Advancing a Free Society

Our Ten Trillion-Dollar Man

Monday, July 25, 2011

Borrowing Is No Longer Stimulus?

The Congressional Budget Office not long ago forecast that Barack Obama’s $1 trillion-plus annual deficits—scheduled over the next decade—would result in almost another $10 trillion in aggregate debt. Going back to the pre-Bush tax rates this time won’t balance the budget. Slashing discretionary spending will not. So large has the splurge become, and so hooked are the constituencies of federal money, that massive cuts to entitlements necessary to stave off financial implosion may well prompt Greek-like protests.

That staggering sum was apparently conventional wisdom until the November 2010 election. But now there is fear that at some point in the future, Obama will not be known as the first African-American president. Nor will he be cited even as the hope-and-change phenomenon of 2008. Instead, posterity shall know him as the single greatest borrower in American presidential history, a novice who nearly wrecked the U.S. economy by borrowing over $4 billion a day without any feasible proposal how to pay back such a vast sum—taking a post-recession recovery and turning it into a stagflationary mess. In the third year of his tenure, Obama is left with “Bush did it” as an explanation of what went wrong.

Continue reading Victor Davis Hanson…