Duncan: Barack Obama Doesn’t See Seriousness Of Debt Crisis

DEBATE OVER THE “FISCAL CLIFF” IS MISSING THE BIGGER POINT By Jeff Duncan || Just when Americans were hoping for some post-election relief from politics, this so-called “fiscal cliff” comes to the forefront just in time for the holidays. Like most political crises, this one didn’t start overnight. The stances…


Jeff Duncan

By Jeff Duncan || Just when Americans were hoping for some post-election relief from politics, this so-called “fiscal cliff” comes to the forefront just in time for the holidays. Like most political crises, this one didn’t start overnight.

The stances of the two parties are fairly clear: President Barack Obama wants to raise taxes, Republicans do not. But with all the sound bites floating around about why this approach is good or bad for the country, I think we’ve forgotten that this debate is supposed to be about the national debt.

Our country’s $16.3 trillion debt is growing faster than at any other point in modern history. To put this in perspective, our debt is now larger than the United States’ entire private economy. We currently spend around one trillion more a year than we bring in, and our country has over $86 trillion in future liabilities it will have to pay out over the coming decades.

When you look at our country’s balance sheet, we’re reminded of why Congress forced an extensive debate about this problem in 2011. Unfortunately, instead of taking bold action to solve the problem back then, Washington threw its hands in the air and decided to kick the can down the road a little bit longer (without the support of the S.C. Republican delegation).

We’ve finally arrived at “the can,” but we’ve managed to forget, or are choosing to ignore, what problem the can ultimately represents. What’s worse is that President Obama seems to have a severe case of political amnesia, and has either forgotten about his desire to solve this debt problem or was never really concerned with it from the beginning.

President Obama’s wish to raise taxes will generate an estimated $80 billion a year. That is a lot of money to you and me, but is less than 10 percent of our government’s annual deficit, or enough to fund government for about eight days. If you tinker with the president’s proposal so it won’t severely impact small business as much as it’s currently projected to, the amount of new revenue flowing to the government is even less.

Assuming the entire $80 billion a year went directly to paying down our debt (which is a very large assumption); we will have failed to solve the problem and will have practically done nothing to slow it down.

If we agree that the reason for all this political drama is to truly solve our debt problem, then simple math shows us that only major cuts in government spending can solve this crisis. President Obama is demanding a return to Clinton-era tax rates when he needs to be calling for a return to Clinton-era spending levels. However, the president has failed to offer any significant spending cuts, and has already discussed ways he would like to spend this new tax revenue.

This leads me to believe that the president’s primary objective is not to raise taxes to pay down the debt; the president’s objective is to raise taxes in order to spend more money on government programs.

That’s the message that’s been lost during this debate and the problem with the president’s approach. If I am wrong, then why would President Obama object to constitutional spending caps that force us to use any new revenue to pay down the debt? Why would President Obama oppose a Balanced Budget Amendment that forces us to only spend what we take in as a nation? Why do the president and his supporters already have plans to spend this new tax revenue?

I fear that the president’s true motivation for raising taxes from the beginning was to grow government through more spending. It’s not about paying down the debt; it never has been for most Washington Democrats. It’s about growing the size and scope of government. I respect their position, but I completely disagree with their philosophy and fear that it puts our nation down the path of becoming the next Greece.

We’re often criticized in Washington for not being able to compromise, but I think you’ll agree with me that if you’re going to work together to solve a problem, you have to first agree that there is a problem.

President Obama’s approach, rhetoric and actions on spending cause me to seriously doubt whether he recognizes the seriousness of our debt crisis at all.


Jeff Duncan represents South Carolina’s third congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This article – reprinted with permission – originally appeared in The Greenville News.

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BigT December 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

When you’ve been handed everything, because you’re convinced it’s owed to you…and you’ve never really worked for it…

Of course you have trouble reconizing the Rality of Economics…

Obama, and those who support him, don’t understand collpase, ebcause someone has always been there to pay their way…

Now that He-They own our economy, they are driving toward the Rude Awakening…and it will be Profound for them, because it will prove all their ideas are based in liberal mytholgy and lies…

And the media will no longer to protect them from reality…

barney fife December 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

Duncan needs to be the next Senator. Period. End of discussion.

johnb December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

16 trillion and growing and Obama is just in it for himslf.
Selfish jerk

varga December 10, 2012 at 10:53 am

Duncan is just another hypocritical republican, plain and simple. Obama did not create this deficit situation. The budget was in surplus status until Bush lowered taxes on everyone to send the budget from surplus to deficit. No problem whatsoever if one wants to lower taxes as Bush did if one also recognizes at the same time that expenses must be reduced to stay in balance. Simple Budget Arithmetic. The Republicans were in charge of all branches when the taxes were lowered. Again no problem in lowering taxes but the republicans should have taken the responsibilty to have decreased spending which they shurked and now blame Obama for a simple structural budget problem that they created. It just ain’t rocket science on what happened and the results are clear today.

