January 24, 2013

The Spender in Chief

CHICKASHA — President Obama spent the last press briefing of his first term lecturing Congress to "pay the bills they have already racked up."  "They" is a curious choice of pronoun for a president who has accumulated more debt than any chief executive in history.

The year President Obama was elected, the annual deficit was $459 billion.  His first year in office brought the first $1 trillion deficit in U.S. history -- followed by the next three.  The president must think it a coincidence that a Congress that had never produced a trillion-dollar deficit before suddenly generated four in a row -- one for each year of his tenure.  Under the Obama administration, the national debt has ballooned from $11 trillion and 70 percent of GDP to $16.4 trillion and 105 percent of GDP.

The president's posture as a bystander helpless to control a rogue Congress on a spending rampage is severely undermined by the facts.  President Obama's first major act as president was to pass a "stimulus" bill with a price tag of almost $1 trillion.  Although not a single Republican in the House voted for the bill, Democratic super majorities in both chambers of Congress pushed the stimulus into law.  In spite of vigorous protests by the American people, Obamacare was forced through Congress via the same process.  White House claims that the policy would cost a staggering $840 billion have been dispelled by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that Obamacare will actually cost a projected $1.9 trillion and force between 3 and 5 million Americans out of their employer-provided health insurance.

Fed up with out-of-control spending and government expansion, the American people made a change.  The 2010 midterm elections decisively ended Democratic control of the House and put a record number of conservatives in office.  But while the balance of power in Congress changed, President Obama's spending philosophy did not.  His most recent budget proposal in 2012 called for $47 trillion of spending over 10 years and would actually have increased the national debt to $25.9 trillion by 2022.

If this seems like the behavior of a president unaware of the grave threat posed by government spending, it is. During the December negotiations over the fiscal cliff, the president reportedly stated, "We don't have a spending problem."  This is a stunning declaration from the elected official with the most power -- and responsibility -- to lead America out of a catastrophic debt crisis in the making.

After four years of failed fiscal policy from his administration, it should be no surprise that the president is now calling for a blank check to raise the debt ceiling with no spending cuts attached.  President Obama claims he won't even discuss the debt ceiling with Congress.  He'll get no objection from a Democratic Senate that hasn't even passed a budget in nearly four years, but the Republican House is another story.  House Republicans -- and the American people -- understand that we do indeed have a spending problem.  While conservatives in Congress opposed the massive debt increases President Obama has accumulated, we do have a duty as a co-equal branch of government to clean up the mess.  We will exercise that duty in the coming months.

Text Only
  • Fightin' Words: Lessons from sports, even in tragedy

    This week, Americans got to hear firsthand accounts, some for the first time, of a sporting tragedy, the lessons from which are as poignant as sport itself.

    April 18, 2014

  • Weir speaks on good traffic stops do for society

    On the law enforcement side the county was fairly quiet last month. There was an incident which may not have seemed of great importance to many, but I would take exception to that.

    April 15, 2014

  • The Hero of Haarlem…For the Common Good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the eight year old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job even more important.

    April 11, 2014

  • Morning Ralph…Morning Sam…For the Common Good

    Deep in the vaults of Warner Bros. there is a series of Merrie Melodies cartoons featuring Sam the Sheepdog and Ralph E. Wolf.  It has been years since I have seen the animation; however, the tan sheepdog with the unruly mop of auburn hair and the thin brown wolf that bears an uncanny resemblance to Wile E. Coyote (except for Ralph’s red nose and Wile’s yellow eyes) are readily recalled.

    April 4, 2014

  • Fightin' Words: A right way and a wrong way to treat a college players union

    Initially the ruling by the National Labor Relations Board over Northwestern football players' ability to unionize was, at first, the start of a ticking time bomb on college sports.

    March 28, 2014

  • In New Orleans, Katrina victims live out Hollywood eco agenda

    I visited Lousiana recently to do some reporting on Sen. Mary Landrieu's bid to win a fourth term in a tough political year. But before heading to the key parishes that will determine Landrieu's fate this November, I stopped by New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward to see how rebuilding efforts are faring nearly nine years after Hurricane Katrina.

    March 25, 2014

  • BLOG: America is doing all it can to Russia

    The conservative response to President Obama's handling of the Ukraine crisis is a perfect example of what some Americans need to learn about how the world around them works now.

    March 21, 2014

  • In jam over Obamacare, Dems don't know which way to turn

    When it comes to Obamacare, many Democrats take comfort in polls showing a small majority of voters, or at least a plurality, oppose repealing the Affordable Care Act. To them, that proves the Republicans' do-away-with-it position is out of sync with voters as this November's midterm elections approach.

    March 18, 2014

  • Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo and the Common Good

    The term “Spaghetti Western” is used to describe a movie about the American West but directed and produced by Italians and normally filmed in Europe. This motion picture genre has been around for more than 70 years.  Outdoor scenes are often shot in an area of Spain that bears a striking resemblance to the Southwestern United States.

    March 14, 2014

  • Have Bazooka - will travel and the Common Good

    For seven seasons from 1957 through 1963, actor Richard Boone played a gentleman gunslinger named Paladin in the CBS television, Have Gun—Will Travel.  The storyline involved Boone’s character, a highly educated and cultured mercenary whose residence was the Hotel Carlton in wild-west era San Francisco.  Paladin’s business card intimated that he had no qualms about using his Colt .45 revolver or his single action Marlin rifle for hire, wherever his career would take him.

    March 7, 2014