President Obama used the final news conference of his first term to stake out his position on the upcoming debate over whether to raise the debt ceiling.

The President did what he does best, and what the person with the largest bully pulpit gets to do; he reframed the debate.

The argument, the President said yesterday, is not about authorizing the federal government to borrow more money. No, the money has already been spent by a profligate Congress, so the real issue is just about paying existing bills.

It’s a smart move, especially for a President who has presided over four years of annual deficits of at least $1 trillion and watched as federal spending has risen to 70 percent of GDP—the highest in U.S. history, except during WWII.

So the President, rather than actually addressing the real issue of out-of-control spending, creates a straw man argument that sounds as though it was dreamed up by an accountant at Enron.

The country can’t pay its bills because it has vastly overspent and borrowed, so we’re to believe the only option is to give the President the authority to borrow more money, even as we run even higher deficits, while doing nothing about the spending.

President Obama also attempted to gin up the jingoists with the phrase—which he repeated twice—“We’re not a deadbeat nation.”

Channeling my best Bill Clinton, that depends on what your definition of “deadbeat” is.

Someone who does not pay their bills is a deadbeat. So, it could be argued that if a showdown between the Congress and the President ended with no increase in the debt ceiling, there wouldn’t be enough money to pay the bills.

But the Merriam-Webster dictionary also describes a deadbeat as a “loafer,” a person that never accomplishes anything.  It is self-evident that when it comes to even trying to bring federal spending under control, Washington has been sluggardly and the President has been absent.

Even the President’s own report on fiscal responsibility (Simpson-Bowles) was relegated to a White House shelf where it’s no doubt gathering dust.

The President tried to make his point yesterday using a restaurant analogy.  “You don’t go out to dinner and eat all you want and then leave without paying the check. And if you do, you’re breaking the law.  And Congress should think about it the same way that the American people do.”

Expanding on the same poor analogy, if you can’t afford the bill, why do you keep eating out in fancy restaurants?

But the President might just get away with it.  The House Republican leadership doesn’t appear able to generate convincing counter-arguments these days.  You’ll know the President is winning if you see Republicans trying to explain why the country should not pay its bills.

If the GOP wants to play the President’s game, the answer is, “if we’re not a deadbeat nation, why do we act like one?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  • stophating

    Some facts---George W Bush inherited a budget surplus, and promptly converted it into huge deficits. I only partially blame Bush the Younger. The country was attacked, and engaged in two wars (I'm not debating that either was un-needed). War is expensive, and it will take at least two generations to pay off the wars. No one was yelling to stop dropping bombs because they were expensive in the early days of either war. If you were, then you can yell about the debt, if not then pay off the wars and then deficit and budget will eek slightly more into balance.

    • Red Dwarf

      So Obama found himself in a hole, got himself a bigger shovel and started digging faster. That's better how?

      • stophating

        When Obama says that he will not debate about paying bills that Congress has already approved, he is correct. Think of the wars as being a 30 year mortgage. When we had budget surpluses during the Clinton presidency, part of the reason they occurred was that the Vietnam War debt had been "paid off." It is a fact that the only way to instantly pay off the recent war debt is to abolish social security and medicare and leave senior citizens to fend for themselves.

  • dolphin3111

    There is no need for a budget.

    The "Commisar" is well on his way with the "fundamental transformation" of America to a communist state.

    Next step: Never let a crisis go to waste. Disarm the American public.

  • ShinnstonGuy

    Seriously Hoppy, what did you drink before writing this one? The President doesn't pass appropriation bills--the Constitution gives that power to the Congress. The President was fully justified in his comments. Congress has not done their job now for years and they should figure out a solution for the problems they have created. I keep hearing these tired arguments about the President presiding over all these deficits. Yet, the President merely recommends a budget. It is up to Congress to pass it. Shall I also remind everyone that during the W years a Republican Congress increased pork-barrell spending more than any previous Congress? It is time to point fingers at the right people, and they are Pelosi, Boehner, Cantor, Reid, McConnell, McCain, and almost all of the other 529 "arrogants" we have elected.

    • bulldog95

      I agree, but at least under W a budget was passed. They were not ideal, but at least they were passed. Obama could use his gift of gab to get the senate to pass a budget but we would only see that happen if control of the senate was under the republicans.

    • Shadow

      There is no question that the Congress makes the law and appropriate the money. However, the current event that is causing the folks to get up in arms is the cost of Obamacare which was passed by the Democratic Congress before anyone could read it. As Nancy said, you have to pass it before you can read it. If that is Democratic Logic, it stinks.

