Just a reminder: We’re still $16+ trillion in debt

posted at 8:51 am on January 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The fiscal cliff deal didn’t actually change that, nor the direction or rate of increase, either … except possibly to make it worse, on paper at least.  Politico’s Glenn Thrush and Reid Epstein remind everyone that while Barack Obama and the Democrats celebrate a win over Republicans on raising taxes on high-end earners, the problem of deficits and the national debt won’t be solved by tax hikes:

President Barack Obama won’t be able to enjoy much of a victory lap from his win over congressional Republicans on the fiscal cliff fight.

There are about 16.4 trillion reasons why.

The staggering national debt — up about 60 percent from the $10 trillion Obama inherited when he took office in January 2009 — is the single biggest blemish on Obama’s record, even if the rapid descent into red began under President George W. Bush. …

Obama was able to splinter his deeply divided Republican opponents over the issue of tax cuts for the wealthy. But a similar fate might await the president and his Democratic allies if he brokers a deal with the GOP that requires massive spending and entitlement cuts.

During the cliff talks, Obama was purposely opaque about what cuts he’d ultimately accept, saying only that Republican resistance to a one-shot grand bargain meant he needed to make a deal in pieces — taxes first, spending second.

That tactic delayed but didn’t eliminate a looming day of reckoning on spending and entitlements that will come within 60 days thanks to the convergence of the debt ceiling deadline and the new deadline for keeping automatic cuts from kicking in.

Republicans wanted to trade the tax hikes for entitlement reform.  They didn’t get that, but they did hang onto the debt limit as a bargaining chip.  With most of the Bush tax rates permanently enshrined in law, the GOP no longer has to play defense on deficit reduction, backed up against an anti-tax-hike pledge.  They can now argue that the country needs to stop borrowing from China in order to pay for its current obligations and creating debt that will extend to four generations into the future.

Democrats have a short window to navigate on this debate — and not just because of the debt limit.  They argued all throughout 2012 (and really since 2008) that the fiscal problems of the federal government could be solved by demanding higher taxes from the wealthy.  Well, now they have those tax hikes, and it won’t take very long for everyone to figure out that the problem not only didn’t get solved, it didn’t even get dented.  Without nearly concurrent and significant entitlement reforms, the outcome will expose the irrationality of the tax hikes on which they have based their entire domestic political approach.

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control.  Can he get it — and can he get it in time to keep from having the “fairness” argument from being exposed as irrelevant to the true drivers of the massive current and future federal deficits?


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The figures might be a little off by now, but it’s still an effective way of illustrating the problem:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000, budget: $3,820,000,000,000, debt: $14,271,000,000,000, recent cuts: $ 38,500,000,000.

Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $3.85

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans either don’t give a rip about any of this, or else they benefit from govt spending & want it to increase.

itsnotaboutme on January 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I’m sick of hearing about entitlement ‘reform’. How about entitlement elimination?

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

They didn’t get that, but they did hang onto the debt limit as a bargaining chip.

Still don’t think that’s an actual bargaining chip.

Axe on January 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control

You assume he cares about deficit control? He doesn’t, he saw the first 2/3 of the McHammer behind the music and if he learned anything its that money never runs out.

Gatsu on January 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Obama is not worried.He has the Repubs on the run and with the MSM in his lap they will kill the Repubs at the mention of cuts.

docflash on January 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control.

Thanks for the early morning laugh. He’s not interested in deficit control, he’s interested in bankrupting the country.

rbj on January 3, 2013 at 8:59 AM

Up 60%????

But this is all bush’s fault

cmsinaz on January 3, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Sadly, there are those who follow this and are concerned, and then there’s the vast majority of folks who say so what. They don’t care and they vote. We’re screwed.

skanter on January 3, 2013 at 9:03 AM

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control. Can he get it — and can he get it in time to keep from having the “fairness” argument from being exposed as irrelevant to the true drivers of the massive current and future federal deficits?

…that there!…that’s good comedy!

KOOLAID2 on January 3, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Eh, simply take every dime that every person, every company, every business entity makes in a year and apply it to the debt; presto chango…debt gone.

