10.10.2013 0

Who’s the deadbeat?

Obama3By Rick Manning

A version of this article originally appeared at TheHill.com.

The circular logic of President Obama’s press conference performance on the debt ceiling would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Obama proclaimed he would not negotiate with Congress on raising the debt ceiling, while at the same time explaining that, “There comes a point in which if the Treasury cannot hold auctions to sell Treasury bills, we do not have enough money coming in to pay all our bills on time. It’s very straightforward.”

So it seems that Obama by refusing to negotiate is willing to allow this very occurrence if he doesn’t get his way. Yet he attacks his political opponents, who have actually proposed a path forward for both ending the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, as holding the nation hostage.

Coming from a man who issued a veto threat against the House-passed “Full Faith and Credit Act,” which instructs the executive branch to pay our nation’s creditors first in the event we hit our national new borrowing limit, this newfound concern for paying our nation’s debts must be an epiphany for those who write his teleprompter text.

It is not surprising that the my-way-or-the-highway president would talk in circles when in the same news conference he stunningly used the term “deadbeat” to compare failure to agree with him to those who have missed payments on their mortgages.

Given Obama’s newly found fiscal conservatism, it is fair to guess that he views his Wall Street financiers who benefitted from the $700 billion TARP bank bailout that then-Sen. Obama voted for as nothing more than deadbeats.

And it is certain that the very GM bailout that President Bush implemented, and Obama took political credit for in the last election, was nothing more than a handout to deadbeats.

The tragic fact is that Obama choosing to raise the stakes in his press conference increases the likelihood of our nation running up against the debt ceiling.

It is equally tragic that he apparently doesn’t realize that the debt ceiling is the equivalent of a credit limit for the nation. And as virtually every American household knows, when the money gets tight and the bills in the basket exceed the money in the bank, you have to set priorities for who gets paid.

Projected U.S. government revenue for fiscal 2014 equals $3 trillion dollars, or $8.2 billion dollars a day on average.  U.S. government projected expenses are $3.6 trillion dollars, or approximately $10 billion dollars a day.

While revenue doesn’t come in evenly, and expenditures are not the same every month, if Obama does his job and prioritizes payments, there is no excuse for ever not paying the interest on the national debt effectively taking “default” off the table.

The debt ceiling exists to force our nation’s leaders to deal with deficit spending issues. It is time Obama get off his soapbox and get to work solving our $16.7 trillion national debt problem.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy & communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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