  • CaptainQ

    Hoppy, this commentary is (forgive the pun) right ON THE MONEY today. It doesn't matter if you're an individual family, a small business, a huge corporation or a 'government', you simply cannot spend more than you earn and stay 'in business' forever, PERIOD.

    For way, way too long, the collective 'braintrust' of American government (Republicans AND Democrats) have been spending OUR tax dollars wildly for decades. Though it may be argued that some of these funds DO/DID go to 'worthy causes' to truly help those in need, many MORE of these funds were wasted on bureaucracy, 'pork barrel' projects and downright government fraud. Even the Obama Administration seems to have admitted there's a lot of fraud in Medicare alone since the ObamaCare law (the one Mrs. Pelosi said we had to pass so that we can know what's in it) states that it will be shaving 500 BILLION dollars from Medicare through finding and stamping out FRAUD. It's in there! Admission that a half of trillion dollars spent in Medicare stems from fraud! Makes you wonder how many more BILLIONS and TRILLIONS of our tax dollars are being wasted in other Federal spending programs.

    And what's our President's answer to this crisis? More 'kicking the can' down the street by raising the debt ceiling WITHOUT making deep, meaningful budget cuts. To be fair, the GOP doesn't seem to have a real answer either other than to point at Obama and say "you're wrong." And while the two major political parties continue to bicker among themselves, America slides ever so closer to complete fiscal collaspe. Until BOTH sides are willing to sit down together and come up with a REAL plan to cut spending, there's nothing we as 'The People' can do but pray. Otherwise, when all of the increased Federal spending provisions of ObamaCare kick in, this nation will be TOTALLY broke before we know it. God help us all.

    • GregG

      That is why I said we should have smashed the gas an went off the "finacial cliff" doing 120mph. Who knows, maybe this was the reason Sen. Rockerfeller said it was time to leave. I myelf would love to see every demorcat just throw up their hands and walk away. Let the wonderful republican party show the world how great they are at fixing the problem. Nothing that more tax breaks for the rich and job exportation won't cure.

      • bulldog95

        Yet in the wonderful world of Democract math for every 1 dollar of foodstamp, unemployment, and what ever else they give away equal 1.6 dollars in growth. Ok, ok, it might not have been 1.6 but it was more than 1.00. Taking a dollar from me and giving it to someone else somehow has a better effect on the bottom line is just plain flawed.

      • CaptainQ

        That's what I thought (at the time) Obama would do, let us fall from the 'fiscal cliff' so that there would be more tax revenue to spend/waste, but I was wrong. It's more popular with voters to put off any rough budget cutting as long as you can.

        One can blame the deficit on Bush II all you want (even though it was Obama who more than DOUBLED it) but one thing you CANNOT blame on the GOP is the huge added costs of OBAMACARE! Obamacare is 100% Obama/Democrat created, voted in, and backed. Where will all that extra money to pay for the almost 33 millions to be covered by ObamaCare come from? Can ANY of you Obamafans out there answer THAT question?

        • GregG

          Captain I don't blame anything on Bush, it's the party he represents I hold accountable. As for "Obamacare"... we wouldn't even need Obamacare if a certain party wouldn't have busted our unions and allowed, or should I say encouraged the mass exit of American jobs. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, without jobs that pay good wages and benefits, you will never have a strong economy or a sound tax base.

          • CaptainQ

            Wow GregG, you're 'spinning' this so hard, it's about to fall off it's axis! You're giving political 'spin' a whole new dimension here!

            Nice way to DODGE my direct question, BTW. Why aren't you working in politics?

            GregG seems to be reinforcing my point, NO ONE KNOWS where all the money to PAY for the benefits of ObamaCare's going to come from. Can't spend money we don't have, folks. Sooner or later, it's going to catch up to the United States government.

          • GregG

            Ok, let me put it another way Captain. We CAN'T come up with the money for Obamacare or anything else for that matter. Why? Because there isn't some cute little fairy thats going to wave her magic wand over the US and bring back all the jobs that have left over the past 30 years. And a country without a working middle class has no economy or tax base. Now "spin" it however you like Captain, but I don't see how things are going to get any better until someone comes up with a way to put money back into the pockets of the working class. And I damn sure know that "trickle down economics" isn't the answer. Actually, in my opinion that was what caused our economic problems of today.

