Federal debt reaches $16 trillion: One excellent reason to vote against President Obama

Federal debt reaches $16 trillion: One excellent reason to vote against President Obama

The federal debt is $16 trillion.

$16 trillion!!!

That’s a lot of (expletive deleted) money!

Republican House Speaker John Boehner accused President Barack Obama of lacking the “courage” to work with his political foes to rein in entitlement spending and overhaul the tax code. “This debt is a drain on our economy and a crushing burden on our kids and grandkids, and it’s yet another indication that the president’s policies have made things worse,” Boehner said in a written statement. Boehner also noted “another sad reminder of President Obama’s broken promise to cut the deficit in half.”

The Obama campaign countered that when it comes to the debt, Republicans should be saying, “We built this.”

Barack Obama has presided over a federal debt increase of $5.3 trillion. $5.3 trillion in less than four years. That is not something our country can afford to do.

Democrats are correct. Republicans were silent about the then explosion in the national debt under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. But, does that make it okay for Obama to add to the problem and redefine the word “explosion” when it comes to the debt?

If Barack Obama did what George W. Bush did while in office– increase spending on two wars while cutting taxes– Republicans would have been apoplectic. That shell game– that the GOP completely supported– added over $1 trillion to the national debt. That’s back when Republicans trumpeted “Deficits don’t matter!”

Adding W’s trillion in debt meant we had to add interest onto already staggering debt payments. So even though federal spending under Obama has gone up at a much slower rate than under Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, that fact is somewhat illusory as Obama’s base (George W. Bush’s last budget) had such a high deficit that even a small spending increase added to an already huge problem.

Example: Prior to a divorce, my Uncle Sam’s ex-wife spent $200,000, $220,000, and $250,000 for the years of their marriage in 2006, 2007, and 2008. When Sam was a bachelor, spending was at $100,000 a year. So the spending increase was 100%, 120% and 150% during the years of his marriage. Uncle Sam remarried in 2009 and his new spouse spent $255,000.00. So Sam’s household spending went up and the interest payments on any debt incurred still increased– but the rate of spending went down, as the spending increase is only an increase of only 5% increase between years 2008 and 2009 versus 30% the year prior.

In Bill Clinton’s autobiography, he notes that when he came into office the federal debt was at $4 trillion and that annual interest payments on that money was the third largest item in the federal budget. In 1992, he feared that debt exploding and his first item of business was to cut the federal deficit and the national debt.

We need the same urgency from the White House now. Requiring everyone to have health insurance isn’t going to mean squat when our nation’s debt payments exceed federal revenues. President Obama should have had the same urgency– if not more– over these ballooning deficits as he had with health care and other action items on his list.

Republicans also need to get real if we want to stop our annual deficits and start repaying our national debt. We will need to raise taxes. Even if the federal deficit (the amount of money spent over revenues annually) goes to zero, we still need to find $16 trillion. That’s not going to happen without a tax hike.

So, one very good reason to vote President Obama out of office will be the lack of urgency he has shown toward this ballooning federal debt. Republicans also have a significant amount of blame– but $5.3 trillion of this debt came under Obama’s watch and is his responsibility. And maybe its time that voters keep our presidents accountable: Don’t spend money we don’t have or you won’t get my vote.

Filed under: National Politics


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  • Okay, to be the devil's advocate: what difference does it make what we spend? The rich have robbed this country from the days of slavery and before. It is time for payback. What do you mean 16 trillion in the hole? So what, print more? We as humans have a RIGHT to health care, to housing, to food, to cars, to the latest iPhone.

    Almost everything you say here is spot on, but you defend President Obama's actions previously. I'm just a poor (and getting poorer) blogger. Please 'splain.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Richard Davis:

    How much money America has is based on gold... We carry paper money around so we don't have to carry gold... Print more and boom inflation which makes every thing cost more the the same amount...

  • Richard, is that a joke? The rich have robbed this country?... The rich built this country. As a country, you want rich people. Not only do you want rich people - you want to give other people the ability to get rich. You really think America would be better off if we took all or enough of the money from rich people, and distributed their money to every US citizen equally so everybody has the same (or close to) amount of money? All that would do is make each person "marginally" better off - yet it would stop innovation, stop charitable donations from rich people... it would be the end of America.

    As per your second argument: How can you really claim humans have a right to health care, housing, food, cars, iPhones? People should have to work for those rights. And, if you decide to spend $500 on an iPhone rather than health care, well then YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE HEALTH CARE PAID FOR YOU BY OTHER PEOPLE. Unfortunately, there is no system that can support everybody having everything. But Democrats seem to not understand that. They pander to emotion and dreams - rather than logic and reality. That is why we have $16T debt.

    BTW: It matters what we spend because. We need to keep GDP at a certain level to our debt in order to make sure we can afford things in the US. If you want to really get into it, then read a wikipedia article on econ. Essentially, printing more money means that everything you buy will just be more expensive.

    Read: http://www.tomatobubble.com/id39.html

  • Hey Brian,
    I want to thank the President for adding to the national debt on my behalf. That's because as one of the millions of unemployed, extending the unemployment benefits helped me survive !!!

    In addition, how were the wars that the President inherited to be paid for ?? I believe they referred to as the UNFUNDED wars.

    Finally, why would the PUBS threaten to shut down the gov't rather than work across the aisle to come up with a strategy to address the debt problem? I'm not sure why it's referred to as sequester, but we are now facing forced across-the-board spending cuts simply because Congress refused to work with the President on a balanced approach to addressing the debt problem.

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