ThePatriotPostFriday Digest August 28, 2009 Vol. 09 No. 34
In May, when the federal deficit was projected to be $7 trillion over the next decade, President Barack Obama was asked, "At what point do we run out of money?" His reply was actually rather candid: "Well, we are out of money now," he said. Last Friday, the administration adjusted its deficit projection -- upwards, of course. The White House now says the number will reach $9 trillion, including $1.6 trillion this year and $1.5 trillion next year. So much for The One's promise to end the years of "borrow and spend" budgeting.
The Congressional Budget Office simultaneously projected a deficit of $7 trillion over the next decade, a lower number because the CBO considers only current law, not White House proposals. The Wall Street Journal reports that "these deficit estimates are driven entirely by more domestic spending and already assume huge new tax increases. CBO predicts that debt held by the public as a share of GDP, which was 40.8% in 2008, will rise to 67.8% in 2019 -- and then keep climbing after that. CBO says this is 'unsustainable,' but even this forecast may be optimistic."
Among the problems with the White House estimate is that it depends, in part, on raising $640 billion through the cap-and-tax bill as well as another $200 billion in international business taxes. Both bills face opposition in the Senate, even from some Democrats. And these new taxes aren't guaranteed to produce more federal revenue. Instead, we can count on cap-and-tax to depress the economy, resulting in less revenue. The White House already expects unemployment to hit 10 percent this year.
The CBO estimate, meanwhile, is based on the ridiculous premise that Congress will hold spending to the rate of inflation. The Journal remarks, "CBO actually has overall spending falling between 2009 and 2012, which is less likely than an asteroid hitting the Earth." The CBO also assumes that all of the Bush tax cuts will expire, even those for lower and middle class families.
Finally, the president's crown jewel, ObamaCare, projected to cost at least $1 trillion over the next 10 years, is entirely omitted from the deficit estimate because Obama pledges that it won't add to the deficit. Next, he'll be trying to sell us some oceanfront property in Arizona.
From the 'Non Compos Mentis' File
Speaking of Arizona, at a town hall meeting in his home state, sometimes-Republican Sen. John McCain was asked by an audience member, "I would like to know how the president is getting by with all of this money. It's against the Constitution. Doesn't he know we still live under a Constitution?" The transcript follows (hat tip to Rush Limbaugh):
McCain: I'm sure that he does. I'm sure --
McCain: No, no, I'm serious. I'm sure that he does and I'm sure that he respects the Constitution of the United States.
McCain: No, no, no, no. No, I -- I -- I -- I really do. I -- I am absolutely convinced of it.
Audience Member: No!
McCain: I just believe, my friends, that there is a fundamental difference in philosophy and about the role of government. That's why we have competition for public office and competition amongst parties and competition about different ideas and visions for the future of America. I am convinced the president is absolutely sincere in his beliefs.
McCain: But he's -- wait a minute. Wait a minute. He is sincere in his beliefs. We just -- we just happen to disagree, and he's the president of the United States and let's be respectful.
In a friendlier atmosphere on ABC's "This Week," McCain said, "I look at this as an opportunity right now. ...[W]ouldn't it be a good idea for us Republicans and Democrats to sit down with the president? ... There's so many areas that we are in agreement on."
In a nutshell, that's why McCain lost in November. He just doesn't get it.