  • mntnman

    Two wars; largest tax cut in our history; created the largest government agency of all time; unpaid prescription drug plan -- brought to you courtesy of the Bush/republican administration and Congress. Not to mention the defense spending that is beyond what the pentagon even wants.

    Then lets look at the $10 trillion in national debt laid at the feet of Reagan, Bush and Bush. Oh, and Reagan and his group said the debt was no big deal. (And don't scream ancient history -- it happened and it contributed to where we are right now.)

    Then of course, we get down to the financial crash, brought to you by not Obama, but those who came before him. At least $2 trillion of the spending since he came into office was to prevent a melt-down of our society. Perhaps he should have fiddled while America burned? Perhaps then, you could blame him for the depression that certainly would have followed. Am I the only one who remembers the faces of the Bush administration that October -- they were scared. They knew and understood what was about to happen.

    Is the irony of all this only impacting me? Spending was great (and the big tax cut was spending, make no mistake about that) when it suited the Republicans, but now they want to starve the beast, to suit their purposes. So please, get off the high horse regarding Obama's deficits.

    Make no mistake we spend too much. On ridiculous matters. But we also spend money as needed for lots of things. I am prepared to take a hit on certain things, as I've said many times before. Are you? By the same token, our tax system is broken, and needs fixing. (eg., Still taxing hedge fund managers salaries as capital gains??)

    We can fix things. If we have the will and leadership. We have neither. So things will go along until the next crisis. Then the next. Eventually, the house of cards could collapse. Or, perhaps, we get lucky and the American job machine picks up and things improve. Only time will tell. Meantime, lets make the argument about real things; stop the blame game and understand that both parties and many presidents brought us to here today. And neither party has the total answer.

    • wirerowe

      Mnntman, Please explain to me why we have two wars, prescription drugs, bush tax cuts, (which incidentally were for all people including middle income and not just the rich) and the actual deficits averaged around $400 to $500 billion with Bush and the same wars prescription drugs and bush tax cuts under Obama led to deficits of around $1.2 billions a year. That is an additional $700 to $800 billion average annual deficits under Obama with all of the things that Bush put in place Bush was not fiscally responsible but you cannot explain away Obama's much more severe fiscal irresponsibility by blaming Bush. Both of them have been fiscally irresponsible. I do not share your optimism. Medicare and medicaid are not sustainable without premium increases, benefit cuts or more stringent eligibility requirements( e.g 67 for medicare). These two programs will break us and there is not the political will to convince and lead the people to this realization.

      • mntnman

        Easy to explain. Because after all that Bush spending, and tax cutting, we faced a financial crisis -- so, Obama was left ot preside over a depression or to spend way too much money on avoiding a depression -- with increased unemployment, saving banks and car companies, etc. Additionally, we had to continue to fight two wars that weren't paid for, increasing costs. We had to pay for increased prescription drug costs, that weren't paid for. That's the thing about these ongoing programs and wars created by Bush -- costs rise, more money is spent and no new taxes to pay for them, thanks to the Bush tax cuts.

        Lesson, if you are going to create programs and fight wars, then pay for them as you go. That's where Bush and the republicans are to blame. And they are to blame for that -- not Obama. He has plenty to be blamed for, but not those things.

        As far as optimism, re-read my comments -- I said we can fix things - I didn't say we would fix things. That's not optimism; its realism.

        • wirerowe

          The financial crisis was caused by speculation and overbuilding in the housing market that was facilitated by easy credit from the fed, insuring houses by fannie and freddie for people that not have were not credit worthy and fraud and greed on main street and wall street. The Bush fiscal policies and deficits had little to do with causing the financial crisis. In fact the liberal Keynesian economists would say that the deficits were stimulative.

          • mntnman

            I disagree. The financial crisis was caused by those in government who failed in their duty to monitor, manage and prevent the very types of speculation in real estate that went on. Had they actually regulated the practices, then all the junk mortgages/derivatives, which is the fundamental basis for the crash, would have been rejected. Or regulators could have required more of those selling the junk mortgages -- more disclosure for one. The derivatives went unmonitored.

            Government failed to regulate a system that was flawed in the first instance, driven by greed, and which laid waste to the economy. Indeed, it was de-regulation that lead to the disaster -- hence is was the fault of those who should have been regulating those actions. Our government, which was being run by de-regulators -- had they been doing their job, the damage could have been averted. Instead, they wanted the freest of free markets -- where greed prevails and government picks up the pieces afterwards.

