Originally published November 15 2015
Obama has doubled the national debt to $20 trillion in just 8 years
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) During his first presidential campaign in 2008, after becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama accused outgoing President George W. Bush of being "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic" regarding his stewardship over a rising national debt.
"The problem is..is that the way Bush has done it for the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China, in the name of our children, driving up our national debt, from $5 trillion under the first 42 presidents, to number 43, added $4 trillion all by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are gonna have to pay back. Thirty thousand dollars for every man, woman and child," he said during a campaign speech in Fargo, N.D., on July 3, 2008. "That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."
But, like so much of what Obama has said – both as a candidate and as president – has turned out to be patently false or, at least, incredibly misleading. And this subject is no different.
When Barack Obama walks out of the Oval Office for the last time in January 2017, he will have accomplished two historic firsts as president: 1) He will have added the most to the national debt; and 2) he will have taken the national debt to its highest level ever: somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 trillion, or about double the amount for every man, woman and child than when he took office.
Congress shares responsibility tooAs reported recently by The Washington Times:
When President Obama signs into law the new two-year budget deal [Nov. 1], his action will bring into sharper focus a part of his legacy that he doesn't like to talk about: He is the $20 trillion man.
His spending agreement with Congress (which makes the majority Republicans who voted to approve this bill every bit as culpable and responsible as the president who signed it) suspended the nation's debt limit, giving the U.S. Treasury authority to borrow another $1.5 trillion or so by the end of his presidency. Added to the current national debt of about $18.15 trillion, and Obama will leave the nation's fiscal house in twice as much disorder as when he came.
The debt is really likely to swell even faster, what with the agreement to suspend the debt limit into the first year of the next president (and Congress) and the abandonment of sequestration budget cuts enacted in 2011.
"Congress and the president have just agreed to undo one of the only successful fiscal restraint mechanisms in a generation," Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, told the Times. "The progress on reducing spending and the deficit has just become much more problematic."
Critics of the budget also blame former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who stepped down from Congress in recent days, because the deal was negotiated between the two of them, despite opposition from the Republican majority's conservative wing. Further, they scoffed at the claim made by Boehner and the White House that the budget agreement's increase of $112 billion in spending will be offset by budget cuts elsewhere.
"The Boehner-Obama spending agreement would allow for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury until March 2017," said Paul Winfree, director of economic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation. "This deal piles on billions of dollars to the national debt by increasing spending over the next three years and then not paying for it for a decade — with half of the offsets not occurring until 2025."
Budget hawks have repeatedly warned that unless major reforms are made to the nation's entitlement programs – which account for two-thirds of the federal budget and are automatic – then there will come a day when the U.S. government's finances will simply collapse under their own weight, as recently noted by Collapse.news.
Breaking the countryOthers see disaster ahead – as well as a tone-deaf president and politicians who don't have the political will to do make the reforms vitally necessary. That includes the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which recently estimated that only about half of the increased spending in the budget deal is actually paid for.
Rather than a spending increase of $80 billion over two years, the nonprofit organization said, the actual spending hike is closer to $154 billion after interest costs and budget gimmicks are factored in.
"Of this $154 billion, about $78 billion is paid for honestly" through Medicare reforms, reductions in farm subsidies, asset sales and other measures, the group said. "The remaining $56 billion of the legislation — mostly the war spending increase and interest costs — is not paid for at all."
And again, Congress bears responsibility for the increased level of debt just as it did when Bush was in office. One of the main reasons for Boehner's decision to step down from his speakership and leave office was conservatives' disgust with his accommodation of Obama's higher spending requests and lack of desire to reform entitlement programs that are breaking the country
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