If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last week that our rising national debt "poses a national security threat," should President Barack Obama or anyone in his administration be suggesting any economic plan that would increase it in any way?
At last week's Council on Foreign Relations meeting, Clinton was supposed to be espousing "a new American moment" and boosting U.S. global leadership, but she ended up dropping the country further in the tank (the debt tank, that is) during an off-script Q-and-A session after her 45-minute speech.
In response to a question from the president of the CFR, Richard Haass, on the impact of a monstrous and crippling national debt, Clinton veered from the Obama administration's typical economic path and plan.
Here's a portion of Hillary's actual reply to Haass: "I think that our rising debt (level) poses a national security threat, and it poses a national security threat in two ways. It undermines our capacity to act in our own interests, and it does constrain us where constraint may be undesirable. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally. I mean, it is very troubling to me that we are losing the ability ... to chart our own destiny."
I can't say often that I agree with Hillary, but on this point, we're in complete harmony. That is why I address it in the expanded paperback version of my latest New York Times best-seller, "Black Belt Patriotism," in the chapter titled "Stop America's Nightmare of Debt."
But then Clinton backpedaled by jumping on the old Obama administration blame-game bandwagon: "We don't need to go back and sort of re-litigate how we got to where we are, but it is fair to say that, you know, we fought two wars without paying for them, and we had tax cuts that were not paid for, either. And that has been a very deadly combination to fiscal sanity and responsibility."
That's too bad. Hillary was doing so well owning up to the administration's role in the mammoth national debt, but then she got caught up in that blame-Bush merry-go-round that is so contagious in this administration.
At this point, nearly two years into Obama's presidency, isn't that a lot like the pot calling the kettle black?
It's time, once and for all, for this administration to stop and get off that economic fault ferryboat. You can do that through the presidential campaign, but when the present White House has plummeted the U.S. into more debt than the cumulative totals of all administrations from George Washington to Ronald Reagan, it's time to put up or shut up. Let me explain.
From the time President George W. Bush took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2001, to the time Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, public debt via the government grew $3 trillion -- from $3.3 trillion to $6.3 trillion.
According to the Bureau of the Public Debt, as of Aug. 20, 2010, after just the first 19 months of President Obama's four-year term, the public debt had grown to $8.83 trillion, an increase of $2.53 trillion.
Extrapolate Obama's debt and deficit numbers over a prospective eight years and Bush looks like a coupon shopper!
According to the Congressional Budget Office analysis released Sept. 7, by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends with the closure of this month, there will be another deficit of at least $1.3 trillion -- what the CBO labeled "the second-largest shortfall in the past 65 years," second to last year's deficit of 9.9 percent of gross domestic product. (I'd love to tell you it gets better, but the CBO's "President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2011" projects an additional $6.2 trillion in deficits over the next decade.)
The fact is, as CNSNews.com reported, "In the first 19 months of the Obama administration, the federal debt held by the public increased by $2.5260 trillion, which is more than the cumulative total of the national debt held by the public that was amassed by all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan."
Mr. President, your financial plan isn't working. You are burying Americans underneath a mammoth mountain of debt. You and Congress are repeating the same financial mistakes of past administrations -- the same government debt-spending solutions.
I'm not a financial expert, but I am a business man. I've learned by my successes and my failures for decades. And because President Obama and his minions don't seem to understand a lick about business or economics, I'm going to use a few articles to school them in the basics.
And it starts with learning this lesson explained by J. Paul Getty: "A man may fail many times but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else."
It's what I'll call Step No. 1 in "Economics 101 for (Government) Dummies": Stop the blame game. Stop creating diversions to mea culpa. And own up to your own financial failures. (In my next article, I'll teach you Step No. 2.)
I'll ask it once more before I let you out of class: If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned last week that our rising national debt "poses a national security threat," should you (President Obama) or anyone in your administration be suggesting any economic plan that would increase it in any way?
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