It's funny to talk to people who argue the point that our debt isn't a big deal. "Oh you weren't talking about debt when Bush was President" is a common retort from fans of our current President. The implication being that if you're raising concern about the debt growing by 5.8 trillion in Obama's first term, which far surpasses Bush's 4.9 trillion in 8 years, you're just a hater of Obama's. First I would say that there were some conservatives who were raising concerns about Bush's debt problems. But should those who missed the opportunity to sound the alarm then, remain silent now? If there was a fire in your attic and no one mentioned it, would you prefer them to remain mum when the fire crashes into the guest bedroom? There's still a chance to save the house, but something needs to be done quickly. The main problem now seems to be that the leader of our house was fully aware that we had a fire in the attic five years ago. He rightly warned us about it then, but since it's crashed into the guest room he has ignored it.
"But is it really even a fire that can burn our house down" is another question that people are asking. We've always had debt, and we've more than doubled our debt the past 10 years, and there's no real problems evident. This is on par with the person who discovers they have high blood pressure but refuse to alter their lifestyle. They feel fine but then "without warning" find themselves paralysed from a stroke. Our country is nearing a stroke and our government refuses to modify our lifestyle.
"Why is 16 trillion in debt so much worse than the 6 trillion we were in debt in 2001"? That question makes my head hurt because it refuses the logic of numbers. Why is 100lbs overweight worse than 20? Because more is worse!
Today the AP reports that foreign countries now own 5.66 trillion of our debt. China owns 1.2 trillion and Japan is a close second at 1.1 trillion. Common sense would once again force you to recognize that being in debt to other nations weakens ours. Why do foreign countries continue to invest in our debt? Because for 100 years America has told the world what to do. If you can buy us out then your country can tell the world what to do. If that happens I'm pulling for Japan as I don't think I'd look good in the hats favored by the sweatshops of China.
Photo: Getty Images
The Washington Post features an op-ed today entitled Obama Can't Blame Bush For Deficit's Any Longer. The point being the Obama excuse of "2 wars that weren't paid for" is no longer valid since we pulled out of Iraq 2 years ago and have dialed down Afghanistan to less than a quarter of what we were spending 4 years ago. "The worst economic crisis since the great depression" ended in June 2009. The new debt is caused by entitlement spending. Despite GDP rising and the percentage of GDP paid to the government rising from 18% to 18.9%, we continue to add to our debt because entitlement spending has risen from 7% of GDP in 2000 to 10.4% today,and is projected to rise to 17.4% within 3 decades.
This can't be about blaming Bush or Obama. Both leaders and both parties have screwed this up for a long time and like a snowball rolling down a mountain this thing is getting bigger and more dangerous every day. This has to be about fixing the problem. There's plenty of blame for both. The big question is who can we thank for fixing it?