I’m referring to E.J. Dionne’s latest hit piece in which he states:
The tea party’s followers have endangered the nation’s credit rating and the GOP by pushing both House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor away from their own best instincts.
Now, we all know, at least those of us who are conservative, that E.J. Dionne is not exactly impartial in this matter. Neither is he an expert on anything he states. He’s a journalist and has always been a journalist, though I use the term loosely for what the E.J. Dionnes of this world represent in real journalism.
One of the arguments used in the last few weeks over the budget/deficit battle is the fact that Bush raised the debt ceiling 8 times during his presidency. While this is true and I won’t dispute it. But liberals are looking at the wrong numbers so, let’s look at some numbers.
In an eight year time frame, Bush raised the debt ceiling a total of $4.915 trillion dollars. In 2 1/2 years under Obama the debt ceiling has been raised three times for a total of $3.019 trillion dollars, a mere 1 trillion less than Bush committed, in less than half the time, not to mention that the next increase, which is inevitable no matter which plan is finally used, will add another 2.4 trillion dollars, exceeding the total increases committed under Bush for 8 years, in less than 3 years.
Some other numbers that might be of interest to those of you who actually care about this country come from the deficit. It’s not the debt ceiling that’s the problem. It’s our ability to pay for those things funded only by operating in a deficit and there’s a cut-off point whether it’s a single family or a government.
In pictures from the Heritage Foundation:
Today’s government reminds me of an old Lending Tree Commercial:
Except the government doesn’t want any help as it’s hopelessly addicted to spending, even if it means total ruin. The TEA party worked to send some fiscal hawks to Washington. For that work, they’re demonized, not only by the erstwhile journalist who prompted this post but by Washington D.C., itself.
The deficit under Bush was $450 billion, give or take a billion. The left wants to blame the ’09 deficit on Bush, too, due to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, but it’s not so, at least only so in part. There was a Democratic Congress who facilitated it, so who, ultimately, is to blame? Don’t answer that because this isn’t about blame. It really no longer matters who is to blame.
The deficit for 2010 was revised to $1.5 trillion exceeding both the estimates of the CBO and the White House in the above graph. 2011 numbers are not in yet but the deficit keeps growing. In and of itself, even that isn’t a terrible thing as long as there is ability to eventually recover. And that is the crux of the matter. With a high deficit, unemployment languishing in the double digits for 15 straight weeks, and anemic economic growth, our ability to pay down debt is so severely curtailed there is no end in sight. We often, singly or collectively, operate under deficits for periods of time when life throws us screwballs, but we don’t continue to spend indiscriminately while our finances go out of control. We eventually brings ourselves back to equilibrium because to do otherwise brings us to total ruin, generally speaking, that is. There are some who have to hit bottom and below before they understand that simple fact of life.
Under the plan that passed the House, H.R._2560, the debt ceiling will increase $2.4 trillion. It’s 12 short pages and an easy read so there’s no excuse for Mr. Dionne not having done so. What’s being objected to is the requirement for a balanced budget and some cuts to discretionary spending. Some people have realized we’ve reached a limit to what we can handle financially as a nation. Others are in denial and want their “fix.”
And like any other kind of addict, they resort to promises of better behavior.
“Let’s get this [deficit and debt] problem off the table … [and] with a solid fiscal situation, we will then be in a position to make the kind of investments that I think are going to be necessary to win the future,” he told reporters gathered for a White House press conference Monday morning.
When that doesn’t work, they resort to threats.
“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue. There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
Washington, D.C. needs an intervention. The TEA Party gave it one. It’s not the debt ceiling, in and of itself.
IT’S THE SPENDING, STUPIDS!
Oh, and a Constitutional Amendment that has to be ratified by the states. I forgot about that. It’s being ridiculed, too, but we’ll address that one another time.
Another day, another red herring… *Sigh*