Attention to Deficit Disorder.
The 800 pound gorilla put on a wee bit of weight last week when Congress added the G.R.A.F.T. Act to the TARP payments.
Now that President Obama has hit his bailout and stimulus balls right over the fence, he needs something else to do. See, the economy is fixed. People are back at work, the Iraq war is over, American highway bridges have all been replaced, and New Orleans is completely rebuilt.
The President announced his new goal of the week yesterday. He will cut the deficit at least in half by the end of his term.
We owe an eye-popping $10.8 trillion in gross national debt; that amount will sooner or later come due on our personal and corporate income taxes, half of which already pay solely for the military and the interest on the debt. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the national debt has just about doubled since 2000. The AP reported that the $700 billion bailout alone will send the national debt over $11 trillion. The U.S. Government has never been debt free; we have owed money every year since 1791. In fact, only in the boom years of 1835-1836 has the debt been only $35,000 or so. Every other year but 1837 we have paid interest on millions, billions, or trillions of dollars of debt. I am not Carl Sagan, R.I.P.
NBC News reported yesterday that President Obama acknowledged there is a deficit and that it is as large as it has ever been. Mr. Obamas budget outline, which he will release on Thursday, will include deficit reduction as a centerpiece in his plans to deliver national health care and national energy changes.
The mechanism to cut the deficit? No more spending in Iraq and higher taxes.
Oh, and by the way? We’re not cutting the actual deficit. We’re cutting the rate at which the deficit increases. You might say we’re sort of reducing how much we borrow. I guess the 800 pound gorilla is still in the corner after all.
My friend “Bob” suggested that we call this piece “DAD” for Deficit Attention Disorder. I would except that sounds so paternalistic. The Obama Administration would never be paternalistic, would it?
Change. It’s what we do.
Andy Rooney talked about The Times US presidential rankings on 60 Minutes last night. “Democracy is a great idea,” he said, “but I have always thought we have a great president hidden somewhere in the United States and we’ve just never found him. Or her.”