Math so simple even you Rethuglikkkan flyover rubes can sort of figure it out.

Bishop on January 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Point of order – because they didn’t get their $200K/$250K way, the Rats and their Pressitute Organs (though I repeat myself) will claim that taxes didn’t go up enough. Of course, they’d claim that even if they got their $200K/$250K way.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Dear leader won’t do squat about his folks

Blame the gop is the only thing they have with lsm help

cmsinaz on January 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

According to the CBO, Obama just raised that number to $20 Trillion with the passage of HIS Tax Bill…

So my question is:

Since he got…
o His nearly $1 Trillion Stimulus Bill
o His Auto Bail-out
o His Debt Ceiling Increase (to include Credit Status Downgrade)
o His Obamacare Bill
o His funding for HAMAS/PLA
o His govt spending increase/debt adding ($3.8 Trillion) Tax Bill

Is Obama FINALLY going to assume responsibility for the Economy or is the pu$$ going to continue blame someone else?

easyt65 on January 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Democrats have a short window to navigate on this debate — and not just because of the debt limit. They argued all throughout 2012 (and really since 2008) that the fiscal problems of the federal government could be solved by demanding higher taxes from the wealthy.

I don’t recall hearing that argument- no one has ever questioned the need for more revenue mixed with significant spending cuts.

Yet there’s no doubt that some Democrats are blocking substantial entitlement reform, esp Reid. Nevada is obviously home to large numbers of retiree and it was only a matter of time before the AARP and other groups organized a serious campaign to block cuts to social security.

Obama has reportedly proposed spending cuts that amount to 90% of Bowles Simpson, although the real threat of defections from within his own party has kept the details within closed negotiations. It’s the right direction- and if the GOP is serious about accepting Bowles Simpson as well, there’s no reason to believe that a serious agreement is out of reach.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-03/obama-s-warning-to-boehner-started-road-to-budget-plan.html

bayam on January 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans either don’t give a rip about any of this, or else they benefit from govt spending & want it to increase.

itsnotaboutme on January 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

itsnotaboutme:Lol,i have seen that,on twitter!

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Our debt is only going to get larger, in the end it will be our down fall. Establishment crooks like Obama, McCain and Grahm – as well as their progressive/neocon lemmings – refuse to cut spending. The progressives and even some neocons refuse to cut entitlements. The neocons and even some progs refuse to cut war/DOD spending. They can’t even agree to cut foreign aid to other countries.

MoreLiberty on January 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control. Can he get it — and can he get it in time to keep from having the “fairness” argument from being exposed as irrelevant to the true drivers of the massive current and future federal deficits?

Speaking of that, further down in the POLITICO Boehner F-bomb story was an item where Dingy Harry tossed a sheet containing suggested concessions from the White House into his roaring fireplace.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Tru dat Steve

cmsinaz on January 3, 2013 at 9:08 AM

All of this presumes that Democrats are rational actors, and that they have some personal stake in paying off the debt. Neither of these things are true.

JeremiahJohnson on January 3, 2013 at 9:09 AM

BTW, results of the Tax Bill Passing…

o ANOTHER world-wide Credit Rating DOWN-GRADE
o 372,000 New Jobless Claim (Increase)
o Govt Spending Increased
o $3.8 Trillion added to current $16.5 Trillion Debt
o 77% of Americans (not just ‘the rich’) having to pay their INCREASED ‘fair share’
o Tax Breaks for Hollywood, Warren Buffet, Rum Producers, & More ‘Green Energy’ Pal companies…
– So not only does Warren Buffet pay a lower percentage in taxes than his secretary, but Obama just RAISED HER TAXES while giving Buffet a Tax Break to ensure he benefits even MORE than she does?! Way to look out for the Middle Class, Obama! SHEESH!

easyt65 on January 3, 2013 at 9:11 AM

By the way, don’t be surprised if a greedy Congresscritter who wants his/her pay raise and income tax hikes on all challenges the Constitutionality of Le Petite Compromise in court and blows it all up. There’s this little matter of the 27th Amendment, Congressional pay adjustments, and elections – specifically that there must be a full-blown Congressional election between enactment of a law affecting Congressional pay and the law taking effect, as well as the little matter of lack of severability.

