CNN’s Ed Henry hit President Obama a couple of times during the press conference last night, and while the second one got under his skin, the first one got into his head. Henry challenged Obama on the deficits he plans to rack up under his budgets and how he can keep blaming Bush for debt while he massively expands the national debt himself. Henry put it in personal terms:
HENRY: You’ve been very critical of President Bush doubling the national debt. And, to be fair, it’s not just Republicans hitting you. Democrat Kent Conrad, as you know, said, quote, “When I look at this budget, I see the debt doubling again.”
You keep saying that you’ve inherited a big fiscal mess. Do you worry, though, that your daughters, not to mention the next president, will be inheriting an even bigger fiscal mess if the spending goes out of control?
OBAMA: Of course I do, Ed, which is why we’re doing everything we can to reduce that deficit. Look, if this were easy, then, you know, we would have already had it done, and the budget would have been voted on, and everybody could go home. This is hard.
And the reason it’s hard is because we’ve accumulated a structural deficit that’s going to take a long time, and we’re not going to be able to do it next year or the year after or three years from now. What we have to do is bend the curve on these deficit projections. And the best way for us to do that is to reduce health care costs. That’s not just my opinion. That’s the opinion of almost every single person who has looked at our long-term fiscal situation.
Heritage has some figures on deficit spending that should enlighten Obama and his team about the “structural deficit” they inherited. While the deficit jumped in the last year of the Bush administration, thanks to the spending on the bailouts, deficits had declined since 2004 until then. Bush had structured his budgets to get back to balance in the next few years — although without considering the huge mandates in Medicare and Social Security.
Obama’s plans don’t count those mandates, either — but they blow up the deficit:
Not only does Obama quadruple the deficit this year, the long-term outlook shows them rising, not falling, under Obama’s plans. Even the White House projections, using the rosiest possible conditions, shows them increasing after never getting down to the 2008 level. Even in 2013, the White House predicts a budget deficit higher than Bush’s last year, and then increases in the deficit steadily through 2019.
And again, as I said, that doesn’t count the real structural deficit of Medicare and Social Security.
They’re not doing everything they can do to eliminate the deficit. They’re doing everything they can do to make them exponentially worse.