U.S. Is In The Hole By $1.5 Trillion
Wednesday - August 03, 2011
In only the third paragraph of his now-infamous nationally televised speech on the debt crisis last week, President Barrack Obama credited George Bush’s spending on “two wars, an expensive prescription drug program, and trillions of dollars on new tax cuts” for adding to the balance on the nation’s credit card.
“As a result, the nation’s debt was on track to top one trillion dollars the year I took office.”
Mr. President, according to the National Debt Clock, the current debt is now well over 14 trillion dollars, and the numbers are adding up at a rate so fast it’s impossible to nail down a precise figure and this after only two-and-a-half years of your presidency.
According to Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (he’s a transplanted Brit now living in America), Bush did come into office with a $302 billion surplus and left with a $1.5 trillion deficit in great part because of the two necessary wars precipitated by Sept. 11, 2001, the prescription drug benefit for seniors and the job-creating tax cuts the president referenced.
But now, in less than three years, Obama has had three straight trillion-dollar-plus budgets, which is unprecedented in our nation’s history.
Murray points out further, “Barack Obama’s three year spending binge is 37 percent higher than Bush spent over the entire eight years of his presidency.”
In his speech, the president then said, “If we stay on the current path, our growing debt could cost us jobs, and do serious damage to the economy!”
As Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler on Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update” would say to those who state the obvious, “Really, Mr. President?”
In my comments above which include the phrase “necessary wars,” meaning of course Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m sure some readers (especially those who frequently take me to task in “Letters”) thought, “Geez, there he goes again, Coffee the War Monger!”
Let me explain one more time.
Unlike the Islamic terrorist attacks on American embassies in Africa, the attack on the American Marine barracks in Lebanon and the attack on the American naval ship USS Cole in Yemen, the attack on America on 9-11-01, which killed nearly 3,000 innocent Americans finally brought the realization that we could no longer counter international terrorism reactively. It was too costly, in lives, on our economy, on our transportation system, and on our psychological well-being. As President George Bush put it, we must now be proactive.
“If you harbor or abet terrorists, you are our enemy, and you will pay.”
Afghanistan’s Taliban, which harbored and abetted the terrorists of al Qaida, was a no brainer. With the help of the Afghani “Northern Alliance,” whom we had helped to drive the Soviets out of their country, and the extraordinary service and initiatives of the CIA and our various special warfare units (think Seals and Green Berets), we drove al Qaida and most Taliban into the caves of Tora Bora, near the Pakistan border.
In retrospect, it was a mistake to switch our attention so completely to Iraq while Afghanistan was not totally secured. But the mischief that experience taught us Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was sure to continue and grow in consequence could not be ignored.
Long story short (as Leslie Wilcox would say), both Iraq and Afghanistan are nascent democracies in the middle of the Middle East. This is an integral part of our long term strategy for defeating or at least neutralizing Islamic terrorism. Hopefully, when the people see free and peaceful alternatives to the despotic totalitarian regimes by which they have been repressed for as long as they can remember, they may realize the advantages of this route rather than terrorism. And who can say that the current unrest and disaffection with the status quo we see from Tunisia to Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria has not been encouraged by the new potentials in Iraq and Afghanistan?
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