A Debt Ceiling Conversation with The President

With only a few days left to prevent a debt ceiling crisis President Obama asked the TV networks for prime time to inform The People of a grave situation and of the options available to us deliver another, tedious campaign speech.

What if we had been able to interact with the President, turning the speech into a conversation?

The President:

For the last decade, we have spent more money than we take in… kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Mr. President, Did you say “the last decade” hoping we’ll blame Bush instead of you? It’s certainly true that Bush ran unnecessary deficits.  But as the chart shows they averaged less than a quarter the size of Your deficits.

If we were still running Bush-sized deficits we would not hear the rating agencies threatening to downgrade US government debt.  We would not be at risk of the world’s investors abandoning Treasury debt out of fear that we’ll soon have no other option but to either default or inflate the currency.  The total debt would be several trillion less than it is today.

…In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt…

Yes, Mr. President, there was a surplus in 2000.  It was $236 billion, including $131 billion of surplus Social Security revenue over Social Security benefit payments, which we were told was to be “set aside” for the baby boomers retirement.  How could the remaining $105 billion have paid off the debt that was $2.2 Trillion in 2000?

…the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts… kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

So $131 billion was “spent” on trillions in tax cuts?   That sounds like a miracle, like when Jesus fed thousands of people with five loaves of barley bread and two fish.  If you could do something like that now you’d be reelected for sure!

But seriously, Mr. President, perhaps you haven’t seen the data in this chart. It shows that income tax revenue had declined before the current tax rates were enacted in 2003 and then went UP afterwards.  In fact, revenue reached an all time record high in 2007 before it was driven down by the recession.  But this year revenue is back up again and may equal that all time high of 2007.

…while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation’s credit card.

The government spends on thousands of programs, subsidies, entitlements, etc.  Yet the only two you mentioned were Bush initiatives, again hoping we’d blame him for this crisis.

You’re probably becoming impatient with our charts Mr. President, but here’s another one we have to show you.  It shows that the wars and the Medicare Prescription Drug program were tiny, compared to the massive increases in spending over the past decade, and especially during your first three years.  Yes, Bush deserves a share of the blame but aren’t your huge spending programs the biggest the problem?

Now, every family knows that a little credit card debt is manageable. But if we stay on the current path, our growing debt could cost us jobs and do serious damage to the economy.

Really sir? That’s not what you were saying in 2009 and 2010 when you and the Democratic Congress proudly launched your colossal new borrowing and spending initiatives.  You promised that those borrowed Trillions would “rescue” the economy from eight years of terrible Bush policies.  But after trillions in deficit spending there are 2.5 million fewer jobs than when you were sworn in and the unemployment rate has risen from 7.8% to 9.2%

I won’t bore you with the details of every plan or proposal… kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Oh please, let us see the details.  You’ve been making speeches and holding press conferences for weeks without releasing any details.  We’re ready now.  Why don’t you put your whole plan on line, like you promised during your campaign?

This balanced approach asks everyone to give a little without requiring anyone to sacrifice too much.

You’ve nearly worn out that clever phrase “balanced approach.”  You used it seven times in fifteen minutes.  Most of us now understand  it means tax increases.  we wonder why you don’t just say “tax increases?”

It would reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt. kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Just so everyone understands what you’re saying here, let’s clarify.  In March you submitted a ten year budget plan with a breathtaking total of $45 trillion in spending.  That’s an average of $4.5 trillion per year, or a stunning 25% more than you’re spending this year, which is 40% more than the government spent in 2007!  You also projected $10 Trillion more in deficits.

Now you assure us your “balanced approach” will reduce the 10 year deficit by $4 trillion.  Even if you’re correct –  we can’t tell because you haven’t put your mysterious “plan” in writing –  we’d still run $6 trillion in deficits.  So how can your plan, whatever it is, “put us on a path to pay down our debt” if intend to keep borrowing every year?

Keep in mind that under a balanced approach the 98% of Americans who make under $250,000 would see no tax increases at all…What were talking about under a balanced approach is asking Americans whose incomes have gone up the most over the last decade – millionaires and billionaires – to share the sacrifice.

We’ve wondered about this for months.  When you say “millionaires and billionaires” do you mean everyone who earns over $250,000?
This is clever politics.  You hope to 98% of the people will think a tax hike is just fine because they won’t directly pay any of it themselves.

What you didn’t disclose is that half those upper income taxpayers are actually small businesses who are required to report their business income on personal tax returns.  A tax hike on small business employers isn’t likely to help create more jobs, is it?

