In 2007, when I began writing my New York Times best-seller, “Black Belt Patriotism,” unemployment was less than 5 percent, the annual federal budget was about $2.9 trillion, the federal deficit was $161 billion and the national debt was $9 trillion.
Today, unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent, the federal budget at $3.8 trillion, the federal deficit at $1.3 trillion and the national debt is quickly approaching a staggering $16 trillion.
To add insult to injury, our vassalage to other countries deepens as they bankroll increasing amounts of U.S. debt, with more than one-half of the public debt alone held by private investors in foreign lands.
Last week, the International Business Times reported, “China overtook Japan as the largest holder of U.S. national debt in 2009. As of December (the most recent data available), it held about 23.1 percent, or $1.15 trillion, of all foreign investment in U.S. privately held federal debt, according to a newly released report by the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO. … Without monetary policy change, the CBO warned in its 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook on June 5, the U.S. federal debt could be twice the size of the U.S. gross domestic product by 2037.”
The national debt is not merely the result of excessive spending; it is also the result of revenues not being high enough to pay for government outlays. In other words, while the feds have spent trillions of dollars bailing out everyone from automotive businesses to zebra-loving environmental companies, they have done virtually nothing to build up Main Street business productivity. (Tragically, just a few days ago Vice President Joe Biden again called for more government spending.)
When the receipts don’t cover the outlays, it should be a sign the U.S. government is in trouble, but that’s just another typical day of federal government operation. When government wastes tens of millions every year on minting pennies that cost 2.41 cents each and nickels that costs 11.18 cents each to make, the federal government should be the first to recognize that it runs the worst business in the world; but it is the last to admit it. (Between 2006 and 2011, the government’s production of pennies and nickels is estimated to have generated losses of nearly $360 million.)
In 2008, the country elected President Obama to clean up Washington and lead the economic restoration of our country, based upon his following campaign promises:
“Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office” (spoken at the opening of Fiscal Responsibility Summit on Feb. 23, 2009).
“We will launch a sweeping effort to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending in our government, and every American will be able to see how and where we spend taxpayer dollars by going to a new website called recovery.gov” (spoken in a speech on Jan. 28, 2009).
“There is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments. Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut” (spoken during the third presidential debate on Oct. 15, 2008).
“Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase – not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes” (spoken in September 2008 at a town-hall meeting in Dover).
Last week, the Washington Post Fact Checker itemized the Obama administration’s fiscal debt record this way:
Jan. 20, 2009: The National Debt Was $10,626,877,048,913.08 (Obama Takes Office). (Treasury Department, accessed 5/23/12)
May 22, 2012: The National Debt Was $15,721,218,607,447.09 (Most Recent). (Treasury Department, accessed 5/23/12)
Obama Has Been In Office For 1,219 Days (1/20/09-5/22/12). (Convert Units, accessed 5/17/12)
$5,094,341,558,534.01/1,219 Days = $4,179,115,306 extra spent daily by Obama administration.
And people want to re-elect President Obama? Why?
I’ll repeat the figures so you know exactly what Obama’s more than $4 billion daily expenditures purchased for you and America: unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent, the federal budget at $3.8 trillion, the national deficit at $1.3 trillion and the national debt is quickly approaching a staggering $16 trillion.
It’s tragically unfortunate that President Obama turned a deaf ear to the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission. Instead, while serially blaming his presidential predecessor for excessive spending, he himself skyrocketed the national budget, deficits and debts by trillions and trillions of additional dollars and, to boot, strapped upon our backs of those of our posterity trillions more for yet another socialized medicine program called Obamacare.
Is the White House even listening anymore to anyone or just running amuck its own way?
The actions of this White House remind me of an ancient proverb that says, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”
(In Part 2, I will discuss how the first eight presidents handled national debt and what I know they would say to Obama, whether he wants to hear it or not.)
Chuck Norris is the star of more than 20 films and the long-running TV series "Walker, Texas Ranger." His latest book is entitled The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book." Learn more about his life and ministry at his official website, ChuckNorris.com.