Monday, March 8, 2010

Obama and the Deficit

Here is such a clear statement about the current federal budget deficit that I can't resist quoting it at some length. It is from a blog called Seeing the Forest:

"Suppose you take over a company that is losing $100 million a year, and your jobs is to turn it around. So perhaps the second year the company only loses $70 million, $30 million the third year, and breaks even in year four. You saved the company. But in those years the company "lost" another $100 million. Should you be fired?

President Obama took office as President of a country with a $1.4 trillion deficit - thanks to the failure of conservative policies. Their tax cuts, wars, military buildups, corruption and incompetence drove the borrowing WAY up, and then their deregulation, corruption and incompetence destroyed the economy, driving the borrowing up into the stratosphere.

If the borrowing just stayed the same at the $1.4 trillion level Obama inherited each year -- never mind that interest on all that borrowing gets higher and higher each year -- that would mean $14 trillion would be added to the deficit by 2020. That's a LOT more than the $9.7 trillion that Drudge and the conservatives are making so much noise about. Obama is dramatically reducing the borrowing, but they use trickery to make it look like he is causing it."

There are two competing narratives going on in our country. The Democratic (i.e. "true") narrative is that Conservative economic cant left us in far worse shape than anyone wants to admit; the Republican (i.e. "pack of lies") story is that everything was just fine in January of 2009, and the Communist Obama is deliberately trying to destroy our country by spending us into bankruptcy. Of course in the world of Washington journalism, these two views deserve equal coverage and respect.

Forgive me for quoting at such length here; the article was so on point that I couldn't resist.

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