The Magazine

A Historic Flood of Red Ink

Obama’s mind-boggling budget

Feb 28, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 23 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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At the end of 2008, just before President Obama took office, the national debt was $9.986 trillion and 69 percent of GDP. Under his projections, eight years later it will be $20.825 trillion and 104 percent of GDP. That’s right: Our debt will soon exceed our national economic output for an entire year. And that’s even if you believe the president’s rosy projections of 4 percent real GDP growth over the next four years, considerably higher than the 2.7 percent achieved over the past quarter-century and the 3.2 percent over the past half-century.

To correct our course, we need to advance real entitlement reform and repeal the looming entitlement that could be the boulder that breaks the camel’s back: Obamacare. House Republicans need to produce a serious budget that offers real entitlement reform, as they appear poised to do. Actually enacting entitlement reform, however, will require presidential leadership. The most effective champions of bold fiscal prudence on Capitol Hill and in the statehouses, respectively, have been Representative Paul Ryan and Governor Chris Christie. In the wake of President Obama’s wildly unprecedented deficit spending, such leadership is now needed at the presidential level.

Jeffrey H. Anderson was the senior speechwriter for Secretary Mike Leavitt at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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