Good news from Jay Carney: You bet the president believes we have a spending problem… sort of

posted at 5:21 pm on February 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Following up on some rather — er — clumsy remarks from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Fox News Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reassured us on Monday that, hey, of course President Obama thinks we have a spending problem… but then, perhaps looking to deflect the glaringly obvious awkwardness of the Obama administration’s rapacious, debt-driving spending habits and only piddling subsequent efforts to do anything about them, pivoted to the president’s ‘crowning legislative achievement’ for cover.

Via Politico:

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that Washington does have a spending problem and the main driver of that problem is health-care costs. …

“Of course the president believes that we have a spending problem,” Carney said at a White House briefing, adding that the problem “is specifically driven by — and I think every economist worth, whose insights into this area are worth the paper on which his or her PhD is printed, would tell you that  — the principle driver, when it comes to spending, of our deficits and debt, are, is health care spending. And that’s just a fact. …

“But the fact of the matter is we need to reduce our health care costs. Funnily enough, recognizing that fact, the president took action to do just that through the Affordable Care Act, which has been scored by the CBO to significantly reduce our health care costs going forward,” he said. “Going forward, we need to do more.”

The only issues there being that, in fact, ObamaCare really isn’t doing anything to bring down health-care costs, and that the president all too clearly doesn’t believe we have a spending problem — as evidenced by his White House’s belief that they’ve pretty much got their deficit-reduction targets nailed down. WaPo reports:

In recent days, the White House has pressed the message that, if policymakers can agree on a strategy for replacing across-the-board spending cuts set to hit next month, the president will pretty much have achieved his debt-reduction goals.

“Over the last few years, Democrats and Republicans have come together and cut our deficit [over the next decade] by more than $2.5 trillion through a balanced mix of spending cuts and higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. …

By the administration’s math, Washington needs to enact only another $1.5 trillion in 10-year savings to hit the $4 trillion target, White House economic adviser Jason Furman told reporters last week. At $1.2 trillion, the automatic cuts, known as the sequester, quite nearly fit the bill.

The problem with this scenario? It would indeed stabilize the national debt, compared with the broader economy, for the next 10 years. But the debt would fluctuate between 73 percent and 77 percent of gross domestic product, according to new projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — the highest level in U.S. history except for the period after World War II.

So, what the White House is saying is, we really needn’t worry ourselves about the upcoming $7 trillion we’re going to add to our debt over the next ten years, because President Obama has supposedly managed to reduce that number by a few trillion? Gee, thanks. As much as I’m sure the president would be appreciative if we could all just redirect our attention to immigration, gun control, climate change, and his other favorite progressive agenda items — with a blasé fiscal attitude like that, this is going to be his real legacy, via James Pethokoukis:

Image Credit: US Treasury Department

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So he thinks Stretch is lying? Ooooh, this oughta be good.

Ward Cleaver on February 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Time for another story on the 2.6 trillion in cuts that they’ve accomplished in his 4 years in office. This will be followed by a story about how he has hit 300 free throws in a row, can throw a baseball 100mph and scored a perfect score on his LSAT. He is perfection on earth.

acyl72 on February 11, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I thought Dear Leader told Boehner to stop saying that..?

d1carter on February 11, 2013 at 5:34 PM

the principle driver, when it comes to spending, of our deficits and debt, are, is health care spending. And that’s just a fact. …

And boy blunder went way out of his way to make certain that Obamacare was anything but affordable for anyone.

antipc on February 11, 2013 at 5:36 PM

My healthcare costs have gone way up champ.

ctmom on February 11, 2013 at 5:36 PM

We have two (2) serious problems regarding our debt…

1) ‘Baseline Budgeting

2) “Did you see what J.Lo was wearing at the Emmys last night?” – Low Information Voter

Seven Percent Solution on February 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Obama sees this as a revenue problem.

portlandon on February 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

By spending, he means that tax rates are too low. If you start from 100% of GDP belonging to the government, you can count tax rates being too low as spending, right?

besser tot als rot on February 11, 2013 at 5:49 PM

What idiots. So, if the cost of automobile insurance is too high, and currently costs the government ZERO, should they then takeover the industry to lower its costs to consumers?

If the federal government wants to reduce its expenditures on retirement, health care, et al the best way is for them to exit that market.

If they for example want to reduce long term retirement spending let us have the freedom to choose to opt out of Social Security. Wow, what a concept!

The goal of the lying Left is not to reduce the cost of anything but rather to enslave us all to government so we will continue to elect Democrats.

Charlemagne on February 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM

Funnily enough? is he in 5th grade?

DanMan on February 11, 2013 at 5:53 PM

Obama’s concept of a ‘spending problem’: We’re not spending enough.

Liam on February 11, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Will the dog eating black preezy go all eight years without a budget?

How many stereotypes can the Alinskyite satisfy?

Will any rank and file democrats wake ho to the disaster that this fly infested luciferian destroyer really is?

tom daschle concerned on February 11, 2013 at 5:54 PM

“Going forward, we need to do more.”

All one need ask themselves is, what are the goals of progressive/leftists? Once answered you have an answer to explain it all. Blindness to it is no excuse.

Bmore on February 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM

The rebellion is on, just no one has told the MSM or the Obama administration.

Tater Salad on February 11, 2013 at 6:02 PM

How many stereotypes can the Alinskyite satisfy?

tom daschle concerned on February 11, 2013 at 5:54 PM

They need only one: White Conservatives are hateful racists. Everything else proceeds from there, in all its convolutions.

Black-on-black crime? White Conservatives cause that.

Rape? White Conservatives hate women (FBI crime stats don’t apply)

Gun crime in Chicago? If whitey didn’t move to suburbia to get away from street gangs, there would be no problem.

And on and on and on…

Liam on February 11, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Obama: Too lazy to do a budget. Ask Cousin Pookie.

SirGawain on February 11, 2013 at 6:11 PM

And that’s just a fact. …

A Lib favorite….cause they know their low-info harlots don’t have a brain cell to dispute a darn thing…

hillsoftx on February 11, 2013 at 6:18 PM

If Carney wasn’t a gay man, would he still think his boss was lying?

Mr. Arrogant on February 11, 2013 at 6:19 PM

What’s with this “we” stuff?

Budget-less Barky is the spending problem. Not “we.”

viking01 on February 11, 2013 at 6:46 PM