By: Brent Allen Parrish
Barack Obama rode in on a crisis, and it’s been “crisis” ever since. As Rahm Emmanuel infamously stated, “don’t let a good crisis go to waste.” And when there’s not a crisis, Obama and his minions create one.
It’s become clear to me that the president has no intention of compromising in any way whatsoever with the Republicans on ending the government shutdown. The GOP has made numerous offers to fund the government but they have all been soundly rejected by Barack Obama. Apparently, “compromise” entails the president calling the Speaker of the House and informing him there will be “no compromise,” then turning around and claiming he has “bent over backwards to work with the Republicans.” The president has even gone so far as to say he has engaged in “calm rhetoric”–like “hostage takers,” “terrorists” and “suicide bombers,” for example–unlike the Republicans.
One disturbing aspect to this whole budget impasse, at least to me, is how it seems to be following the whole Cloward-Piven script–which some may consider a bit conspiratorial. But I have to look at Barack Obama’s deeds, as opposed to his words. There has never been any example that I can think of where the president has approached the matter of the skyrocketing national debt with concern or alarm. As a matter of fact, it appears the president could care less.
Let’s just look at some well-known facts:
- Barack Obama has added over $6 trillion to the national debt during his time in office.
- Barack Obama is running the highest deficits in U.S. history.
- Barack Obama has failed to submit a workable budget to Congress for his entire time in office.
Despite these facts, Barack Obama claims he has cut the deficit in half. Really? When George W. Bush left office, he left the federal deficit at around $459 billion. Within one year after Barack Obama took office, the federal deficit shot up to $1.3 trillion dollars, and hovered around that mark for the next three years. Now the deficit for 2013 is estimated to come in at around $759 billion. So Obama has cut his own deficit in half, and it’s still almost twice as much as the federal deficit at the end of Bush’s term.
But this sort of fiscal sophistry is nothing new with the Obama Administration–like claiming unemployment rates have decreased, when, in fact, the labor force has shrunk because many have just given up looking for work.
The president has chosen to use some pretty incendiary rhetoric regarding the GOP’s stand on the budget impasse. Barack Obama claims he will not negotiate with the Republicans when they are holding a “gun to his head” and “demanding a ransom.”
I find it fascinating the Obama Administration and the Democrats wish to describe their Republican colleagues as “terrorists,” “Taliban,” “gangsters,” “suicide bombers” and “hostage takers” for simply wanting to address the massive unconstrained federal spending problem. It looks to me like President Obama has a “gun to the head” of the Republicans–insisting the GOP accept his demands unconditionally or he will shoot the hostage (i.e. the economy).
The “extremist” label is often slapped on individuals who wish to address the utter fiscal irresponsibility of our federal government. Often times we are described as “anti-government.” What nonsense! I’m not against the government. I’m all for it. But I support a government that operates under constitutional jurisdiction, not the lawless type endorsed by the Obama Administration and the Democrats. I mean, let’s get real here. I would submit that the “extremists” are the ones who are unceasingly attempting to “fundamentally transform” our constitutional republic–and willing to go to any lengths to do it.
As I study more about our history as a nation, I’m coming to the conclusion, like John Adams and George Washington, political parties are the problem. The right-left paradigm seems to paralyze any real progress toward real solutions. For example, each side of the political spectrum wishes to blame the other for the monstrous federal debt, and there’s certainly plenty of blame to go around. But the fact of the matter is the debt has continued to skyrocket under both Republican and Democrat administrations alike; and the culprit is the trillions and trillions of dollars in unfunded liabilities created by massive entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid–and now Obamacare.
And herein lies the most troubling aspect to this whole government shutdown, in my opinion–the president threatening a technical default on the debt if the GOP does not bow down and willingly submit to all of his demands. Obama has already started talking down the international markets, and warning Wall Street they should be “very concerned.” I’m even starting to wonder if the GOP did give Obama everything he wants, would he still default on the debt, regardless? Is the threat of a default by the president intentional?
To threaten a technical default on the debt is unconscionable, in my opinion; it is reckless and irresponsible. The U.S. has already seen a credit downgrade on Obama’s watch for for the first time in 70 years. And Obama doesn’t seem too interested in bringing our credit back up to a AAA rating anytime soon.
First, for the president to threaten a deadline or “red line” on a default is nothing but theater … and diabolical theater at that. There’s a big difference between hitting the debt ceiling and technically defaulting on the national debt. The federal government brings in roughly $250 billion a month in tax revenue, more than enough to pay the interest on the debt. Additionally, the Social Security Trust Fund revenue keeps rolling in; it’s separately paid for by our F.I.C.A. payments; it’s a general fund. If the general fund cannot cover the payments, then it dips into the general treasury. The interest on the debt is between 6-10% of all revenue coming in.
Let’s just look at the worst-case scenario–the federal government doesn’t have enough revenue on hand to pay the interest on the debt. Well, there are options, albeit not optimal, but options to try and avoid a default nonetheless:
- The Treasury can stop putting money in the Federal Employee Pension Trust Fund.
- The Federal Reserve can borrow money for the Treasury (doesn’t necessarily count against the debt ceiling).
- The Treasury can prioritize its payment. It’s called a “budget.” Why not sell the TARP assets? The Treasury has non-restricted cash on hand ($113B) and gold.
Remember, that would be a worst-care scenario. So why would the president of the United States threaten a default on the without considering any of these options?
It is up to to Barack Obama whether he wishes to pay the interest on the debt. The buck stops at the Oval Office. The president may have deluded himself into thinking that he can blame the Republicans for a default on the debt, and every other worldly woe, but history will not be so kind. It will be on the president’s head should he decide to take the incredibly self-destructive of destroying the “full faith and credit” of the United States of America for the first time in 200 years.
Or does Obama plan on rewriting history?