President Obama asks for more debt

According to reports, Treasury officials say President Obama will ask for another $1.2 trillion in new borrowing authority this Friday.  This would be the third and final increase provided for by the so-called Budget Control Act (BCA), and would lift the nation’s debt ceiling to $16.4 trillion.  According to the BCA, Congress would have until January 14th to reject the request, though a rejection could be vetoed by President Obama.  In short, the debt ceiling will rise again!

The Associate Press provides some context:

The enormity of the debt has also stoked a debate in Congress over spending and taxes. Polls show growing voter anger with the inability of both parties to reach solutions to the country’s budget problems. 

In August, Congress and the administration agreed to raise the borrowing limit by $2.1 trillion in three steps. The deal was reached hours before a potential default on the nation’s debt and only after the parties also agreed to cut more than $2 trillion from the deficit over the next 10 years. 

Here’s the thing, though: spending is going up, not down. 

According to The Heritage Foundation’s Appropriations Tracker, spending is on the way up:

But adding to the final appropriations total is $10.4 billion in “disaster” relief funding—$2.3 billion approved in November and another $8.1 billion in the current megabus—that is not counted against the BCA cap. So the real total of base discretionary spending is $1.053 trillion. That is $1 billion more than base discretionary spending (including disaster relief) in 2011, a year in which the deficit was $1.3 trillion. 

In short, despite congressional claims of spending “cuts” and budget discipline, spending in fact continues to rise—and American taxpayers continue to pick up the tab. 

There is a reason President Obama will make the official request this week, when most folks are in a lull between Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Americans understand their government’s massive debt is placing an unsustainable burden on the middle class, and that directly contracts President Obama’s entire re-election message.  He cannot claim to be a champion for the middle class at the same time he buries them in debt.  Yet, that is exactly what he is trying to do.

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