American Elephants

Brand New Chief of Staff, Same Old Spending Habit. by The Elephant's Child

William Daley has resigned as chief of staff to President Barack Obama. He is to be replaced by Obama’s current budget director Jack Lew.  William Daley, of the Chicago Daleys, replaced Rahm Emanuel who left to run for Mayor of Chicago, the office he now occupies.  Daley was supposed to bring about more cooperation with business interests, but Obama is now shaking up staff again.

Back in February of 2011, Mr. Lew appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and said of Mr. Obama’s proposed budget:

Our budget will get us, over the next several years, to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore; we’re spending money that we have ech year, and then we can work on bringing down our national debt.

Must be something in the water at the White House. Austan Goolsbee, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago was chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2010 to 2011. Mr. Goolsbee wrote in the Wall Street Journal last week that  “Washington isn’t spending too much; it’s normal for deficits to rise during a downturn, the real fiscal challenge is decades down the road.”

In USA Today, the headline is “U.S. Debt is now equal to economy

The amount of money the federal government owes to its creditors, combined with IOUs to government retirement and other programs, now tops $15.23 trillion.

That’s roughly equal to the value of all goods and services the U.S. economy produces in one year: $15.17 trillion as of September, the latest estimate. Private projections show the economy likely grew to about $15.3 trillion by December — a level the debt is likely to surpass this month.

Among advanced economies, only Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Portugal have debts larger than their economies.  And we’re told that President Obama wants to borrow another trillion or so to “stimulate” the economy again.

Economist Daniel J. Mitchell says thatAustan Goolsbee’s Budget Math is Wrong — More than 100 percent of Long-Term Fiscal Challenge is Government Spending. If you keep borrowing, you have to pay interest on what you borrow, and if you are not paying it back, it keeps growing and growing.  Not only that, but it’s those darn baby boomers.  Entitlement spending is exploding because of ObamaCare, because of increasing numbers of baby boomers retiring each year for the next thirteen years.

How are we supposed to understand this if Obama’s new chief of staff can’t and his former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers’ budget math is wrong?  This isn’t a minor matter, and somebody’s trying to fool us with their words. I’m with Senator Sessions. PolitiFact agreed.


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