A year or so ago, the Democrats started telling us that the national debt is no longer an issue. This was based on the fact that the deficit is only around half what it was during President Obama’s first few years in office. The fiscal year 2014 deficit came in at *only* $483 billion, a cause for rejoicing in Washington. This represents the smallest deficit as a percentage of GDP since the George W. Bush administration.
Still, $483 billion exceeds any deficit ever racked up during the administration of any president other than Barack Obama. (Don’t try to play the silly game of attributing the Democratic Congress’s FY 2009 deficit, which among other things included spending under the failed Obama/Reid/Pelosi “stimulus,” to President Bush.) Word came today that the national debt now exceeds $18 trillion, a little more than the GDP of the United States.
When Barack Obama took office, the national debt stood at $10.625 trillion. Which means that the debt has increased by 70% during his abysmally incompetent administration. Put another way, 41% of the national debt of the United States, from George Washington to the present, has accrued during the Obama administration. And we have two years yet to go.
In the summer of 2011, we conducted a contest to stimulate production of videos, songs, paintings and other art works that would help focus attention on the debt crisis. We awarded $100,000 to the winner of the Power Line Prize, a video titled “The Spending Is Nuts,” which you can view here. The runner-up was a great song called Don’t You See. Another video called “Doorbell” went viral and was viewed well over a million times. You can see it here. There were many other fine entries, which were posted here and around the internet.
The funny thing is that in 2011, no one seriously questioned that the national debt was a huge problem. Today, the debt is substantially larger, but seems to have subsided as an issue, I suppose because chronic underemployment, wage stagnation, foreign policy debacles and various administration scandals have pushed it out of the headlines. Still, it may be time to start recycling some of those PL Prize entries to remind voters that $18 trillion in debt, with forecasts for explosive growth as baby boomers continue to retire, is not a problem that can be wished away.