Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Attention, Deficit

Deficits are not a problem?   My gosh, the president is so discombobulated he is now channeling Dick Cheney!
In 2002, Vice-President Dick Cheney and the Bush administration’s economic team met to discuss a second round of tax cuts, which would follow Bush’s 2001 cuts. At the meeting, “then-Treasury Secretary Paul H. O’Neill pleaded that the government — already running a $158 billion deficit — was careening toward a fiscal crisis.” Allegedly, Cheney replied by saying that “deficits don’t matter.” Six years later, the Bush administration’s consistent belief that deficits don’t matter has increased the national debt to over $10 trillion. This is the highest dollar amount ever, and pushes the debt to 69% of the gross domestic product, which is the highest percentage since 1955.
Back in the good ole days Dick Cheney, Shrub and their massive federal debt was irresponsible and even unpatriotic.  President Transparent was going to take it on, line by line..

In today's White House briefing Jay Carney had a chart showing how the deficit as a percent of GDP has been coming down since the record deficit set by Obama in 2009, that was quite the high benchmark that makes all subsequent deficits look small.  Here's the screen grab:

One reporter asked him why they were satisfied with deficits at 3 percent of GDP instead of actually balancing the budget as Clinton and Gingrich did in the 90s, to which Carney replied that George HW Bush's recession wasn't near as massive and crippling as his son's, so we should all be satisfied with annual deficits and a spiraling funny money-like national debt as far as the eye can see.  Well, he actually didn't put it quite that way. No reporter followed up.

And while the tour imbroglio made some news (of course the WH canceled them) the better questions came from both ABC News and NPR, who for a few seconds almost harassed Carney about how the executive office of the White House, ie, the president, will be affected by the sequester.  In other words, since the Secret Service has to cut back covering tours, will his golf games (which require Secret Service coverage) or his weekly campaign-like jaunts on AF1 (which require SS as well) be impacted as well or will they go forward uninterrupted? Carney's answer, as near as anyone on planet Earth can tell, was that the president is the president, and go consult the OMB. 

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