Lawn Sharts December 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm

not entirely accurate on all points – Clinton surpluses were never used to pay down national debt. and if you want to continue playing the D v. R game, good luck with that. the congress is currently trying to avoid a fiscal “cliff” and we have no budget, nor any sight of one on the horizon…

republicans have as much blame here as do democrats. profligate spending these last eight years, and the feds have been consistently spending beyond means since ’81. if Rep. Duncan wants to quit playing politics long enough, perhaps he can explain how the federal reserve currently purchasing 2/3 of our treasury notes can possibly end well for the American taxpayer.

ck December 10, 2012 at 11:10 am

How much private sector job experience does Obama really have?

johnb December 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

I think. ZERO.

Stephan December 10, 2012 at 11:26 am

Private sector attorney 1992 to 2004 – so about as much as Jeff Duncan – only in bigger cities and larger states.

fred December 10, 2012 at 8:37 pm

How much private sector job experience does Duncan have? Running a “TWO-BIT auction house in Clinton, SC. Now thats real experience. Clinton, SC , an auction house. REALLY!!!
Next thing little jeffy duncan will tell us that he got an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Hmmm, like he played football at Clemson under Danny Ford back in 1986. Yeah right jeffy. What was your game jersey number?
Duncan is a liar and a fool.

Carroll Campbell December 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

But, hey…Bieber is coming!

Lance Riprock December 10, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Who do we owe the money to? What happens if we tell the creditor(s) that we are not in a position to address that debt at this time? Who’s going to try to knee-cap the world’s greatest military power over a few lousy billion or trillion bucks? Did you ever try to repo a nuclear carrier? Did any country ever pay us back their war debt? Fuck ’em and feed ’em fish heads.

norman December 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

We owe trillions to China. If we default our currency has zero value and we become insolvent.

Lance Riprock December 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

We tell China to go piss up a rope and use our currency as tokens to buy and sell with each other. After all, if it isn’t something with intrinsic value like gold, silver, diamonds, etc, then it’s just a medium of exchange. We can do just fine as isolationists. We have everything we need right here at home.If China doesn’t appreciate getting stiffed, they really won’t like getting nuked.

Smirks December 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm

We owe a little over $1 trillion to China. We also owe a similar amount to Japan.

Jan December 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I actually find myself sympathetic to Lance’s position. We did forgive a lot of war debt. We recued the Chinese from the Japanese in WWII and the Japanese blew up our base and our Navy. We rebuilt their nation and forgave a ton of debt. Maybe its time for payback, with reasonable interest.

Smirks December 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Assuming the entire $80 billion a year went directly to paying down our debt (which is a very large assumption); we will have failed to solve the problem and will have practically done nothing to slow it down.

But killing PBS will, amirite?

Raising revenue by the amount Obama is asking for won’t close the deficit, but it will go to some measure to help fill in the gap. The real crock of shit is that the GOP is spending 99.9% of its energy fighting for tax cuts for the fucking rich rather than nail down any significant cuts, especially cuts in programs they themselves don’t want to cut.

It isn’t Obama that doesn’t see the seriousness of the situation, it is the GOP. If the only thing that will close the deficit are spending cuts (which is total bullshit, as the Bush deficits as well as our current deficits were caused by a drop in revenue and an increase in spending) then fucking bring cuts to the table. If you’re going to cut from major programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, find every cut or rule change you can that will save us money but not severely impact the program. That’s all it takes.

The GOP is pretending they won the election, pretending they can force Obama to give them whatever they want. They are making the idea of going over the cliff and negotiating shit then more attractive by the day.

Head Shaker December 11, 2012 at 10:19 am

You know, Smirks, I heard an interesting proposition the other day. Why not just cap government spending at FY-12 levels, then reduce it by 1%, across the board, for the next 10 years, and leave all tax rates at 2012 levels? This would bring the budget into balance in less than 10 years, and would actually create a surplus by the end of that period. And this proposal is based upon our current lethargic growth in GDP. Of course, in the event of a national emergency, Congress could approve additional budget items to support the nation’s reaction to them.