I don’t know if it also applies to Obama’s Executive Order granting the pay raises as it also came after the November election.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM

Eh, simply take every dime that every person, every company, every business entity makes in a year and apply it to the debt; presto chango…debt gone.

Math so simple even you Rethuglikkkan flyover rubes can sort of figure it out.

Bishop on January 3, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Bishop:Here ya go,a blast from the past!:)
===========================================

EAT THE RICH!

by Bill Whittle on April 15, 2011
*********************************

http://billwhittle.net/?p=562

Feed Your Family on $10 Billion a Day
*************************************

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2011/03/feed-your-family-on-10-billion-a-day.html

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:12 AM

If the president expects to negotiate on spending now (and he doesn’t) – what does the GOP have to offer in return? The tax side is settled, Bush rates are now permanent. Does he expect to trade new tax increases for entitlement and spending reform?

juanito on January 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Unless the R’s are prepared for the country to default on interest payments or stop the continuing budget resolutions, the Dem’s wont do a damn thing and this is a meaningless excercise that will ultimately embarrass the Republicans by showing that while they talk the talk, they’re not willing to walk the walk.

WisRich on January 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control. Can he get it — and can he get it in time to keep from having the “fairness” argument from being exposed as irrelevant to the true drivers of the massive current and future federal deficits?

Don’t forget their motto In every crisis there is an opportunity

aknews on January 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM

If the president expects to negotiate on spending now (and he doesn’t) – what does the GOP have to offer in return? The tax side is settled, Bush rates are now permanent. Does he expect to trade new tax increases for entitlement and spending reform?

juanito on January 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM

If my math is right, there’s still roughly $200 billion in tax increases (versus both 2012 policy extended and current law) Bo(eh)ner’s willing to give away, and between $700 billion and $1,000 billion in tax hikes Teh SCOAMF wants.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM

You say this like Democrats care.

Good Lt on January 3, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Nobody cares. Stocks are up, unemployment is ‘plummeting’, the algos are king, let the good times roll.

levi on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Just a reminder: you pushed for Paul Ryan and mocked Ron Paul.

Dante on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

It is quite difficult to oppose a President who could be broadcast dissecting live kittens with a buzz saw and still retain 45% support level. The country is as good as gone until the conservatives get at least a foothold in the media, the school system, and the academia.

Archivarix on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

If my math is right, there’s still roughly $200 billion in tax increases (versus both 2012 policy extended and current law) Bo(eh)ner’s willing to give away, and between $700 billion and $1,000 billion in tax hikes Teh SCOAMF wants.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Well that’s just crazy Steve. Why in the world would Boehner agree to more tax increases? There really is no incentive on his part.

If it comes to that, the real fall back position for the R’s is just give him the debt limit increase thus taxes is off the table.

WisRich on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

This time, Obama will need to…

“This time” will be the same as last time and the time before that…blah, blah, blah…

Nothing changes…SOS…the country is screwed…the debt cannot be paid of or reduced. The money printing will continue on in the US and around the world, until it all implodes, period. Any thinking otherwise is pure fantasy. Math is simple and the laws of economics will prevail…

PatriotRider on January 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

s/b “taxes are off..”

WisRich on January 3, 2013 at 9:24 AM

If it comes to that, the real fall back position for the R’s is just give him the debt limit increase thus taxes is off the table.

WisRich on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Exactly! We shouldn’t pay taxes at all. Just print all of our government’s needs. In fact, we shouldn’t work at all either. Let’s print for that too.

Stocks open in five minutes. Rocket up on the good news! Woot!

levi on January 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM

These 2 Tax Charts Tell You Exactly Who Won the Fiscal-Cliff Deal
By Matthew O’Brien
Jan 2 2013, 1:47 PM ET
***********************

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/01/these-2-tax-charts-tell-you-exactly-who-won-the-fiscal-cliff-deal/266744/

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Well that’s just crazy Steve. Why in the world would Boehner agree to more tax increases? There really is no incentive on his part.