    • bulldog95

      Ahhh, the largest tax cut in history thing again. Thats like me saying that I started my job at 25,000 a year and now 10 years later I am making 35,000. If they had only paid me 35,000 when I started I would have had an extra 100,000. Its to basic but the idea is the same, the government saying that had tax rates stayed the same they could have had X. That money is not theirs to begin with.

      • mntnman

        What are you talking about? Its not the same at all. When they cut taxes, disproportionately for the richest, and increased spending, they caused deficits. Proof -- we had a surplus until the tax cuts. And no, the money is not theirs, but I notice we still spent the money anyway. So, logically, had we not cut the taxes like we did, then we would have paid our bills -- thus we have a surplus and not a deficit. This really isn't that complex.

        • wirerowe

          Mnntman I think that Bush's deficits were more of a result of not increasing revenues to pay for the wars. Revenues went up after the Bush tax cuts. I am not a supply sider but I do not think that we will ever know for sure whether the tax cuts were stimulative , a wash or merely increased deficits
          The only way we would be able to tell for sure about the impact of the Bush tax cuts is if we could have looked at them in isolation with everything else including wars and prescription drugs not going on. I find it odd that the same people that condemn Bush for paying for prescription drugs for seniors, a commendable program, and ostensibly going into debt to do so, praise Obama for adding 32 million people to medicaid and ostensibly going into debt to do so.

        • bulldog95

          Yes it is the same. My example may have not have hit the spot. Its the government saying if it had stayed the same we could have had X. Well lets not stop at the Bush tax cuts, why not just say if the rates had stayed at what they were under FDR we could have had XXXXXXXX. Its flawed logic to count something that isnt yours to begin with. Thats why I said had they paid be what I am making now back when I started I could have had 100,000 more.
          And you are right, they spent the money anyway, thats the problem. I have to live by spend less than I bring in, so why shouldnt the feds. I cant help it that there are more people that want something for nothing.

          • mntnman

            You presume that taxes, which are necessary for a civilized society, are unnecessary. You are wrong. Taxes are a necessity; evil but a necessity. How else do we have public education, roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, etc? How do you build an army without taxes? Taxes are an evil we must live with.

            So the basic premise of your thought, that taxes don't belong to the government is flawed. Of course taxes belong to the government. They take from us and spend for us. (At least that was the idea long ago.)
            You may well want more in your paycheck. I want better schools and roads and water systems. I want a safety net. My vote is equal to yours. So, I will repeat. If the Bush tax cuts hadn't happened, then we would not have had such huge deficits.

            As for the constant example that individuals must live in their means, etc -- government is not an individual. It is government. It does what its voters want. Check out polls lately -- everyone says they want less government and fewer taxes, until they are asked what to cut. Then they have problems. Don't cut what I like, is the response. Medicare and SS are in trouble. AARP does not want them touched. We spend more in a year on defense than the next 15 countries combined. Overkill I say, but many do not want that touched. So, the problem is We the People want to live beyond our means -- Congress is just doing what we ask.

  • Shadow

    Any one who thinks this Country is not on the way to bankruptcy on the current spending habit is on the weed. Put your money on guns and ammo. You will need them down the road for whatever.

  • Tag

    Hoppy, let's use actual numbers (minus lots of zero's) and pretend our current debt dilemma is a household budget:

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $38,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
    * Outstanding credit card balance: $142, 710
    * Total budget cuts so far: $385

    Even the economically illiterate and those in the tank for Obama (see above) can see this path is unsustainable.

    • bulldog95

      Spot on.
      If the average person is starting to run a debt like that they have 3 options. Get another job (raise taxes) cut spending, or ignore it. The government is taking the last approch and just ignoring it. Well they did raise taxes but in the end just end up spending more.

