Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Obama legacy: 'He is the $20 trillion debt man.'
Obama legacy: 'He is the $20 trillion debt man.' (WT).
When President Obama signs into law the new two-year budget deal Monday, his action will bring into sharper focus a part of his legacy that he doesn’t like to talk about: He is the $20 trillion man.
Mr. Obama’s spending agreement with Congress will suspend the nation’s debt limit and allow the Treasury to borrow another $1.5 trillion or so by the end of his presidency in 2017. Added to the current total national debt of more than $18.15 trillion, the red ink will likely be crowding the $20 trillion mark right around the time Mr. Obama leaves the White House.
When Mr. Obama talks about fiscal matters, he usually takes credit for cutting the deficit by two-thirds. He also is correct that annual budget deficits have fallen from $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009, in the depths of the recession, to $439 billion in fiscal 2015.
But the president rarely, if ever, mentions the accumulation of those annual deficits and what the rising national debt means for the country, for the presidents who will follow him and for the nation’s ability to pay for its priorities.
“Debt service will continue to consume a larger portion of the federal budget, and we’ll be looking at gross interest payments on the national debt of close to $1 trillion [annually] by the time another decade passes,” Mr. Sepp said.
Annual net interest payments on the national debt are projected to rise from around $220 billion currently to $755 billion in 10 years. Policymakers in Washington have been fortunate to date because interest rates have been at historic lows for several years.
“Debt payments comprise 6 percent of all spending now, but will more than double to 13 percent in 2025,” said Demian Brady, The National Taxpayers Union Foundation’s director of research. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office “cites two main causal factors: an expected eventual rise in interest rates, and the continuing expansion of the federal debt.”
Fiscal conservatives say it doesn’t seem to matter which party controls the White House or Congress when it comes to spending increases.
“When I ran for office in 2010, the debt was an enormous issue and the debt was $10 trillion,” Mr. Paul said Friday on the Senate floor. “Some of us in the tea party were concerned because it had doubled in the [previous] eight years. It doubled from five [trillion dollars] to 10 under a Republican administration. And many of us were adamant that Republicans needed to do a better job. We had added new entitlement programs, we had added new spending, and the deficit got worse under Republicans. Now we’re under a Democrat president, and it’s set to double again.” Hmmm........'CHANGE'. Read the full story here.