If it comes to that, the real fall back position for the R’s is just give him the debt limit increase thus taxes is off the table.

WisRich on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Yes, it is crazy, and clumsily-worded on my part. It’s only if Boehner is now willing to go back to his original offer and thus technically and unequivocably violate his no-new-taxes pledge that it applies.

It also means that, somehow, Boehner gave up less than he was willing to.

No, it doesn’t mean I like the deal or voted for it if I were a Congresscritter (there’s this aversion to tax hikes, as well as the near-permanence of 50% not paying any net income tax), but believe it or not, it’s better than what Boehner was offering to give up.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:30 AM

If the president expects to negotiate on spending now (and he doesn’t) – what does the GOP have to offer in return? The tax side is settled, Bush rates are now permanent. Does he expect to trade new tax increases for entitlement and spending reform?

juanito on January 3, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Obama will go after deductions. And the Repubs will give in, with no meaningful spending cuts….mark it down.

Buck_Nekkid on January 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

That should be “No, it doesn’t mean I like the deal, or would have voted for it if I were a Congresscritter,…”. I need more Dew, but thanks to the tax hikes, I can’t afford it.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Toppling Off the Fiscal Cliff:
Whose Taxes Rise and How Much?

The looming fiscal cliff threatens to boost taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013 when many temporary tax provisions are scheduled to expire. Nearly 90 percent of Americans would pay more tax.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/fiscal-cliff.cfm

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/412666-toppling-off-the-fiscal-cliff.pdf

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:33 AM

The communists (Obama and his party) made a deadly strategic mistake, in terms of their communist dogma, when they agreed to make the Bush tax cuts permanent for those making less than $ 400,000… Always remember that any tax cut for anyone who produces, even the very low income earners, is against the communist doctrine… Now they are in deep trouble when it comes to raising taxes in the future for those making less than $ 400,000… It is much harder politically to raise taxes than to cut them… Now their lunatics, most of their base, will be screaming and yelling for higher taxes to keep the insane spending but the communist leaders will not walk this plank… Now the bigger war for spending cuts and debt begins and they are going to be in deep troubles…

On the other hand the Republicans should not advocate cuts for social security or medicare but for deep cuts in the WELFARE STATE… Despite the elections results still the majority of Americans will not accept that their money is going to Obama phone woman and her likes… Make the WELFARE QUEEN PARASITE as the face of the democrat party and ask the voters if they want their money and the money of future generation to keep funding the Welfare Queen Parasite… The war against the Welfare State is long overdue… It is time to start it and win it…

mnjg on January 3, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Hey Ed,

“They can now argue that the country needs to stop borrowing from China in order to pay for its current obligations and creating debt that will extend to four generations into the future.”

You’re starting to sound like a monetary doofus: It’s the Federal Reserve that is buying 90 percent of our bonds now. We can’t even sell the sh*t to the Chinese, Saudis, or Europeans anymore.

Catch a clue will you?

PD Quig on January 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM

It is quite difficult to oppose a President who could be broadcast dissecting live kittens with a buzz saw and still retain 45% support level. The country is as good as gone until the conservatives get at least a foothold in the media, the school system, and the academia.

Archivarix on January 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Are you kidding? None of that will ever happen. Besides, the Pub leadership removed the loudest freshmen, who were mostly elected with Tea Party effort and are more conservative than the elites, from their committee postings. The same thing happens in the media and among the schools and colleges.

We have one-party rule in government, with big-donor corporations getting tax breaks and handouts. Then those CEOs go before the cameras crying for tax increases on the ‘wealthy’ that they themselves will never have to pay.

Tenure keeps the hardest-core liberal teachers and professors in place till they retire, their seniority allowing them seats on committees to deny a hire or tenure to ‘radicals’ who don’t believe as they do.

