While reading from the teleprompter in front of the Business Roundtable headquarters in Washington DC, President Obama suggested that raising the National Debt Limit would not increase the Nation’s Debt. Well – actually – he didn’t suggest that. . . He simply said it:
"Now, this debt ceiling -- I just want to remind people in case you haven't been keeping up -- raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.”
Um. . . Ok. I mean, well, it has increased our debt every other time it’s been raised. . . So, are we expected to believe that government intends to keep from issuing more debt this time? If that’s the case, why raise the limit? It almost seems like the President is using new Common-Core math standards in his explanation of the debt limit negotiations.
Of course he didn’t always think in such nuanced, and incorrect, ways. Back as a Senator from the great state of Chicago (No. . . That’s not a typo. I consider Chicago its own state.) Obama complained about having to vote for an increase in the National Debt to over $8 trillion dollars. Roughly $9 trillion dollars later our creditors might be wishing that anonymous senator from Chicago had remained anonymous.
The President then spilled into the often repeated line that raising the debt is merely a matter of paying the “bills that you've already racked up”. The line, however, was accented nicely with a condescending tone, and verbally directed at Congress – as if Obama has merely been a spectator to Washington’s drunken spending spree. It should also be added that our bills are largely a function of our spending habits. . . If anything, a need to increase our National Debt should illustrate our desperate need to reign in government spending. If banks treated personal credit cards the same way the White House wants Congress to treat the National Debt, Lehman Brothers would have been the least of our worries in 2009.
Then came another partisan moment of demagoguery from our Campaigner in Chief as he explained to the Roundtable that “what we now have is an ideological fight that's been mounted in the House of Representatives that says, we're not going to pass a budget and we will threaten a government shutdown unless we repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
Right. Republicans are the problem. According to the President, Republicans should be ashamed for demanding negotiations and compromises. Now, at least they have a reason for not passing a budget, Mr. President. I assume Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats went 4 years and roughly $6 trillion without passing a budget simply for the fun of it.
The Speech was mostly a recycled batch of his campaign’s mail-out literature. Throughout the speech, Obama seemed unable to contain his disdain for the GOP’s audacious willingness to negotiate an increase in the Debt Limit; as opposed to simply rubber stamping the Democrat’s proposals. In addition to having a failed grasp of debt obligations, he seems to deeply misunderstand the role of the minority party.
The President has shown a repeated and obvious disdain for having to negotiate with his political opposition. The simple fact that the White House has said they refuse to negotiate on the Debt Limit is indicative of their amateurish expectations. Every President in recent memory, from FDR to George W, has had to negotiate, compromise and sometimes cave to their political opponents. And yet, for some reason, this Administration believes they are entitled to give out non-negotiable ultimatums to their political opponents.
The simple fact is, Mr. President, an increase in the National Debt Limit will result in more debt. That Debt will be taken on to pay future bills incurred through the unsustainable spending habits of today. And, Mr. President, the opposition party – in case you haven't been keeping up – is supposed to make life difficult for the majority. It turns out that was a major design element to the concept of representative government.
One almost would have expected a former Constitutional Lecturer to know that.