The Debt Keeps Lifting Us (Higher and Higher)


Blockbuster debt

Back in April, Obama warned that the nation's "rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy. The total public debt, he said, "has grown so large that we could do real damage to the economy if we don't begin a process now to get our fiscal house in order." 

CBS News, today, on Obama's record-setting debt record:

The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama's watch.

The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion.

It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president.

The national debt increased $4.9 trillion during the eight-year presidency of George W. Bush. The debt now is rising at a pace to surpass that amount during Mr. Obama's four-year term.

Obama can plausibly blame some of the giant-sized deficit from his first year in office on his predecessor. And the long-term debt problems associated with entitlements existed before he came into office. But he owns the rest, as well as the failure to set in place a long-term plan to deal with it. Which may help explain his not entirely consistent rhetoric on the debt. On the one hand, he delivers a big debt speech in which he quotes Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warning that "the greatest long-term threat to America's national security is America's debt." On the other hand, he says the national debt is a "manageable problem." Judging by his record, however, it's one he's failed to manage.