The Federal Debt and Finger Pointing

Our federal debt is over 14 trillion dollars, but apparently that isn’t enough.  Democrats have been pushing Republicans to raise the debt limit, so our credit as a nation isn’t hurt. Republicans have been pushing President Barack Obama to present Congress with budget proposals that have significant cuts, so we can reduce our debt.

Since everyone else is pointing fingers on this issue, I will too.   It is the responsibility of Congress to create a budget.  Presidents can sign ’em or veto ’em.  Given that the President has this much power over the outcome of the budget, some guidance from him regarding what he will sign would be nice, but it is still the job of Congress to do the work.  As the leader of his party, it makes sense that the President would weigh in on this to a degree, but it is still the job of Congress to do the work.

In other words, I blame Congress for this mess.  However, President Obama needs to own the problem too, and for two reasons.  One, like everyone who runs for President during a bad economy, he promised to make things better.  If you create a level of expectation, you’ve got to walk the walk.  Two, he ‘s not the first President to want a higher debt ceiling.  George W. Bush pushed for it, too.  At the time, Senator Obama said that doing so was “a sign of leadership failure” that would weaken us at home and abroad.  One wonders how Senator Obama would characterize the leadership of President Obama.

Apparently, the federal debt has increased by about 4 trillion just since President Obama took office.  We can’t have a federal government that promises programs we can’t pay for, and we can’t tax our way out of a sluggish economy.  It sounds like a tough problem.  That’s why we need leaders more than we need finger pointers.