Forget the media. Fox has added liberals to its on-air staff but not one genuine conservative has a show on CNN and MSNBC. And Con on the air is outnumbered four-to-one plus the liberal host of panel shows, and barely allowed to speak when one-on-one with Chris Matthews and others of his ilk.

Near as I can tell, we’ll be the first people in history to willingly surrender our liberty.

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Just a reminder: We’re still $16+ trillion in debt

…OH?…there’s no contest to get to 20?
…we can print more!

KOOLAID2 on January 3, 2013 at 9:42 AM

It’s the Federal Reserve that is buying 90 percent of our bonds now. We can’t even sell the sh*t to the Chinese, Saudis, or Europeans anymore.

Catch a clue will you?

PD Quig on January 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM

The Japanese are still buying (of course, they’re now entering their third Lost Decade).

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM

UGH!

Liberal Paper Endorses Boehner for Speaker to Continue Purge of ‘Tea Party Extremists’

3 Jan 2013, 5:35 AM PDT
*************************

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/01/03/Liberal-Boston-Globe-endorses-Boehner-for-Speaker-so-he-can-continue-purge-of-Tea-Party-extremists-from-key-committees

VIA:
===

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23FireBoehner&src=hash

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I don’t recall hearing that argument- no one has ever questioned the need for more revenue mixed with significant spending cuts.

Yet there’s no doubt that some Democrats are blocking substantial entitlement reform, esp Reid. Nevada is obviously home to large numbers of retiree and it was only a matter of time before the AARP and other groups organized a serious campaign to block cuts to social security.

Obama has reportedly proposed spending cuts that amount to 90% of Bowles Simpson, although the real threat of defections from within his own party has kept the details within closed negotiations. It’s the right direction- and if the GOP is serious about accepting Bowles Simpson as well, there’s no reason to believe that a serious agreement is out of reach.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-03/obama-s-warning-to-boehner-started-road-to-budget-plan.html

bayam on January 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Communist scum… If Obama wants to enact Simpson-Bowles he would have done so long time ago… It is against the communist doctrine to cut spending…

mnjg on January 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

It’s the Federal Reserve that is buying 90 percent of our bonds now. We can’t even sell the sh*t to the Chinese, Saudis, or Europeans anymore.

Catch a clue will you?

PD Quig on January 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM

PD Quig:Here ya go!
====================

Foreign Policy ‏@ForeignPolicy

Shen Dingli on America’s fiscal dysfunction: “Frankly, China is fed up with the performance of U.S. democracy” http://atfp.co/TIfchM
=======

Is This Any Way to Treat Your Banker?
China recoils in horror at America’s fiscal dysfunction.
Jan 2 2013
**********

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/01/02/is_this_any_way_to_treat_your_banker

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Obama will go after deductions. And the Repubs will give in, with no meaningful spending cuts….mark it down.

Buck_Nekkid on January 3, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Going against deductions will make the Limousine Liberals howl… Those hypocrite advocate tax increases on the rich so they sound that they care for the less fortunate but they know that all those tax increases will be meaningless because of the deductions… Those hypocrite use every tax loophole and deduction so they can pay the least amount of money… Take the deductions away from them and they will declare war…

mnjg on January 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM

Proverbs reminds us that anyone who borrows is, a Slave to the lender.

Belong to your Government, in a literal way.

FlaMurph on January 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Near as I can tell, we’ll be the first people in history to willingly surrender our liberty.

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM

We are just repeating the trajectory that the Ancient Rome passed centuries ago. The foundation on Republican principles, the thriving, the expansion, the wealth boom, the peaceful transition to benevolent tyranny, the decadence, the crumbling, and finally, the disintegration of some pieces while others slowly decline into oblivion.

That’s why I liked Newt despite his helmet-haired concubine, his bloated ego, and his moon base obsession. He knows that history has an answer to every question, and he knows which mistakes should not be repeated.

