The 7-Eleven Presidency
In the wake of the Treasury Department’s newly released summary of federal spending for 2012, it’s now possible to detail just how profligate the Obama years have been. Here’s the upshot: Under Obama, for every $7 we’ve had, we’ve spent nearly $11 (or, to be more exact, $10.95). That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year — and is already knee-deep in debt — blowing nearly $110,000 a year.
To illustrate this a bit differently, for every Jackson ($20) we’ve had available to spend under Obama, we’ve also borrowed a Hamilton ($10) and a Washington ($1) and spent those too. The only thing is that, under Obama, we’ve (literally) spent the equivalent of 342 billion Jacksons, 342 billion Hamiltons, and 342 billion Washingtons — borrowing all of the Hamiltons and Washingtons.
Let’s take a look at the scorecard, based on official government figures. In fiscal year 2012 (which ended on September 30), the federal government acquired $2.449 trillion in tax revenue and other receipts. It spent $3.538 trillion — 44 percent more than it had available to spend. The resulting deficit was $1.089 trillion.
In fiscal year 2011 (see table S-1), the federal government acquired $2.303 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts. It spent $3.603 trillion — 56 percent more than it had available to spend. The resulting deficit was $1.3 trillion.
In fiscal year 2010 (see table S-1), the federal government acquired $2.163 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts. It spent $3.456 trillion — 60 percent more than it had available to spend. The resulting deficit was $1.293 trillion.
In fiscal year 2009 — which was, for the most part, President Bush’s fiscal year (his final one) — Obama’s economic “stimulus” added $183 billion (see table 1-2) to the deficit (it would add far more in future years), on top of the deficit that we were already running that year under Bush.
So in all, under Obama, the federal government has acquired $6.846 trillion in tax revenues and other receipts, and it has spent $10.711 trillion — 56 percent more than it has had available to spend.
Moreover, Obama has amassed this historic record of fiscal profligacy even before his centerpiece legislation has really taken effect. If it’s not repealed first, the colossally expensive Obamacare is poised to present grave new challenges to our fiscal solvency — and to our liberty — once it would become a reality on these shores in early 2014.
With one fiscal year of this 7-Eleven presidency still to come (regardless of the outcome on Election Day, fiscal year 2013 will belong to Obama) — and with the specter of Obamacare looming — our national debt is now over $16 trillion. That’s more than $6 trillion higher (see table S-9) than it was during the first presidential debate of 2008, when Obama bemoaned what he called the “orgy of spending and enormous deficits” under Bush.
Yet Obama — who recently showed that he apparently has no idea how big our national debt is — amazingly says of that debt, “[W]e don’t have to worry about it short-term.” In other words, if you have $7, spend $11 — let future generations of Americans worry about it.