Quite apart from the Wisconsin recall election, President Obama had an atrocious Tuesday. First came the news from the Congressional Budget Office, explained by House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.):
The CBO report states that “Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates.”
•The CBO report affirms that the massive health-care overhaul fails to address the explosion in health care costs. Mandatory federal spending on health care will increase by 93 percent, from 5.4 percent of GDP today to 10.4 percent of GDP over the next 25 years.
•The CBO projects that government spending as a share of the economy will increase by nearly 53 percent between now and 2037, up from its historical average of roughly 20 percent. Taxes are projected to rise to the historical average in the years ahead, yet the unprecedented growth in government spending is projected to rise much faster, driving an unsustainable explosion in debt.
•The long-term budget outlook continues to worsen with each passing year Congress fails to act. While total debt already eclipsed the size of the entire US economy, debt held by the public is on pace to eclipse the economy shortly after 2022.
•The crushing burden of debt is driven primarily by the nation’s largest entitlement programs – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – along with the compounding growth in interest payments on the debt. Government spending on health care entitlements, Social Security, and interest on the national debt will consume 100 percent of total revenues by 2025.
•According to the CBO report, the federal government’s interest payments alone are projected to consume 9.5 percent of our entire economy by 2037, up from about 1.4 percent today.
The CBO report is one more reminder of how much Obama has spent for so little economic payoff and how false was Obamacare’s bending-the-cost-curve sales pitch. For moderate voters concerned that we aren’t living within our means and are recklessly passing debt onto future generations, this confirms how derelict Obama has been in failing to address one of the biggest issues of his presidency.
Mitt Romney’s campaign blasted away in a statement: “Today’s CBO report confirms that President Obama has placed us on a path to fiscal ruin. This is a President who promised to cut the deficit in half but proceeded to run four consecutive trillion-dollar deficits and accumulate nearly as much publicly held debt as all prior presidents combined. Instead of displaying leadership, the President has proposed a new budget that Congress rejected unanimously. Instead of tackling entitlement reform, he has made clear that he has no plan for addressing the challenge. It is immoral to place such a burden on future generations, and Mitt Romney will not allow it to continue.”
But then things really got dicey.
Former president Bill Clinton once again stuck a knife into Obama:
Former President Bill Clinton broke sharply with President Obama over the Bush-era tax cuts, calling on Congress to renew them temporarily in the face of ongoing economic malaise.
“That’s probably the best thing to do right now,” Clinton said Tuesday in an interview with CNBC.
“But the Republicans don’t want to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper income people,” Clinton said. “And I don’t think the president should do that.”
Clinton said that agreeing to a permanent extension would be a mistake, however.
“The real issue is not whether they should be extended for another few months. The real issue is whether the price the Republican House will put on that extension is the permanent extension of the tax cuts, which I think is an error,” Clinton said.
The only thing left, I guess, is for Clinton to become a Romney bundler. Clinton, it seems, is systematically destroying Obama’s political attacks on Bain and on Romney's qualifications and his agenda as well. If Clinton represents or reflects the views of middle-of-the road Dems and independents, Obama is in a pickle. Maybe he should have listened to our advice and extended the Bush tax cuts. Now, even if he does the right thing, he’ll look like Clinton’s poodle. No offense to Bo, but I think that was the plan all along.