A.J. DiCintio
Debt, disaster, and independents
By A.J. DiCintio
February 19, 2012

A specter is haunting the United States. . . the specter of devastating debt. All the powers of the old liberal order have entered into an unholy alliance to keep this pernicious presence alive: Political Pope Obama and Democratic Party Tsars, Pelosi and Reid, Academic Radicals and PC police-spies of the Smear Machine that plays the cards of class, race, and ethnicity.

As you have concluded from the sardonic twist given to the preamble of the "Communist Manifesto," this piece warns of the treacherous national debt that the current president and his liberal allies regard not as a virulent cancer but, astonishingly, a panacea for all that ails the country.

However, before the presentation of facts in support of the warning and an appeal regarding doing something about it, it must be observed that the Republican Party carries its own baggage on the debt issue.

First because from 2001-2009 its fiscal policies sent the national debt rising from 5.7 to $10.6 trillion, an astounding increase of 86% in a period during which GDP grew only 39%.

Second, because today's partially rehabilitated GOP has not specifically articulated a platform that wisely and fairly takes on the debt problem.

But the reality is that the only president asking us to re-elect him in '12 is Barack Obama, making his record the one that matters infinitely more than any other.

Here, therefore, are the salient facts about the fiscal record of a man whose every campaign speech promised hope for real, honest, innovative change but whose behavior since taking office has marked him as incorrigibly devoted to the decrepit, arrogantly profligate Politics of Expediency he learned as a card-carrying member of the Chicago Machine.

As his first important act as president, Obama proposed an economic stimulus bill which he completely turned over to pork-starved House and Senate Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi, mother to all who believe Washington knows best, and liberal boss Harry Reid, literally the father of the nation's most well-connected family of lobbyists.

Yet to this day regarding a bill that produced precious few jobs and no meaningful stimulus, Obama places blame everywhere except on the pile of wasteful porkish favoritism that added nearly a trillion dollars to the national debt.

Next, foolishly believing his "stimulus" represented a complete fix for the country's economic problems, Obama turned to healthcare, arrogantly certain that in just a few short months, he could effectively reform the incredibly complex industry that consumes more than 16% of the entire economy.

Once again he turned the job over to the same political hacks. And once again they produced an abomination in the form of a 2,000 page, sixties-welfare-style monstrosity stuffed with directives, exemptions, and gobbledygook intended to lavishly slop the federal bureaucracy without producing any real healthcare reform.

Adding an incredibly painful insult to that grievous injury, Obama and his Democratic lemmings announced the cost of "Obamacare" as less than $1 trillion (half of which they vowed to obtain from unspecified savings in Medicare) even as they quietly pushed its true cost of more than two trillion borrowed dollars off until after (surprise, surprise) 2016.

Worried that the economic condition of the worst of Europe's "social democracies" was causing the public to focus intensely on America's runaway debt, Obama now determined he had to give the appearance of doing something about the problem. Therefore, he appointed a "deficit commission" that ultimately failed to reach an agreement.

However, when a bi-partisan group of the commission's bravest members pressed ahead with a "Moment of Truth Project" for making truly serious cuts in the federal deficit, Obama genuflected before his party's most radical liberals and summarily dismissed the committee never to speak of its recommendations again, thereby condemning himself as guilty of one of the most cowardly and irresponsible acts ever committed by an American president.

But Obama was not finished with his fiscal perversity, for he subsequently issued budgets for '12 and '13, both of which adhere dogmatically to the dogmas of liberalism that call for ever bigger, more powerful government; ever higher spending; ever higher taxes on the middle class; ever more cuts in healthcare for seniors, and an ever burgeoning national debt.

As expected, typical politician Obama tried to hide the truth about the disastrous debt certain to result from his fiscal policies with shamelessly exaggerated economic assumptions for the long term and sunny short term predictions such as the ones he made in 2010 that forecast a deficit of $912 billion for 2011 and $581 billion for 2012.

As it turned out, the actual deficit for 2011 was a shocking 42% higher ($1.3 trillion) and the projected $1.3 trillion deficit for 2012 is well on its way to being an astonishing 124% above his estimate, realities that portend nothing less than catastrophe if Obama's fiscal policies prevail over the next ten years. (statistics thanks to the editors of National Review)

Finally, although Obama's record with respect to debt is frightening, it becomes terrifying when we consider that according to a Census Bureau chart, federal debt as a percent of GDP is the highest it has been in the period 1916-2010 except for a brief time during WWII, when, it is imperative to note, Social Security took in five to six times more than it paid out, there was no Medicare burden, healthcare costs didn't threaten to bankrupt the nation, and the federal government in general was a trillion tons short of the stupendous monstrosity it has become.

The truth about Obama's fiscal record exposed, here is my appeal, especially to the critically important bloc of voters who self-identify as independent:

It's high time to give up on a president who bases his economic policies on the Big Lie called The Free Lunch, a reality that explains why he blithely dismisses the significance of every crucially important fact about the nation's indebtedness, including the one showing that since the day he took office GDP has increased 10% while the national debt has ballooned 43%.

Of course, the only realistic alternative to Obama will be the Republican presidential nominee. But as Tea Party members will be happy to explain, getting through to the power structure of the GOP is no easy task.

That's why next week, I'll be writing to all who are concerned about the impending debt disaster, offering thoughts about how we can work together to get a plan for honest, fair, and pragmatically sensible spending reduction heard and acted upon by those who make up what is regularly being called these days "The Republican Establishment."

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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