"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats’ Reckless Spending Has Resulted In An “Untenable Fiscal Situation”

October 5th, 2010 by sclemons · No Comments

The Washington Post reports today, “The nation’s economic future would be endangered if the government does not rein in budget deficits in the years ahead, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Monday, and Congress should consider new budgeting rules to try to make that happen. ‘One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point,’ Bernanke told an audience in Providence, R.I. ‘The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process . . . or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis.’”

And last night, according to Reuters, “President Barack Obama on Monday said the United States was facing an ‘untenable fiscal situation’ and would have to get serious about tackling its federal deficit.” The President is right, but it’s been his White House and his party in Congress that have pushed for and enacted deficit spending at historically high levels. Indeed, the Reuters story notes, “The U.S. budget deficit is forecast at a record $1.47 trillion in the fiscal year that ended on September 30, 2010.”

And it all started barely a month after Obama took the oath of office when he signed the $817 billion stimulus bill. Recall that Democrats sold it as emergency legislation that would hold unemployment around 8% and create 4 million jobs. Unfortunately, today, the unemployment rate is still 9.6% and over 3.3 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus was signed in February 2009. And a new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that “[o]ver two-thirds of Americans believe that President Obama’s signature stimulus bill was a waste,” according to The Hill.

But the tide of red ink only rose from there. Just this spring, Democrats passed over $200 billion in new deficit spending on extensions of unemployment benefits and other legislation. Republicans repeatedly insisted that while unemployment benefits should be extended to help those out of work, Democrats must find a way to pay for it. In the end, though, Democrats chose to ignore these warnings and they rammed a bill through anyway, adding another $34 billion to the deficit in July.

The Wall Street Journal editorialized at the time, “Democrats are simply spending much more, sending outlays as a share of GDP above 25% for the first time since World War II. The White House now says outlays will be higher in 2011, at 25.1% of GDP, than at the height of the stimulus in 2009 and 2010. This is an ironic tribute to the degree to which Democrats on Capitol Hill have been increasing spending willy-nilly below the media radar. The 111th Congress is the most spendthrift in a century outside of World Wars I and II.”

When President Obama was a senator from Illinois, he once said in a speech, “Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.” What other conclusion can one come to given Democrats’ track record on spending and debt than that it has been “a failure of leadership,” as Obama once said?

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