Last night President Obama made an appearance with David Letterman. He filmed the segment before his posh fundraisers with Beyonce and Jay Z. Letterman asked him about the national debt, which is now over $16 trillion. He blamed Bush, said he didn’t remember what it was when he took office, and then said that it’s “not a concern in the short term.” Via Real Clear Politics where there is video:
“Well, here’s what happened. We had a surplus when Bill Clinton was president,” Obama said. “It was projected to continue to be a surplus. We decided to launch two wars on a credit card. We cut taxes twice without finding offsetting costs for it or ways to pay for it, a prescription drug plan and then we had a massive recession.”
“When I walked into office we had a trillion dollar deficit, debt had mounted and then we had to take a bunch of emergency measures, that cost money, saving the auto industry, making sure that the financial system got back on track,” Obama said.
“So now what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to pare down that deficit, get that debt under control and I think the only way we’ve ever been able to do that effectively is when you do it in a balanced way,” Obama explained.
When asked if he remember what the national debt was when he entered office, President Obama said “I don’t know what the number was precisely.” Obama told Letterman “we don’t have to worry about it short term.”
“A lot of it we owe to ourselves. Because if you invest in a treasury bill or something like that then essentially you’re loaning the government money. In fact, the majority of it is held by folks who live here, but we don’t have to worry about it short term,” Obama said.
What a load of lies. Start Thinking Right has the truth:
For the record, the national debt was $10.626 trillion the day Obama took office. Bush increased it by $4 trillion during his entire 8-year presidency and Obama demonized him. But by the time Obama looks at his calender on January 20, 2013 (hopefully his last day in the White House), he will have racked up more than $6 trillion in just four years.
Obama says, “When I walked into office we had a trillion dollar deficit.” That’s actually a blatant lie. When Obama walked into office Bush handed him a (still way too high unless you compare it to Obama) $400 billion budget deficit. That $400 billion was the deficit that Bush left Obama for fiscal year 2009 if Obama hadn’t then loaded and larded it up with debt piled on top of debt.
Obama is blaming Bush for: 1) Obama’s $862 billion stimulus; 2) Obama’s $79 billion bailout for Government Motors and their union Democrats; 3) Obama’s $410 billion Omnibus bill; 4) Obama’s $350 billion in TARP money that Obama voted for and that Bush left for him. That’s how you turn Bush’s $400 billion into Obama’s whining about a trillion.
In a way what Obama is trying to do with his deficit is what he’s trying to do in pretty much everything. Obama spends $79 billion to bail out GM. Obama takes credit for it as an evidence of his glorious Obamaness. But who does Obama stick with the bill? Bush. That deal happened in March of 2009 and therefore is “Bush’s fault.” Bush gets zero credit but gets stuck with the entire bill for Obama’s extravagence.
Our real debt isn’t the $16 trillion ($6 trillion of which accumulated under Obama’s watch); it’s $222 trillion PLUS because of all the unfunded costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Update: Thanks to Bad Blue for the link!
Update: Doug Ross linked – thanks!