By Tim Wildmon
‘Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I intend to therefore oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.” – U.S. Sen. Barack H. Obama, March 2006
Have you noticed how practically all presidents’ hair starts graying after they’ve have been in office a year or two? President Obama is no different. The past week he has added several new gray hairs because Republicans in Congress are following precisely Obama’s advice from 2006 when he voted against raising the government’s debt ceiling. Then he was a man of strong conviction about the consequences of America’s debt problem. He preached to Bush that he, Bush, was failing to provide leadership on the issue and that “the buck” stops at the White House. Has anyone seen that Obama? Where has he gone? Golfing, perhaps?
Folks, while we are enjoying our summer family vacations, Rome is about to burn to the ground if our out-of-control federal government spending does not stop and stop now. Republicans, Democrats, and all of us are guilty of allowing this to happen.
I implore you to go to www.usdebtclock.org and watch it for two minutes. It will take your breath away.
This year alone our federal government will run a $1.5 trillion deficit. We are borrowing a staggering 40 cents for every dollar we spend.
President Obama is in way, way over his head. He came into the Oval Office with zero executive experience, having never run a company, a city, or a state. And it is showing. This executive experience is why Americans generally prefer governors to be their presidents. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush – all proven leaders at a state level before stepping into the most difficult job on the planet.
Obama pushed through a nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” package (more borrowed money) in an attempt to energize the economy, and it did not work. He even joked a couple of weeks ago, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.”
Unemployment is now at 9.2 percent. The president does not have any bullets left. He has no plan. He has no answers.
But one thing is for sure, if we don’t take drastic and painful measures now, there won’t be any need in debating Social Security, Medicare or any number of programs because we will not have the money to pay for it. This will happen within a decade or sooner. In fact, the chairman of Obama’s own debt commission (which he ignored) Erskine Bowles has said, “The problem is real. The solutions are painful, and we have to act.”
Both he and co-chair Alan Simpson, one a Democrat, one a Republican, believe a financial meltdown could occur within two years.
I am not sure even the Republican leadership knows how to get the spending horse back in the barn. While we a have shot with the Republicans, with the Democrats – forget it. While they have the mantle as the great protectors of popular government programs and many Americans vote for them for that reason alone – as a political party, they absolutely do not know how to get the spending to match the income. And they don’t care. They didn’t even bother to pass a budget when they controlled the Senate, the House of Representatives and the White House, for goodness sakes! If left to the liberal Democrats our country will explode in red ink. The American people realized this after watching their reckless behavior and slammed on the breaks in an unprecedented manner last November.
Our government does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The top 25 percent of income earners already pay nearly 90 percent of all federal income taxes and, by the way, support most of the charity work done in this country. No wonder these Americans are balking at being told they must pay even more taxes. And as a practical matter, as Obama argued when he decided to leave the Bush tax cuts in place, the last thing you want to do in a recession and unemployment getting close to 10 percent is raise taxes on people who own businesses and create jobs.
Obama was right in 2006. Increasing America’s debt weakens us at home and abroad. I don’t know where that fellow went, but we sure need leadership today from the presidency based on the words he uttered then.
Community columnist Tim Wildmon is a Lee County resident. He is president of the American Family Association, but the column represents his personal opinion unless otherwise noted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.