State of Union speech 
ignores debt worries

Phew! Aren’t you glad that’s over — all that annoying anxiety about our growing national debt and the annual federal budget deficit? It’s time to put that behind us…




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Today’s editorial – “State of Union speech ignores debt worries” – selectively disregards the text of President Obama’s address and the context created by Republicans’ ongoing obstructionism and “manufactured crises”.

Indeed, while President Obama refused to exacerbate the exaggerated “worries” fueled by his intransigently partisan critics, his speech expressly addressed the long-term debt.

Our $16+ trillion national debt has four principal sources:  the Bush Tax Cuts, two wars, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and the financial crisis that contracted our GDP in 2009.  President Obama has systematically addressed each of these underlying causes.
 
While the Bush Tax Cuts deprived the federal government of $1.6 trillion in revenue, the “Fiscal Cliff” deal recouped only $600 billion of that—but President Obama has agreed to some $1.9 trillion in purported spending cuts since 2011, and has reduced the federal deficit every year he’s been in office. 

President Obama also ended one war and announced the projected end of another.  His proposed Medicare reforms include reducing subsidies to the prescription drug industry.

“As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances”, the President reported.  That goal is based on the debt-carrying capacity of our economy – measured as percent of GDP.

Republicans falsely insist that we face only a “spending problem”—not a companion “revenue problem” – despite mounting evidence that all levels of our governments are chronically underfunded.

President Obama and reputable economists maintain that additional fiscal “stimulus” (i.e., infrastructrure spending) – paid for by “tax reform” and/or by borrowing now at negative interest rates – will “create jobs” and thereby increase GDP.

Republicans claimed that the 2009 stimulus “wouldn’t work”, then “didn’t work” – but it did.  Therefore, the Sentinel should be endorsing polices that work, not parroting ideology that doesn’t.

                Bill Hugenberg

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