When a problem like our country’s debt is spiraling out of control – and economists and serious thinkers on both sides of the political spectrum warn against the coming calamity due to the debt – and Obama shows absolutely no interest in trying to cut or even slow down the borrowing and spending, it does make one wonder what his motives are.
Normally, one would assume that the president would care about this, but there has been no evidence in four years now to demonstrate that he does. The lone exception was the debt commission that he put together at the beginning of his first term, and when they issued their report Obama threw it in the trash. It was if the commission was all for show and he never had any intent to implement their recommendations.
Since Obama took office, the national debt has gone from $10 trillion dollars to $16 trillion. This is what I mean when I suggest he either does not care about the surging debt or – to take a more sinister view – he is actually trying to run up the debt. But to what end?
Another item that raises my suspicions about Obama’s intentions is the fact that his Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, now says we need to get rid of the “debt ceiling” altogether. The debt ceiling is the limit to the amount of money the federal government can borrow. Only the Congress can extend that amount. In other words, Obama’s number one financial guy says the president should be able to borrow an unlimited amount of money without congressional interference. Is this a sign of an administration that is in any way serious about reducing the size of government?
While my questions about Obama’s intentions are the things movies are made of, I agree, as I have said, I am only looking at the facts and his actions and inactions. Here you have a house smoldering and the owner does not even want to get out the garden hose, much less call the fire department? Does that make sense?
But as I have stated before, the Republicans must shoulder some of the responsibility for the debt as well. But at least they want to do something about seriously cutting spending, including entitlement reform which is the big reason we continue to go into debt. Obama doesn’t even want to do that. And the American people, by a 51percent to 49 percent advantage, affirmed Obama’s position of continued trillion dollar yearly deficits. Half of Americans don’t pay federal income taxes so they don’t see themselves as having skin in the game. It is human nature – they are not paying in, so what do they care?
In a few weeks we could have the Mother of All Show Downs when the debt ceiling vote comes up again. President Obama, before he left to go back to Hawaii for more golf, told Republicans he will not discuss with them the debt ceiling increase. In essence he told them: “You will borrow more money without any concessions or spending reductions of my part.”
And unless the Republicans want to “shut down the government” or “put America into default” (although the debt could be serviced without going into default) they will do exactly as they have been told by Obama. The pressure on House members who threaten to vote no on borrowing more money to feed the federal government beast will be enormous.
It is going to be interesting to watch.
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 email@example.com.