Archivarix on January 3, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Just a reminder: We’re still $16+ trillion in debt

Tell that to that turncoat tax raisin Pete Sessions.

paulsur on January 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Obama doesn’t care . . . when this tour is up he ‘ll just take his money and run.

rplat on January 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

$430 million for Hollywood
$331 million for railroads
$222 million for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
$70 million for NASCAR
$59 million for algae growers

That is 1.112 Trillion in spending in the Fiscal Cliff bill just passed to save the taxpayer.

How about just not saving us anymore, okay?

Tenwheeler on January 3, 2013 at 10:05 AM

It’s the Federal Reserve that is buying 90 percent of our bonds now. We can’t even sell the sh*t to the Chinese, Saudis, or Europeans anymore.

Catch a clue will you?

PD Quig on January 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM

PD Quig:Here ya go!
====================

Foreign Policy ‏@ForeignPolicy

Shen Dingli on America’s fiscal dysfunction: “Frankly, China is fed up with the performance of U.S. democracy” http://atfp.co/TIfchM
=======

Is This Any Way to Treat Your Banker?
China recoils in horror at America’s fiscal dysfunction.
Jan 2 2013
**********

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/01/02/is_this_any_way_to_treat_your_banker

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Bernake should be brought to Congress and asked the simple question: “How much money can the US government print without causing an inflation disaster? 10 trillions dollars, 20 trillions, 100 trillions? What is the limit?”…

mnjg on January 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Oh Boy,The Hopey/Changey Black Hole(sarc)

Xinhua: US avoided the fiscal cliff, but faces ‘abyss’
Jan 3 2013
***********

A commentary published online by China’s official news agency claims that while the US avoided the tax hikes and deep spending cuts threatened by going over the ‘fiscal cliff’, America’s long-term is concerns fiscal sustainability, and asks if a democracy overcome such a challenge.

Published on January 1, the article takes a swipe at the state of US public finances and politics, noting that US government is higher than that which toppled some government in Europe and asks rhetorically if any pertinent legislation could survive a highly polarized congress.

But the main argument of the acerbic commentary is that over the long run, the US faces even stiffer challenge and questions its ability – as a democracy – to both administer the required medicine and survive the cure.

“Many have long warned of the potential danger of falling off the “fiscal cliff.” However, for some keen observers, the United States, with a total government debt of nearly 16.4 trillion US dollars, has a bigger devil to fight…as far as its long-term fiscal sustainability is concerned,” and we are told that, “US government debt has created nothing but a “fiscal abyss.”(More..)
=================================================================

http://gbtimes.com/focus/politics/news/xinhua-us-avoided-fiscal-cliff-faces-abyss

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Tenwheeler on January 3, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I think you added a zero or three to your math and then missed a few pieces of pork. The Wall Street Journal added up all the corporate welfare in Le Petite Compromise and comes up with somewhere around $40 billion.

Steve Eggleston on January 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

It’s the Federal Reserve that is buying 90 percent of our bonds now. We can’t even sell the sh*t to the Chinese, Saudis, or Europeans anymore.

This is an important point.

The Balance sheet of the Fed (the cumulative amount of money printing) has grown from $500B to $2.5T.

So the $6B increase in debt is closer to $8B.

Bernake should be brought to Congress and asked the simple question: “How much money can the US government print without causing an inflation disaster? 10 trillions dollars, 20 trillions, 100 trillions? What is the limit?”…

His answer … no one knows, but when we hit the limit, it will end badly. Happy new year!

Deafdog on January 3, 2013 at 10:16 AM

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Bernake should be brought to Congress and asked the simple question: “How much money can the US government print without causing an inflation disaster? 10 trillions dollars, 20 trillions, 100 trillions? What is the limit?”…

mnjg on January 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

mnjg:An excellent point(s)!:)

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 10:19 AM

I’m sick of hearing about entitlement ‘reform’. How about entitlement elimination?

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I’ll see your entitlement reform and raise you government elimination.

Mr. Arrogant on January 3, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Prediction four years out: HotAir thread headline –

Just a reminder: We’re still $32+ trillion in debt
POSTED AT 8:51 AM ON JANUARY 3, 2017 BY ED MORRISSEY

ShainS on January 3, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Thanks for the early morning laugh. He’s not interested in deficit control, he’s interested in bankrupting the country.

rbj on January 3, 2013 at 8:59 AM

BINGO!