    • Sandman

      A sovereign government bears no obvious resemblance to a household. The US federal government is over 200 years old, if we date its birth to the adoption of the Constitution. Arguably, that is about as good a date as we can find, since the Constitution established a common market in the US, forbade states from interfering with interstate trade (for example, through taxation), gave to the federal government the power to levy and collect taxes, and reserved for the federal government the power to create money, to regulate its value, and to fix standards of weight and measurement-from whence our money of account, the dollar, comes. I don’t know any head of household with such an apparently indefinitely long lifespan. This might appear irrelevant, but it is not. When you die, your debts and assets need to be assumed and resolved. There is no “day of reckoning”, no final piper-paying date for the sovereign government. Nor do I know any household with the power to levy taxes, to give a name to — and issue — the currency we use, and to demand that those taxes are paid in the currency it issues. Decisions about the federal budget are fundamentally different from those of individual households, because policymakers need to account for how their choices affect the economy as a whole. It is more appropriate to liken government budget deficits to prescription medicine. Just as medication can be helpful to a sick patient, deficits can aid a failing economy. The U.S. economy slumped largely because of a reduction in spending by households and businesses. For households, this was a reasonable response to declining property values, job losses and insecurity. Likewise, it made sense for firms to cut back on investment as their customers spent less. If the federal government were to act this way, though, it would reinforce the decline in economic activity, not alleviate it.
      To stabilize the economy, the federal government needs to counterbalance the swings in consumer and business expenditures by moving in the opposite direction. When consumers and firms cut back, government can help replace the lost economic activity through direct spending (on infrastructure projects, for example) and through indirect means, such as tax cuts, which increase households' disposable income.

  • Sampeer

    The republicans can't frame a counter arguement to Obama and the democrats because they are just as guilty of spending like a "spoiled teenager" The only real difference between the parties is who gets to feed at the public trough first. That is it, there is no other difference.

    As I read you commentary and the replies, I just shook my head. The fact of the matter is we are not only financially bankrupt, we are morally and ethically bankrupt. Look at the caliber of the leadership the majority of Americans vote for. It isn't sound leadership the gets votes, no sir. People vote for those who promise to give them entitlements out of the public treasury. They vote for those that promice to make them safe by taking thier liberties.

    Of course that brings us to the caliber of the average American Citizen. They vote for, cheer, and reverence the very peple that are bankrupting the nation, and stripping away their liberties. Right here in West Virginia, the voting public continued to put the likes of Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller in office while these two were bankrupting the nation, making a mockery of the US Constitution, and eroding away our liberties. The same is true with the representatives that we continue to put in office. Then there are those sent to Charleston, tot he statehouse. I cannot think of words to acturally describe how morally and ethically bankrupt these people are. However, according to the vast majority of West Virginians they can do no evil.

    • Chalkdust

      Sampeer:
      I can think of no better words than yours. From this moment foreword, your rant will be my gold standard. You nailed it so completely, I could actually hear the gears stop and neck bones creak as people turned to listen. Keep up the good work.

  • TD

    Clueless as always, the right doesn't realize the debt problem has been mostly solved, I refer to this graph by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/the-mostly-solved-deficit-problem/

    This show the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013, which hypocrites like Hoppy opposed, along with the Budget Control Act of 2011 where Obama signed $1.5 trillion in cuts into law(gets ZERO credit from Hoppy) have us on course to get the debt under control. Still needed are $1.4 trillion in either cuts or taxes.

    So how should we approach this? Maybe end the loopholes for the wealthy like the office building in the Cayman Islands that has 18,000 supposed offices. Right there is over $100 billion. Allow Medicare to bargain for better drug prices from the pharmaceutical companies, that alone would save $400 billion. End the tax break for locating jobs overseas which would bring jobs home generating over $100 billion. End tax give away to big oil, $65 billion.

    There are many ways to get the additional $1.4 trillion but the only way Republicans favor is gutting Medicare and Social Security. Obama has the upper hand as the idealogical wing of the Republican Party continues to destroy itself, really is something to watch.

    • Patchy

      An accusation of cluelessness followed by a link to - wait for it - Paul Krugman.

      Physician, heal thyself.

      • Alum

        +1

      • Chalkdust

        Patchy........I'm sure Paul Kugman makes perfectly good sense. when you're drowning, grabbing on to the anchor chain might make the same kind of sense to some. The man's been a stone idiot for so many years, some people are glad to drink the kool-aid just to stop the buzzing.

    • wirerowe

      D I thought you were serious until you repeated what that nutcase Paul Krugman opines. The charts that your referred to had the 2012 debt to gdp at around 80%.Not even close. This is not about conservative versus liberal .This is about adding and subtracting numbers with a lot of zeros. Mr. Krugman is incapable of doing that. The 2011 spending cuts that the President agreed to with a gun pointed to his head represent at best a reduction of $120 billion a year over ten years. That would account for 12 % of the deficit reduction over 10 years. The President and Congress have kicked the first two months of those cuts down the road and I believe will do everything possible to wiggle out of them altogether.The most recent tax increase legislation would hypothetically if the increases actually went to deficit reduction reduce the deficit $600 billion over ten years or 6% of the deficits. So these two major bills represent at best 18% reduction of deficits over the next ten years. That would get us down to the $900 billion a year budget deficit level at best. I say at best because none of the tax increases will likely go to deficit reduction and the President and Congress may try to wiggle out of the automatic cuts in the 2011 bill. In practice there has been no effective deficit reduction to date. Plus there will either need to be new debt or revenues to pay for the 32 million new medicaid recipients under the Affordable Health care act that will be paid for mainly by the feds beginning in 2014. You could not be more wrong than to say that the debt problem has been solved. To date not one dollar of new taxes or spending cuts have gone to reduce the current fiscal year's deficit.

