Via Drudge comes this Reuters report that President Barack Obama is losing sleep over federal deficits:
"I am concerned about the long-term issue of our structural deficit and our long-term debt because if we don't get a handle on that, then there's no doubt that at some point, whether it's the Chinese, the Koreans, the Japanese, and whoever else has been snatching up Treasuries are going to decide that this is too much of a risk," Obama said.
"That's why it's so important for us to get a handle on our long-term structural deficit," he said.
Obama predicts that unemployment, currently at 9.4 percent (the highest since 1983), will crack 10 percent by year's end. More here.
It's all well and good that Obama has his eye on structural deficits, meaning pay-as-you-go entitlement spending on programs such as Social Security and Medicare, where fiscal apocalypse is just around the demographic corner. Clearly, these programs need to be changed, and fast (here's a hint on a fix: Don't expect a massive government takeover of the health care industry to save a plugged nickel, though it can always make an annoying system even worse). But if that sort of built-in, ever-expanding spending is part of the problem, then why is the president talking about turning Pell grants into entitlements? This fire has enough fuel already, thank you very much.
More to the point, if spending's the thing, how do you square reports of Obama's literally being kept awake at night by deficits with his actual proposed plan for the next 10 years, which envisions nothing but red ink of historic proportions:
Recall that Obama, that uber-ironic wag, titled his first-ever budget "A New Era of Responsibility" and delivered a document that was chock full of declamations regarding greedy capitalists and evil marketeers who greased the wheels of commerce with the blood young virgins and puppy dogs—and zero cuts, vision, or guidance when it came to restraining government spending.
The press corps, still in its swoon over Obama, will actually take seriously his claims to want to cut spending and be responsible (by which, of course, he means something orthogonal at best to the concept as Ma and Pa Kettle might understand it). Now that Bushtard is outta the White House, you can hear them whisper, we're all wearing big boy pants now, don't you know, and smart guys like Turbo Tax Tim Geithner really know what they're doing (they got, like, 1400s on their SATs!), not like that idiot Hank Paulson (who was really, really smart, the media were telling us just last fall) and the Texas Leaguers Bush 43 brought to town.
And just like a fairy tale, it will all be totally, absolutely 100 percent true. Except for the part where the government actually reduces a red cent of spending.