The Washington Post chart above (H/T Cato) clearly lays out three key truths: 1. The United States government has a structural problem controlling it’s level of debt and spending 2. The growing size of the federal government and its debt has been a bipartisan affair 3. President Obama’s tenure has greatly exasperated America’s short and long term financial situation.
In 30 years the United States’ debt has increased from $1 trillion dollars to $14 trillion and if the chart continued into the projected future, well, you would have had to scroll even further down to read this. I may not be an economist or an expert on Congressional budgets, but I don’t have to be to know we are on the wrong track. The past few weeks we have constantly heard the President and numerous other political leaders strongly defend the status quo. Sure there is much talk about ‘cutting spending’, but where are the details?
We need much more than gimmicks and baseline budgeting tricks to solve our real problems. We need leaders to tackle the transparent challenge shown in the aforementioned chart and we just aren’t getting it from this White House and Senate. For gosh sakes, the US Senate has put a constitutionally mandated budget in over two years! Why haven’t they? It’s pretty simple: If you never take a stand, you never have to take responsibility. I’ll finish with the first and last entries on Congressman Paul Ryan’s (a man who put out a budget all by himself, are you listening US Senate?) timeline of the Obama administration’s financial stewardship:
January 20, 2009
President Obama sworn into office
- President tells the American people in his Inaugural Address: “Those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”
- Debt Held By Public = $6.31 trillion
July 15, 2011
President Holds Press Conference: “We’re Running Out of Time” to Deal with Debt
- President Obama tells reporters: “I’ve got reams of paper and printouts and spreadsheets on my desk, and so we know how we can create a package that solves the deficits and debt for a significant period of time. But in order to do that, we got to get started now.”
- The American people have still not seen any “paper” or “printouts” of what specific spending cuts the President supports. The American people have still not seen any “spreadsheets” from the White House to corroborate their claims of having offered a deficit reduction plan.
- While it’s long past time for Washington “to get started now” on tackling our debt problems, President Obama has still not proposed a credible budget, and Senate Democrats have still not proposed any budget.
- Debt Held by Public = $9.75 trillion