While this wouldn’t satisfy the leftists’ demands for more taxes on the wealthy, it would meet the requirements for increased revenues by the simple fact of population increase contributing to the workforce over time.

I don’t really have a problem with a modest tax increase on our top earners, but exactly what is a modest increase? For example: raising 30% to 35% is a 16.6% increase. That’s a heckuva jump for anybody, regardless of how much money you make.

I agree with you that the cap on Social Security earnings probably needs a second look. Means testing for SS and Medicare benefits is a must. Your boy Warren Buffett probably shouldn’t qualify for either if he ever retires.

Robert December 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

The fiscal cliff won’t really be the cliff all are predicting. I’m not supporting we go that route.

But remember the bank bailouts? If we didn’t do it the world would collapse. We now know that was nearly 100% bullshit.

I know my taxes will go up under the cliff. But all of our FICA should go up in reality. We are cheating SS and Medicare.

As for income tax and spending, we need change. We need increased revenue and decreased spending. Will it happen? Now, what politician wants to be seen as the grinch here?

Cliff diver December 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm

It does seem that Obama has shown a surprising lack of concern on spending. One might reasonably conclude he’s using the “stimulus” primarily to expand the welfare state. Meanwhile the the GOP “fickle” conservatives love to talk debt when it comes to spending, but forget about it on the revenue side. Best bet for America seems to be that these turkeys all do nothing for a while. The world will not collapse and a major problem will be on the mend.

The Fonz December 10, 2012 at 7:53 pm

The ONLY time Repubilicans get religion on debt is when a Democrat occupies the White House.

fred December 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm

What does this clown Duncan know about economics, business, finance or national politics? This guy doesn’t have the educational or political background or business experience, and can’t shine the presidents shoes.
He ran a two bit auction house and held office for a term or two in Columbia as a “back-seat’ representative. and is doing the same thing in Washington. He can’t tell the truth about his so-called football playing days under Danny Ford, as NEVER PLAYED in a game on the grid iron. His “playin days” consisted as a “member” of the scout team for a season.
Perhaps he can tell Swinney how to coach at Clemson!!!!!!

Lance Riprock December 11, 2012 at 8:19 am

Stop the presses! It seems we’ve detected a politician who may be disingenuous. Imagine that!

james the foot soldier December 11, 2012 at 10:55 am

Obama is simply doing what generation after generation of his “community” do with a credit rating.

Jan December 11, 2012 at 4:08 pm

You know, no one is buying your racists BS except other racists, who already agree with you. Why bother subjecting the rest of us to your red neck white trash mentality.

fred December 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

James the foot soldier, you racist, you just put foot in your mouth or up your ass.

fred December 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

What may that be, james the foot soldier? Kindly explain in detail?

Robespierre December 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

All this phony “negotiation” is just theater. There will be no deal. Obama will allow the Bush tax rates to expire for everyone -he will then push Congress to lower them for his “folks” next legislative session, but not for the “rich.” If the R’s resist that, it will be political suicide for many of them, and will lead to a D majority in Congress in 2014.

“Sequestration” will never happen – Obama blurted that out in the debate, and he is right.

And the debt limit will be lifted – again.

Can we afford it? Sure. Just think of all those trillions sitting out there in 401k plans and IRAs that a Democratic congress can go get.

Will it effect the economy? Sure – but BO does not give a shit about that? Nope – poor people vote D.

“Don’t Boo, vote. Voting is the best revenge…” Barak Obama, October 2011.

Think he was kidding?

fred December 13, 2012 at 10:23 am

A little food for thought. Why is it that our military has 1,000 flag officers (Admiral & Generals), in service and over 12,000 Colonels in service?
Forget the ones are retired and getting those BIG pensions and health benefits. It seems to me this a lot of PORK!!!!!!

Booyah December 16, 2012 at 9:36 pm

The US loves perpetual war, and Christians require perpetual “Jihad” for Israel and against Communism. We must pay for this capability in order to please God.
Since everything will be destroyed by the Apocaplypse as is foreordained, all this happens at God’s order.

It is your Christian duty to shut the fuck up and fund as much military might as possible. We can’t kill ragheads for Jesus without some pretty expensive ordnance and some serious professional leadership. Those aren’t cheap, but neither is Salvation.


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