The Corner

Obama’s Self-Diagnosis

Bloomberg quotes President Obama telling a town hall meeting that we can’t just keep spending and borrowing:

President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.

“We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”

Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”

This is a concise and persuasive case against the Obama domestic policy. If he understands the consequences of the federal government spending trillions it doesn’t have with no plans for doing better, what does he make of his own budget, which calls for doing much more of precisely that? And what does he make of the health care plan emerging on the Hill, which would spend even more without paying for it and do very little about exploding health care costs except turn even more of them into government costs?

If he understands the problem, and sees where it will lead, what is his excuse for making it worse?

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.


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