The truth is when small business employers are hit with a tax increase we all pay part of the cost in the form of fewer jobs, less job security, and lower wages for those who are fortunate enough to still have jobs.
Now, what makes today’s stalemate so dangerous is that it has been tied to something known as the debt ceiling – a term that most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before.
Yep.  We’re such unsophisticated hayseeds we still think we have to balance household and business budgets.  We’re so naive we try to hold borrowing down to a level we can repay.  We can’t understand Washington, where you increase your own credit line, expand the debt we have to repay, while assuring us nobody will suffer except a few undeserving rich guys.

In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it.

Isn’t that what brought us to this crisis?  Why even have a debt ceiling if Congress and the President routinely raise it without any effort to curtail deficit spending?  Just a couple of weeks ago you said
“Now is the time to deal with these issues. If not now, when?”  If you meant what you said, shouldn’t you present a serious, genuine plan, with real numbers, in writing, to reach $0 deficit within a couple of years so this the last debt ceiling increase?

...the new approach that Speaker Boehner unveiled today, which would temporarily extend the debt ceiling in exchange for spending cuts…doesn’t solve the problem.

But Mr. President your plan, such as it is, doesn’t “solve the problem” of permanent, enormous deficits.  Just last week you said “The only bottom line I have is that we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election, into 2013.”  The only problem that may solve is one of your reelection campaign problems.

Do you know what people are fed up with most of all?  They’re fed up with a town where compromise has become a dirty word.

Yes, we’ve watched, angrily, as almost every compromise for decades has resulted in a government more powerful, more intrusive, more expensive, and a greater risk to our economic well being.  Now your Treasury Secretary tells us we face imminent catastrophe – the cumulative result of thousands of compromises in Washington that contributed to the relentless growth of government.

9 Comments so far

  1. Drew on July 26th, 2011

    Now, there you go again, spoiling a good propaganda speech with facts.

    The man has never been ready for prime time. A community organizer and college professor who doesn’t have an executive talent or inclination in his body. Just vapid, slogan-filled speeches.

    2012 can’t come fast enough.

  2. games for kids on July 26th, 2011

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  3. surfcitysocal on July 26th, 2011

    A critically important article jam-packed with facts! Thank you!

  4. Marketing sur internet on July 31st, 2011

    Remember in a few years ago when Paulson drew his line in the sand and only declared “In the event Congress refuses to vote in favor of this bale out, the economy will fall?” Basically, that made it unevitable for the economy to sink when Congress refused to go along. The POTUS made a similar strategy a few days ago with an apparent threat of a last day deadline but the oposition were happy to rejected his bluff. Well this time probably wont be funny if this last time limit is not respected.

  5. référencement naturel on July 31st, 2011

    Let bring some old memory: in a few years ago when Paulson drew his line in the sand and only said “If Congress refuses to vote in favor of this bailout, the market will fall?” And the funny part, that became an insurance for the economy to sink when Congress refused to go along. The POTUS gave a shot to a similar strategy lately with his threat of a weekend deadline but the Reps clearly called his bluff. It might not be any good if this next deadline passes.

  6. Marketing sur internet on July 31st, 2011

    Let bring some old memory: in three years ago when Paulson drew drew the line and stopped talking then declared “In the event Congress doesn’t vote in favor of this bail out, the economy will fall?” Basically, that was the ticket for the economy to burst when Congress objected to go along. The POTUS made a similar strategy lately with an apparent threat of a last day time limit but the Republicans were happy to swiped his bluff. It probably wont be any good if this final deadline passes.

  7. référencement naturel on July 31st, 2011

    Remember in a few years ago when Paulson drew his line in the sand and only declared “In the eventuality Congress refuses to vote in favor of this bale out, the economy will bust?” And the funny part, that became an insurance for the economy to tumble when Congress did not want to go along. Barrack made a similar strategy last weekend with the stress of a last day time limit but the oposition were happy to swiped his bluff. Well this time might not be any good if this final time limit gets broken.

  8. Marketing sur internet on July 31st, 2011

    Remember in 2008 when Paulson drew took the beast by the horns and only said “In the event Congress refuses to vote in favor of this bailout, the economy will crash?” And the funny part, that made it unevitable for the economy to tumble when Congress did not want to go along. Obama attempted a similar strategy last week with an apparent threat of a last day deadline but the oposition clearly called his bluff. It might not be easy if this next time limit gets broken.

  9. HCG drops on July 31st, 2011

    Interesting article looking forward to reading more. I am inclined to agree with your view.