Two stories in yesterday's headlines were really part of the same story. The first story was Paul Ryan issuing the House Republicans' proposed budget, a plan that reforms the tax code to simplify it (two rates at 10% and 25%, fewer deductions) and to spur growth (cutting capital gains and corporate tax rates), reforms Medicare (retaining the program for people over 55 while shifting it to a market-based approach for people younger than that), and putting the budget on pace to balance. Over the 10 year budget window, it would cut $5.3 trillion from the Obama proposal.
The second story is something of a dubious achievement: yesterday the deficits racked up by the Obama administration in 38 months exceeded the deficits of the Bush administration over eight years that included the aftermath of 9/11 and two wars.
The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.Can Americans really re-elect a man who blithely will have presided over four straight years of trillion-dollar plus budget deficits? Who has added more than $5 trillion to the deficit? A man who proposes more of the same as far into the future as the eye can see? I hope we are not that foolish.
The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush's last day in office, which coincided with President Obama's first day.
The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.
So... two stories, one story: this is a yarn about a responsible adult and a petulant child. A story about the man who would fix things and the boy who breaks his toys in a fit. A man who knows that money doesn't grow on trees and a baby who thinks golden unicorns will come from the sky to save him.
So the election comes down to whether America is a responsible adult nation anymore, or whether we are spoiled children.