By Nancy Smith
President Obama would have you believe everything about the American economy is rosy. It isn’t. Far from it. The president and everybody in his administration really must stop talking about how much better off we are today than we were eight years ago.
Here is the disastrous truth:
The national debt hit $19.5 trillion for the first time ever during the week just ending, a little more than seven months after it hit the $19 trillion mark.
By my calculation, $19.5 trillion amounts to $65,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Or, $260,000 for a family of four.
When President Obama took office in early 2009, the total debt was $10.63 trillion, which means it has nearly doubled on his watch.
In fact, in one day, on Nov. 30, 2014, the national debt increased $32 billion, at that point surpassing the $18 trillion mark.
Keep in mind, Obama was elected in part on the promise of addressing the national debt.
The issue was part of his “hope and change” platform. Here’s what he once said of George W. Bush’s debt:
“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”
Of course, Obama was correct about Bush. But then what did he do? He added nearly $10 trillion more to the debt.
The mainstream media most likely will largely ignore this new debt milestone. Despite the fact that virtually every economist in the land will tell you the debt poses the biggest threat to individual Americans, the American economy, and the health and future of the U.S. itself.
Year after year, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) gives the federal government a failing grade in its audit report of America’s financial statements.
In last year’s report, not only did the GAO chastise the federal government for its “unsustainable fiscal path,” but they state that the federal government consistently fails to prepare “reliable and complete financial information — both for individual federal entities and for the federal government as a whole.”
The Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Agriculture are all singled out for their failure to prepare complete and accurate financial statements.
This is corroborated by a report published more than a year ago stating the Defense Department has somehow “misplaced” $8.5 trillion of taxpayer money over the last 20 years.
The GAO cites other material weaknesses in the government’s reporting of supposed cost reductions in Medicare and Social Security.
In all, the GAO calculates that these financial uncertainties total $27.9 trillion, suggesting that the government’s true financial condition is far worse than reported.
Bottom line: As the noted financial blog Zero Hedge writes, “If this were a private company, Barack Obama and (Treasury Secretary) Jack Lew would be wearing dayglo orange jumpsuits in court while facing felony fraud charges.”
It’s not just the $18.2 trillion in negative net worth. Or the $41+ trillion (by their own calculations) in the Social Security shortfall, says the website.
“It’s the fact that they can’t even stand in front of the American people with an honest accounting of how pitiful the financial situation really is.”
What Obama isn’t telling us is, the government of the United States is totally, desperately, hopelessly bankrupt, and grows more insolvent with each passing year.
It reminds me of the old British adage, “I’m all right, Jack,” adopted when we think bad is happening to somebody else, we’ve got it made. If we have have a job and a roof over our head — for now, anyway — we can close our eyes and pretend it isn’t there.
Nancy Smith is the editor of Sunshine State News. She started her career at the Daily Mirror and The Observer in London before spending 28 years at The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News as managing editor and associate editor. She was president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors in the mid-1990s. Reach her by email here, or follow her on twitter at @NancyLBSmith.