The Democrats' Fiscal Disconnect From Americans

The deteriorating fiscal condition of the federal government under President Obama and the Democratic majority during Obama's first two years in the White House stands in sharp contrast with what Americans were doing to shore up their financial condition over the same time period.  While Obama and the Democratic majority pulled us further into debt, more Americans reduced their debt and reined in excess spending. 

What many Americans did in 2009 and 2010 to improve their financial condition is exactly what conservative Republicans and the recently released Ryan proposal are seeking to do to the federal government.  It would be wise for politicians on the Right to connect the two in the eyes of the voters.

President Obama recently laid out his position regarding the GOP's plan to reduce the budget deficit, while taking questions at the White House.  On the GOP budget proposal, Obama quipped, "What we can't do is have a 'my way or the highway' approach to this problem.  If we apply that approach...we're not going to get anything done this year."

What the president fails to acknowledge is that it's Highway 44 (Obama) which has led us deeper into the cavern of fiscal abyss during his term in office.  Remember, it was President Obama who refused to meet with Republican leaders after winning the election and instead chose to collaborate with the Democratic majority.  His policy victories have been reflective almost entirely of his own political philosophy and we're continuing to experience the effects of those policies.

Representative Paul Ryan, a lightening rod in the budget battle and architect of the current GOP budget proposal, reminded us in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, "The president's recent budget proposal...doubles debt held by the public by the end of his first term and...imposes $1.5 trillion in new taxes, with spending that never falls below 23% of the economy."

Those are bleak numbers indeed, but those pertain to the future under Obama.  Consider for a moment how far we've fallen into fiscal red ink during the Obama presidency.  On January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day), the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion.  As of April 12, 2011, our nation's debt was $14.267 trillion.  That is a 34% increase since Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States. 

Perhaps more depressing, under the Obama administration, every man, woman, and child has been saddled with an additional $11,700 in debt.  Thanks to this increase, every American is now responsible for about $46,000 of the national debt.  In other words, after only two years in office, Obama and his Democratic cronies in the House and Senate are responsible for about 1/4 of all the national debt that we currently owe. 

All of this increase in the federal government debt came at the same time in which many Americans were focused on reducing their personal debt load.  In 2009 and 2010, U.S. household debt declined by 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.  Granted, some of the decline in debt in the household was due to defaults or write-offs, but we also saw consumers spending less and paying down credit card balances.  In fact, consumer spending rose by a scant 0.5% during Obama's first two years in the Oval Office as consumers cut back and lived more within their means.  It's too bad government spending didn't rise at such a low pace. 

Contrast what the average American household did during the years in which the Democrats were in charge and the corresponding massive increase in government debt and spending.  There is a disconnect, to put it mildly, between the average American and the Democratic Party -- led by President Obama.  From a financial perspective, the left was running polar opposite in its financial philosophy than that of the American citizen during the time in which Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and the White House.

There has been and continues to be a desire by the American consumer, who is also the American voter, to get his or her financial house in order by cutting expenses and slashing their debt.  Sometimes these spending reductions and outright elimination of expenses have been difficult.  Things that seemed necessary had to be cut.  The spending had to stop at some point.

Unfortunately, the spending increases never stopped under Obama and the Democrats.  Based upon the past, despite what Obama said Wednesday during his deficit reduction speech, we should not expect any meaningful spending reductions from the President.

It's that common sense financial state-of-mind among Americans that conservatives should appeal to when proposing reductions in government spending and battling against the 2012 fiscal budget.  The people understand the necessity of reducing debt and making hard choices.  It's a strategy that could pay substantial dividends in the 2012 elections.

Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest.  He can be reached at stafko@msn.com.
The deteriorating fiscal condition of the federal government under President Obama and the Democratic majority during Obama's first two years in the White House stands in sharp contrast with what Americans were doing to shore up their financial condition over the same time period.  While Obama and the Democratic majority pulled us further into debt, more Americans reduced their debt and reined in excess spending. 

What many Americans did in 2009 and 2010 to improve their financial condition is exactly what conservative Republicans and the recently released Ryan proposal are seeking to do to the federal government.  It would be wise for politicians on the Right to connect the two in the eyes of the voters.

President Obama recently laid out his position regarding the GOP's plan to reduce the budget deficit, while taking questions at the White House.  On the GOP budget proposal, Obama quipped, "What we can't do is have a 'my way or the highway' approach to this problem.  If we apply that approach...we're not going to get anything done this year."

What the president fails to acknowledge is that it's Highway 44 (Obama) which has led us deeper into the cavern of fiscal abyss during his term in office.  Remember, it was President Obama who refused to meet with Republican leaders after winning the election and instead chose to collaborate with the Democratic majority.  His policy victories have been reflective almost entirely of his own political philosophy and we're continuing to experience the effects of those policies.

Representative Paul Ryan, a lightening rod in the budget battle and architect of the current GOP budget proposal, reminded us in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, "The president's recent budget proposal...doubles debt held by the public by the end of his first term and...imposes $1.5 trillion in new taxes, with spending that never falls below 23% of the economy."

Those are bleak numbers indeed, but those pertain to the future under Obama.  Consider for a moment how far we've fallen into fiscal red ink during the Obama presidency.  On January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day), the national debt stood at $10.626 trillion.  As of April 12, 2011, our nation's debt was $14.267 trillion.  That is a 34% increase since Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States. 

Perhaps more depressing, under the Obama administration, every man, woman, and child has been saddled with an additional $11,700 in debt.  Thanks to this increase, every American is now responsible for about $46,000 of the national debt.  In other words, after only two years in office, Obama and his Democratic cronies in the House and Senate are responsible for about 1/4 of all the national debt that we currently owe. 

All of this increase in the federal government debt came at the same time in which many Americans were focused on reducing their personal debt load.  In 2009 and 2010, U.S. household debt declined by 1.7% and 1.8%, respectively.  Granted, some of the decline in debt in the household was due to defaults or write-offs, but we also saw consumers spending less and paying down credit card balances.  In fact, consumer spending rose by a scant 0.5% during Obama's first two years in the Oval Office as consumers cut back and lived more within their means.  It's too bad government spending didn't rise at such a low pace. 

Contrast what the average American household did during the years in which the Democrats were in charge and the corresponding massive increase in government debt and spending.  There is a disconnect, to put it mildly, between the average American and the Democratic Party -- led by President Obama.  From a financial perspective, the left was running polar opposite in its financial philosophy than that of the American citizen during the time in which Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and the White House.

There has been and continues to be a desire by the American consumer, who is also the American voter, to get his or her financial house in order by cutting expenses and slashing their debt.  Sometimes these spending reductions and outright elimination of expenses have been difficult.  Things that seemed necessary had to be cut.  The spending had to stop at some point.

Unfortunately, the spending increases never stopped under Obama and the Democrats.  Based upon the past, despite what Obama said Wednesday during his deficit reduction speech, we should not expect any meaningful spending reductions from the President.

It's that common sense financial state-of-mind among Americans that conservatives should appeal to when proposing reductions in government spending and battling against the 2012 fiscal budget.  The people understand the necessity of reducing debt and making hard choices.  It's a strategy that could pay substantial dividends in the 2012 elections.

Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest.  He can be reached at stafko@msn.com.

RECENT VIDEOS