We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion.That is “trillion” with a “T.” That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President’s budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.
Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter.
Here is why: This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt than we’ll spend on Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined. It is more money in one year than we are likely to spend to rebuild the devastated gulf coast in a way that honors the best of America.
And the cost of our debt is one of the fastest growing expenses in the Federal budget. This rising debt is a hidden domestic enemy, robbing our cities and States of critical investments in infrastructure like bridges, ports, and levees; robbing our families and our children of critical investments in education and health care reform; robbing our seniors of the retirement and health security they have counted on.
Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities."
Senator Barack Obama Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt March 16, 2006
Ah, remember the old days, when we knew that Obama was a different kind of politician who knew what he believed and said what he meant? Who wasn't just another opportunistic weaselly shape-shifting hack, who would say anything for the sake of posturing? I remember them days well.
Well, maybe because now most of the debt is funded by the Fed and the Treasury's printing press he's a bit more sanguine about the whole thing?
Not that he should be. The debt is one reason I left the Republican Party. For years I'd argued "Clinton's Surplus" was really a Republican surplus because Congress has control of the purse. When the Republicans went haywire on that note, I couldn't stick around and defend a "Republican Debt"
Maybe Obama re-reads this speech, chuckles to himself, and says "oh my, how I've grown".
That speech is so perfectly reasoned, so definitive, so aware, so hortatory, that to abruptly (after winning the presidency) affect an utter ''what, me worry?'' obliviousness to every single syllable of it --while simultaneously charging with such extreme vigor in diametric opposition to it --does not fit into the usual "that's politics!" rationalization.
Something else is going on. And he's getting away with it because schools don't teach the concept of 'casuistry' anymore. The 'blame Bush' jocularity is actually far deeper than it seems: everything Obama is doing is different 'in kind' because the deviation from Bush is going beyond the standard of inclusion under the great Obama defense theme --that it's all just a matter of 'degree', and you say tomahto and i say tomayto. Obama's casuistry is utter.