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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gail Collins, "Congress Breaks Bad": Bill Clinton "Has a Winning Way of Not Being Barack Obama"

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Congress Breaks Bad" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/opinion/collins-congress-breaks-bad.html), Gail Collins writes with regard to the shutdown:

"'Even Bill Clinton, after I voted to impeach him, would work with you to get things done,' said Representative John Mica of Florida. That seemed like a high bar. But then there’s nobody Republicans love more than the former president, who has a winning way of not being Barack Obama. If only Clinton would come back! Then none of this would have happened, except the shutting down the government part."

A "winning way" about Bill Clinton? When not preoccupied with Monica, he was certainly a charmer, something that goes lacking in Obama. And there were the shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, lasting a total of 28 days. But more to the point, Bill's deficits did not compare with those of Barack.

Yes, there is a difference. Of course, we need to be fair: Obama inherited an economic mess from George W. Bush, and there are few who would deny that the American economy was desperately in need of stimulus.

However, as observed in past blog items, the non-partisan CBO declared in September with regard to America's financial future (http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44521):

"Between 2009 and 2012, the federal government recorded the largest budget deficits relative to the size of the economy since 1946, causing federal debt to soar. Federal debt held by the public is now about 73 percent of the economy’s annual output, or gross domestic product (GDP). That percentage is higher than at any point in U.S. history except a brief period around World War II, and it is twice the percentage at the end of 2007. If current laws generally remained in place, federal debt held by the public would decline slightly relative to GDP over the next several years, CBO projects. After that, however, growing deficits would ultimately push debt back above its current high level. CBO projects that federal debt held by the public would reach 100 percent of GDP in 2038, 25 years from now, even without accounting for the harmful effects that growing debt would have on the economy (see the figure below). Moreover, debt would be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy, a trend that could not be sustained indefinitely."

In a nutshell, there is a problem and it's time for Obama and House Republicans to set aside their bloated egos and settle this matter, before it truly gets out of hand.

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