Posted on February 28, 2013




National debt, and other right-wing fantasies


Daniel Clark



During last year’s campaign, President Obama assured David Letterman that the national debt is not a problem in the short-term.  In this year’s State of the Union Address, he indicated that it’s not a long-term problem either, since we have accomplished the mathematically impossible feat of reducing the deficit by $2.5 trillion.

Obama’s stated goal has been to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion, so we’re already well on our way.  By the end of 2014, our problems ought to be solved.  That is, except for the problem that our president and his party are about as firmly rooted in reality as a Felix the Cat cartoon. It’s impossible for the deficit to have been cut by over a trillion more than it has ever been in the first place.  What Obama really means is that the combined total of the next ten deficits will be $4 trillion less than that of ten other deficits that never existed.  It’s a wonder that the networks don’t obediently report the deficit as “X-minus-4 trillion.”

Even by Obama’s optimistic assumptions, the national debt will have ballooned by about $9 trillion during his presidency.  What’s more, he’s been pumping it up deliberately, in hopes that massive deficit spending will stimulate the economy.  Yet he imagines he’s the most fiscally responsible president in history.

Obama’s congressional allies are not as completely dismissive of the national debt as he is.  They just refuse to believe that spending has anything to do with it.  Annual federal outlays have increased by almost a third since 2008, and still, Democrats insist that the blame rests “on the revenue side.”  As House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer put it when asked if our nation is overspending, “The country has a paying-for problem.”  In other words, it’s not the government’s fault for spending too much, but the taxpayers’ fault for paying too little.

It’s only consistent, then, for the Democrats to see no connection between the subprime mortgage crash and the requirement that loans be made to people who could never pay them back.  George W. Bush tried repeatedly to hold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accountable for their risk assessments, only to be thwarted by those who would later blame him for the collapse.  Sen. Christopher Dodd referred to this federally-mandated economic lunacy as “one of the great success stories of all time.”  Rep. Barney Frank openly declared his intention to exacerbate the problem, saying, “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation toward subsidized housing.”

When these two crafted the Dodd-Frank “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010,” they conspicuously left Fannie and Freddie untouched by any of the bill’s 2,315 pages of regulations.  It seems that irresponsible housing policy, in pursuit of what liberals call “economic justice,” is just another imaginary monster that hides under conservatives’ beds.

Another of these is voter fraud.  In many states, Republicans have introduced voter ID bills, most of which are utterly innocuous to anyone who’s not actually in favor of illegal voting.  There is simply no innocent reason to oppose the requirement that voters identify themselves when they go to the polls.

Perhaps in tacit acknowledgment of this, the bills’ opponents have fallen back to the position that there’s no need for voter ID, because voter fraud doesn’t exist. These measures must be defeated, then, because if there’s anything a Democrat can’t stand, it’s a lot of unnecessary laws cluttering up the place.  They’re merely trying to save Republicans from wasting resources on a quixotic mission to stamp out a fabricated menace.

This pattern of denial is not restricted to Democrat politicians.  You’ve probably observed the same behavior in your liberal friends or co-workers.  To hear them tell it, Communists, traitors, illegal aliens and liberal media bias are figments of a right-wing imagination.  Liberals’ refusal to grasp the obvious is so reflexive that they’ll mockingly refer to “the so-called, quote-unquote, ‘War on Christmas,’” even as they walk past the Anti-Bullying Awareness Tree in the town square.

Mind you, they don’t scoff that way at Michael Moore, who declared in 2004, “There is no terrorist threat.”  Everybody knows that Bush blew up the Twin Towers to justify going to war, so that he could enrich his cronies in the Carlyle Group, who were invested in Bradley armored fighting vehicles.  That makes so much more sense than the fact that there are Islamic terrorists who want to kill us, or that trillion-dollar deficits result from too much spending.



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