It really is frustrating to hear the President and the VP go on and on about how bad the deficit is. They feed right into the right-wing narrative that even if you have no job, no health care and your neighbors are al-Qaeda, the deficit problem is still much, much worse. This is obviously a David Axelrod strategy designed to try and capture some imaginary "independents" and prove that their administration is very serious when it comes to this problem.
Listen, it's really simple. If Americans were working, then they would spend more, the country would make more, and the deficit wouldn't be the "national security" issue Pete Peterson is making it out to be.
President Barack Obama warned on Tuesday that high budget deficits could hurt U.S. economic recovery now as he sought to reassure Americans that his latest budget would help create jobs and tackle surging debt levels. -- A day after unveiling a $3.8 trillion spending plan for the 2011 fiscal year beginning on Oct 1, Obama took his policy agenda on the road, highlighting his program to create jobs and calling for stalled healthcare reform legislation to be passed this year.
In remarks tinged with criticism of opposition Republicans, Obama, a Democrat, said both political parties should join forces to bring down the deficit. "We should all be able to agree that we've got to do something about our long term deficits," he told a "town hall"-style meeting with people in New Hampshire.
"These deficits won't just burden our kids and our grandkids decades from now. They could damage our markets now, they could drive up our interest rates now, they could jeopardize our recovery right now," he said.
Isn't that grand?
Digby explains it this way:
Suddenly, you can't turn around without getting a panicked lecture about the deficit. But in all the discussions about the horrifying, worse-than-terrorism, scarier-than-nuclear-war threat to everything we hold near and dear, nobody ever seems to discuss the fact that much of the deficit is due to unemployment. (Gosh, it turns out that if everyone were working, they'd be paying more taxes and the government would have more money!) We are supposed to believe that the deficit stems from profligate spending on old people and undeserving little dark children who refuse to get a job...read on
Vice President Joe Biden, who the administration refuses to use as a spokesman for their causes for the most part, joined Mrs. Greenspan and was assaulted right from the get-go about those damned deficits.
Here's her first question:
Mitchell: First of all the budget ... and these deficits.. Deficits, red ink as far as the eye can see! Even if you can achieve your very optimistic goal,s and that is to bring down some of these deficits by 2015, they go back up again by 2019 and 2020! beyond the level that is considered sustainable. Larry Summers, long before he was in the Obama White House has said,"how long can the world's greatest borrower remain the world's greatest power?"
Have we reached a point where our deficits have become a national security issue?
Joe Biden said no, but it could happen if we don't bring down spending.
It's not just Republicans claiming that deficits are worse than terrorists. It's the whole Village. Oh boy.
People haven't lost their jobs because of the deficit, but from the financial meltdown -- which, you may remember, happened under the watchful eye of George W. Bush and his fellow conservatives. Biden doesn't have to apologize for saying as much, either.
The deficit has been polling strong as an issue that Americans are most worried about. The right-wing noise machine continues to win the framing wars, and is proving once again to be a powerful enemy of good government.