Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

January 15, 2013

Fiscal problems remain just as daunting

(Continued)

How is $16 trillion and growing for some major critical mass? How is $4 trillion in debt accumulated under President Bush in eight years and Obama adding another $5-plus trillion in just four years for gaining a head of steam?

Remember all that talk by the president about "investing" in our future and "paying down our debt in a balanced way"? Well, the "investing" part - the preferred euphemism for increasing spending and the size of government - is happening. But paying down the debt? Not so much.

The word from multiple analysts is that the deal adopted by Congress (and signed by the presidential auto-pen) will add nearly another $4 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. I'm not much of a fan of these "over-the-next-10-years" numbers - why not just say $400 billion a year? But either way, the debt is expected to grow by another $1.6 trillion by the end of Obama's second term.

That's not paying down the debt in any way, balanced or not. And it will likely be worse - much worse - than the predictions if Obama's "investments" continue unabated and voters keep believing the fantasy that just sticking it to the rich can pay for it all.

One reason is that not all the rich will be required to "play by the same rules," as the president is so fond of saying. The last-minute deal will continue tax breaks for the wealthy who happen to be involved in things like green energy, NASCAR tracks, rum distilleries, and film and television production.

Another reason is that the rich - even the allegedly liberal rich - respond to economic incentives pretty much just like that greedy, rapacious conservative Mitt Romney.

Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin presented a short irony list recently. In December, Internet search giant Google, a major Obama supporter, shifted nearly $10 billion in revenue to a Bermuda shell corporation to avoid taxes. CEO Eric Schmidt defended it by saying, "It's called capitalism."

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