President Barack Obama and Congress passed a $145 billion payroll tax extension along with other goodies. It sounds great, but the devil is in the details.
It illustrates how government gives with one hand and takes away with the other. Neither made the difficult decisions in identifying corresponding cuts in other spending to offset all of these costs. As a result, this $145 billion will just be added on to our $16.4 trillion long-term debt.
When President Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, our national debt stood at $10.6 trillion. Until recently, it stood at $15.1 trillion. Under President Obama, the national debt has increased by $4.4 trillion to date.
Contrast that with former President George W. Bush, who increased the national debt by $4.8 trillion over eight years. Increasing the debt by another $1.2 trillion, which by coincidence would take us to Election Day in November, would bring our national debt to $16.4 trillion.
This would give President Obama the dubious distinction of raising our national debt by $5.6 trillion. This would be the most under any president during a four-year term. No wonder many Americans are fearful of what could take place under a lame duck President Obama's second term and are looking for an alternative.
Ditto, for Republican Speaker John Boehner and his wimpy followers, who lack the moral courage to stand up for their principles. Hopefully, Boehner will be replaced when the Tea Party caucus wins enough seats in the 2012 elections to elect a new House Speaker.
Taxpayers need both a president and Congress who will stand up for a real balanced budget now, not years later.