Obama Doesn’t Remember the National Debt Figure

I watched Letterman’s interview with Obama last night. Letterman brought up the Republican National Convention. Obama said he didn’t watch it but heard that he was talked about at the event, which prompted a light chuckle from the audience. Letterman asked Obama about the debt clock that the republicans displayed at their convention and what it was all about. Obama dissembled and instead tried to explain that under Clinton, we had a surplus, but then Bush got us involved in 2 overseas wars, which Obama said were financed by a “credit card” (as if Obama’s overseas wars were any different). He claimed that Bush’s tax cuts contributed to our debt because then we weren’t bringing in enough revenue to offset the costs. So, again, he’s doing the whole “I’m just trying to clean up Bush’s mess” routine. But Letterman pressed him again and asked what the national debt figure actually was. Obama said he couldn’t remember, and he didn’t even object to Letterman’s “$10 trillion” estimate.

Our own president doesn’t know what the national debt is? He’s got to know. Maybe it’s just that he didn’t bring his teleprompter with him. I think he’s just trying to play it off like the debt is not that big of a deal. And he doesn’t want to bring any attention to the fact that he’s helped add $5 trillion to it in just 1 presidential term. Here was Obama’s solution to our debt and deficit:

The only way we’ve ever been able to do that effectively is when you do it in a balanced way. So, you cut out spending you don’t need – there are programs that don’t work and, you know, I tell my democratic friends all the time if you’re gonna be in favor of helping the American people, you can’t just assume that every government program’s working the way it should. It can work better. But, what is also true is that we’re gonna need to ask folks like you and me to do a little bit more, and if you and I are paying the same tax rates we did under Bill Clinton, then that helps to close the deficit. And if we do those two things then we can manage very effectively and get our books in order.

I’ve never heard of a democrat wanting to actually cut government programs. And even if they did cut a government program here or there, the “savings” would be a drop in the bucket compared with what we need to cut. And then, they would just go ahead and create another government program anyway, so there would be no net savings or spending cuts. Republicans suggest we cut government programs, and we’re called “draconian.” Obama suggests we cut government programs, and he’s called “fiscally responsible.” He also wants us to “do more.” He wants us to work more and pay more in taxes, because that’s the responsible and “patriotic” thing to do.

Of course, politicians really don’t care about the debt or deficit. “Deficits don’t matter,” they say. And Obama stated in his interview with Letterman that the national debt is not at all a short-term problem. Maybe a long-term problem, but nothing to worry about now. In other words, he’s not going to do anything about it during his term. He’ll just leave the mess for another administration to clean up.