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  • Obama: Don’t Worry About $16 Trillion Debt

    Last night on the CBS Late Show with David Letterman, President Obama suggested that “we don’t have to worry about [the debt] short term.”

    Excuse me? On September 4, the U.S. national debt hit the $16 trillion mark. We now owe more on the national debt than the entire U.S. economy produced in goods and services in all of 2012. Per U.S. taxpayer, that massive level of debt stands at over $111,000 and continues rising as you read this. The average American is earning about $51,000 in income in 2012.

    After the U.S. credit rating was downgraded by Standard and Poor’s last year, you would think the President got the point. Apparently not. One would think Moody’s stern warning last week would have refreshed the President’s memory.

    And for those keeping score, the U.S. budget deficit for 2012, measuring the federal government’s spending in excess of revenue, already exceeds $1 trillion—and the fiscal year is not even over yet. Oh, and this also marks the fourth straight year of $1 trillion-plus deficits.

    Is the President keeping score?

    Letterman: “Now do you remember what that number was [when you walked into office]? Was it $10 trillion? Was it that?”

    President: “Ah, I don’t remember what that number was precisely, but.…”

    Let’s help the President out with data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury:

    • When President Obama took office, the total national debt was nearly $10.6 trillion. Today, it’s over $16 trillion. That’s more than a 50 percent increase in the national debt in less than four years.
    • Debt held by the public was $6.3 trillion on Inauguration Day. Today, that number is about $11.3 trillion. That is an 80 percent increase and sets a new record.

    Not knowing how big the debt was when he took office and not worrying about a level of debt that exceeds the size of the entire U.S. economy does explain why the President’s very own budget would have increased spending—while also showering us with more debt and taxes.

    The President did acknowledge that the debt “is a problem long term and even medium-term” and further suggested that “we’re going to have to take care of this debt and deficit, but we’ve got to do it in a balanced way.” Risking a recession in 2013 and jobs for 1.6 million Americans to push through a tax hike on the rich sounds more like a reckless way.

    The key driver of our medium- and long-term debt problem is the spending explosion on entitlements. As Heritage’s Alison Fraser explains:

    The goal is to strengthen the safety net, not destroy it. The out-of-control growth of these programs virtually ensures their ultimate destruction, so we should act now.

    These choices, while difficult, are not radical: extending the means testing in Medicare today further to fix the program’s finances while also embracing premium support to improve health care delivery and outcomes; extending means testing in Social Security further (after all, do Bill Gates or Warren Buffett really need Social Security?); gradually moving Social Security away from a benefit for everyone to a benefit that, unlike today, guarantees that seniors won’t live in poverty because their benefits are so low.

    The President’s own Office of Management and Budget projects that the national debt will rise to over $25 trillion by 2022. Maybe it’s time that the President starts keeping score.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Obama: Don’t Worry About $16 Trillion Debt

    1. Good thing someone is keeping score!

    2. Aaron says:

      Doesn't congress have quite a large hand in passing the federal budget?!?

      • What budget. Congress has not passed a budget in the last three years. Only continuing resolutions. So there is no budget shortfall because there is no budget. Clever of those politicians.

    3. Ken Marx says:

      I watched the video. Actually, it appeared to me that the President doesn't really have any idea what the debt is. Of course, Letterman referred to him as "President of the World" (which is news to me) and he didn't refute it.

    4. Bobbie says:

      Why would I be aware of the amount America is in debt? I'm President who can take advantage of executive order. I'm incompetent and don't think things through and everyone expects it of me now. No, it won't hurt in the short run while I get my votes and who cares about America's future? I have it all worked out who will sacrifice and who won't if I'm elected.

      America has proof of better men that live with the moral qualities and principles of men of good will, loyalty and honor. This man is unacceptable and below expectations of a good man.

    5. Brian says:

      Of course he is not worried, killing this country and then taking over with a dictatorship has been the plan all along . I doubt that one could make the debt so high without a concerted effort to do just that.
      remember in the 2008 campaign when BO kept saying that waste was a problem, and the he would go LINE BY LINE to ferret out waste, well WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT?

    6. rock bottom says:

      Obama has put CZARS in positions to control food, water, power, fuel, manufacturing, health care, (obamacare) and controls Government motors. If he gets re-elected, what is to keep him, the government under executive order, from taking over our banks and controlling our savings, social security, pensions, and redistributing. He believes in redistribution! Then inflation will take over that redistribution and everyone will be even worse off then they are today. Even that plan would not work. You can see how stupid is and stupid does! We know what is right! We need to start doing what is right and not just shrug our shoulders any longer.

    7. butch says:

      All of this country will be just like Russia and China where instead of getting a pay check we will only get what is left so the Government get theirs first. With Obama this country is doomed to a National Debt above 22 trillion in the next four years.

    8. rsqubf says:

      By "short term," he means the next four years. He's effectively declared his intention to kick the can down the road.

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