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Sad, Liam but more and more it looks as though that’s true.

ghostwalker1 on January 3, 2013 at 10:23 AM

I’m sick of hearing about entitlement Pozni ‘reform’. How about entitlement Ponzi elimination?

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

FIFY!

canopfor on January 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

OK, so walk through the logic with me: If you are X (China, etc) holding paper that has the massive potential to be significantly worthless (with yields only having the direction of up to go – don’t believe me, go read Bill Gross), what you do is trade them for assets that don’t take a cornholing quite as bad with no counterparty risk (physical Gold, cough cough). To move that much money out of and into about anything is going to cause a dislocation of its own. That dislocation is called The Fourth Turning.

SkinnerVic on January 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Ed said:

This time, Obama will need to demand some concessions from his own ranks in order to show real progress on deficit control.

I ask: if the media doesn’t report it, why will he need to do anything? Most of the media loves Paul Krugman, who argues for more deficit spending. It won’t be reported.

The problem is very simple: nobody cares, least of all Obama.

Conservative media (mostly blogs, certainly not FoxNews) has only a sliver of the audience the MSM has. Conservative media does little other than comment to its narrow audience.

Nobody cares.

beatcanvas on January 3, 2013 at 10:30 AM

To Do List:

1) No extension of debt ceiling without “chained CPI” for SS and some bit of reform on Medicare.

2) Let the sequester happen with no action at all; the Defense Dept. needs to suck it up like everybody else.

3) a guarantee on a budget from the President and Harry Reid.

Tater Salad on January 3, 2013 at 10:31 AM

It’s the Federal Reserve that is buying 90 percent of our bonds now. We can’t even sell the sh*t to the Chinese, Saudis, or Europeans anymore.

Catch a clue will you?

PD Quig on January 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM

PD Quig:Here ya go!

Dude: the Chinese still own over $1T of USTs, but they–and the rest of the world–have not been the major buyers of new issues for a year now.

PD Quig on January 3, 2013 at 10:39 AM

And the cronies reap the rewards in the Dem (largely) protection racket.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323320404578216583921471560.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

onlineanalyst on January 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM

According to the CBO, Obama just raised that number to $20 Trillion with the passage of HIS Tax Bill…

So my question is:

Since he got…
o His nearly $1 Trillion Stimulus Bill
o His Auto Bail-out
o His Debt Ceiling Increase (to include Credit Status Downgrade)
o His Obamacare Bill
o His funding for HAMAS/PLA
o His govt spending increase/debt adding ($3.8 Trillion) Tax Bill

Is Obama FINALLY going to assume responsibility for the Economy or is the pu$$ going to continue blame someone else?

easyt65 on January 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

This bears repeating. Any Conservative or Republican on the squawk shows has the valid talking points right here at hand to refute Obysmal’s cheerleading squad.

And don’t forget that the “stimulus bill” (slush fund) has been part of the baseline budget for every every continuing resolution and debt ceiling crisis since there has not been a budget for nearly four years.

onlineanalyst on January 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Obama has reportedly proposed spending cuts that amount to 90% of Bowles Simpson, although the real threat of defections from within his own party has kept the details within closed negotiations. It’s the right direction- and if the GOP is serious about accepting Bowles Simpson as well, there’s no reason to believe that a serious agreement is out of reach.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-03/obama-s-warning-to-boehner-started-road-to-budget-plan.html

bayam on January 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Obysmal initiated the Bowles-Simpson group to unravel the problem…and then ignored the bulk of its recommendations. The country experienced its credit downgrade shortly thereafter because austerity in spending occurred nowhere in the administration’s plans.

onlineanalyst on January 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM

But a similar fate might await the president and his Democratic allies if he brokers a deal with the GOP that requires massive spending and entitlement cuts.

Anyone who thinks significant entitlement reform will happen during an Obama administration (Barack now or Michelle in ’16 or ’20) is woefully delusional.