    • CaptainQ

      TD, I respectfully disagree that the Federal Debt crisis is 'over.' I will believe that Washington is truly serious about controling the Federal Budget when I can actually see it. No amount of DNC propoganda is going to make this GROWING Federal deficit 'magically' disappear. And as wirerowe already pointed out, the additional costs attached to ObamaCare will drain the Federal treasury EVEN MORE.

      Budget crisis 'over'? In your dreams, TD.

    • bulldog95

      Anyone that does a little research on their own without listening to the talking heads know that Obama's cuts is fuzzy math at best.
      Its like me saying that in five years I plan to spend 20,000 on a new car but today I decided I am not going to buy that new car so I SAVED 20,000. His debt reduction plans are riddeled with holes like that.
      I could be mistaken but didnt the republicans try to elimate loopholes but I thought the big O said no dice, that he had to raise taxes because 1% more people that voted for him gave him the mandate. He WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT do away with loopholes because his buddies like Jeff Immelt (GE) will actually have to pay taxes.

    • Medman

      Krugman was asked on PBS to give examples of any government or business that survived debt that exceeded 50% of annual revenues and he could not give one example. The CBO projects our debt in 2016 to be $20 T and the annual debt service will be more than 48%,IF INTEREST RATES STAY BELOW 3%. If interest rates increase by more than 3%, we are in deep default and there will be a world financial crisis. Krugman will just say that his assumptions were based on historical economic data. But, Obama has a plan for all of that, right?

  • Jim N Charleston

    I still think the Jim N Charleston Plan of having a war with Canada is still a valid option for debt & deficit elimination.

    We're outta debt plus we get rid of hockey. Win, Win.

    Had I wanted the job, this past November I'd have ran for President, won, and we'd be on our way to financial solvency. And the only reason I didn't run is because of a risk of my deepest darkest secrets being exposed. The skeletons in my closet need to be buried in concrete shoes before I decide I want to be leader of the free but broke world.

    I haven't eliminated the idea of doing all this in 2016, but given that WVU could be a National Title contender by then, I still will not promise. I just can't.

  • wirerowe

    Hoppy We are a deadbeat nation. We spend money that we don't have. Under Presdient Obama our nation's debt has grown from about 70% of GDP to around 110% of GDP.That is a nation of deadbeats. He is delusional and brings to mind Nero or King lear.

    • Sandman

      Our debt has been reduced as a percentage of GDP from 10.1 percent to 7.1 percent in the last three years, the largest reduction as percentage of GDP. the reason the deficit is so large is very simple. We
      have a depression on our hands, a recession. Call it what you will. And that means tax revenues plummet and things like unemployment insurance and food stamps go up. Get the recession out of the way. Get unemployment down to 5 percent. Our deficit goes way down by about 40 percent. It`s not that we`re overspending. Our spending as a percentage of GDP is not up. It`s down, in fact.

  • Bob in Morgantown

    We're not a deadbeat nation, we have a deadbeat government.

  • Alex

    Raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with borrowing more money and it's not something to negotiate on. We don't raise the debt ceiling, Social Security checks aren't honored, and there are massive economic failures because, unfortunately, everything is connected.

    There need to be some spending cuts, but austerity isn't the answer either.

    • Chalkdust

      Alex:
      Really? You want to weigh-in on this question without the slighted inking about what you're talking about?

  • Medman

    I watched a replay of Obama's speech in 2007 attacking Bush for spending and wanting to raise the debt ceiling which he voted against. This guy has to be the biggest hypocrite ever. In his news conference yesterday, he said that raising the debt ceiling does not mean more spending, it just means we will pay our bills. This is almost as dumb as his statement in the debates, wherein he said that he wanted to use the money saved from the wars (all of which was borrowed) to pay down the debt. His legacy will be that he is solidly in the bottom quartile of competency ratings for all American Presidents.

  • Dave Stanton

    Well said.