Don’t you just love it when a politician’s words come back to haunt him? An excellent example of this schadenfreude is the hot and heavy campaign speech then-Senator Barack H. Obama gave in Fargo, N.D., on July 3, 2008:
“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents -- number 43 added 4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over 9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic!”
And most folks would agree that he was right in criticizing the profligacy of his predecessor. When George W. Bush entered the presidency in January 2001, the national debt was $5.72 trillion ($5,727,776,738,304.64). When he left office, he shouldered his successor with a national debt of $10.62 trillion ($10,626,877,048,913.08). That’s an increase of over 4 trillion dollars, encumbered over an 8-year reign!
Problem is, President Obama has added to this mountain of debt, to the tune of 4 trillion dollars, during less than 3 years in office. The most recent date for which data are available, the national debt stood at $14.6 trillion ($14,612,435,498,338.62) and rising. To put this figure in perspective, if we paid $1 million per day, 365 days a year towards the principal, it would take 41,123 years to pay off $14 trillion!
And, due to the recent debt-ceiling deal, the national debt under Obama will exceed the current $14.6 trillion level, running up more debt in three years than his predecessor Bush accumulated in eight years. A year ago, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that the current administration’s programs would add $9.7 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years. The White House projection is only slightly less staggering – $8.5 trillion. Most economists agree that the national debt will top $25 trillion by the year 2020.
Most readers will recall that we have been somewhat critical of President Obama in past articles. But this time, we find ourselves compelled to agree with him: When he’s right, he’s right. Driving up our national debt is “…irresponsible. It's unpatriotic!”
Obama says adding $4 trillion to debt is unpatriotic
Louisville.com's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions).
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