KS Rex on January 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Any Conservative or Republican on the squawk shows has the valid talking points right here at hand to refute Obysmal’s cheerleading squad.

onlineanalyst on January 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Problem is, hosts like Matthews and Morgan don’t readily let their guests speak. They talk over them and hurl insults after the guest’s first half-sentence.

I wonder why any Conservative at all would want to appear on any of those shows. Conservatives should simply not bother. Not a boycott, but permanent refusal of an invitation as a matter of policy. All that would remain is the host talks only to fellow liberal crackpots and, without ‘real’ controversy, the show might get cancelled.

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Debt as of 12/31/12 = 16,432,730,050,569.12

Dasher on January 3, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I’m an engineer, I prefer to say we are 1.64E13 dollars in debt.

Socratease on January 3, 2013 at 11:55 AM

just a continuation of the generational theft; reckoning day is coming, and punishment will be dealt out accordingly

burserker on January 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Anyone who thinks significant entitlement reform will happen during an Obama administration (Barack now or Michelle in ’16 or ’20) is woefully delusional.

KS Rex on January 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

There are many excellent posts above but yours is + 1!

This is because you see past all the smoke and mirrors.

We are like a messed up, impoverished family.

We have whole areas of this nation suffering when it is unfair and unnecessary. Our POTUS get away with going after the pennies held by individuals while chasing the nonsense from his college days. The Republicans want to cut spending and have this vague idea that tax cuts will do everything. Then the two sides have terrible fights.

Programs run this economy. The Second World War for President Roosevelt. The tech bubble for President Clinton. The real estate and security spending for President Bush.

My economics guy and I calculated how much money this nation is wasting by not exploiting our natural gas and coal, even exporting it and doing a few other things. In addition we need a way to put the unemployed and disabled in positions to succeed. You should see the numbers.

For starters, export terminal permits, Mr. President.

IlikedAUH2O on January 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM

The staggering national debt — up about 60 percent from the $10 trillion Obama inherited when he took office in January 2009

The staggering national debt is up nearly 90 percent from the $8.68 trillion Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Clinton, etc. inherited when Democrats took majority control of Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2007…

Debt to the penny

Total Public Debt Outstanding
01/03/2007
$8,677,214,255,313.07

01/02/2013
$16,432,705,914,255.48

ITguy on January 3, 2013 at 4:01 PM

I’m sick of hearing about entitlement ‘reform’. How about entitlement elimination?

Liam on January 3, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Amen. That is the only way out of this mess. Eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, Welfare and all other aid programs. Leave them up to the states. (I would love to see Social Security go as well, but that will probably be the final hold out.) Only then can we start to dig ourselves out of this hole.

Theophile on January 4, 2013 at 2:58 AM

Just a reminder: We’re still $16+ trillion in debt

posted at 8:51 am on January 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

I realize that this post is about to roll off the main page and likely no one will read this comment, but I’ll say it anyway.

After Republicans took majority control of the House and Senate on January 3, 1995, the first budget they passed was for Fiscal Year 1996. The Republican majority passed 12 budgets, for FY 1996-2007.

Over those 12 Fiscal Years, the Total National Debt increased
from $4,973,982,900,709.39
to $9,007,653,372,262.48
… an increase of $4,033,670,471,553.09 over 12 years, or approximately $28 Billion per month.

After Democrats took majority control of the House and Senate on January 3, 2007, the first budget they passed was for Fiscal Year 2008. Since the start of FY 2008 on October 1, 2007, the Democrat majorities have increased the Total National Debt
from $9,007,653,372,262.48
to $16,432,730,050,569.10 on 12/31/2012
… an increase of $7,425,076,678,306.62 over 5.25 years, or approximately $118 Billion per month.

Repeating for emphasis…

For 12 straight years, Republicans increased the Total National Debt by an average of $28 Billion per month.

And for the last 5.25 years, Democrats have increased the Total National Debt by an average of $118 Billion per month… OVER FOUR TIMES the rate of Deficit spending!

ITguy on January 4, 2013 at 11:46 AM