, he skyrocketed the national budget, deficits and debt by trillions and trillions of dollars and, to boot, strapped upon our backs and those of our posterity trillions more for yet another socialized medicine program, called Obamacare.
Is the White House even listening anymore to anyone or just running amok its own way?
The actions of this White House remind me of an ancient proverb that says, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”
Next week, I will discuss how the first eight presidents handled national debt and what I know they would say to Obama, whether he wants to hear it or not.