Out of the gate … let’s recognize the fact that South Carolina Democrat Representative James Clyburn is a loon. Over the years there has been no shortage of absurdities coming from this character. To know Clyburn and his district is to know that he was not elected on the basis of intellect or ability. Clyburn is in the news again because he is upset that Barack Obama is going to be wasting his valuable time this week in meetings over our national debt. Clyburn said over the weekend, “We can’t have the President sitting in these meetings, three and four hours every day, when all of these other things are happening around the world. The president has much more to do with his time, and that’s why you have a Vice President.”
Not important enough? Here’s an excerpt from a Weekly Standard article:
The [Congressional Budget Office] now says debt will be 101 percent of GDP in 2021—that is, a decade from now our debt will be larger than our economy, and still growing quickly. By 2030, CBO projects debt will top 150 percent of the economy, and by 2037 it will be 200 percent and growing. At that point, the federal government would be spending almost a tenth of the nation’s GDP on interest payments alone, up from 1 percent today.
Maybe it is just me, but this issue of our national debt is perhaps the second most important crisis facing our nation*. What is happening around the world that is so important that the president can’t spend his precious time negotiating the future of our Republic?
Apparently Obama thinks he has the time to at least direct some of his famed eloquence toward this issue. In his weekly radio address over the weekend, our Ruler’s script read: “there’s been a real debate about where to invest and where to cut.” Let’s stop right there to get a few things straight …. When Barack Obama or any Democrat talks about “investing,” what they are really talking about is spending money that the government doesn’t have. There’s another word in the Democrat budget debate that you need to be aware of … “new revenues.” This is also a fancy way of saying “tax increases.”
But now that we understand the language of the Democrat budget lexicon … let’s go back to Obama’s address over the weekend. He says that we must “invest” in education, infrastructure and new technologies. Let me just give you a few little reminders.
On education .. where is the statistical proof that “investing” in education will do anything to better our education system? Fact is, there is none. Take a look at this report from the Heritage Foundation, about government education from 1980-2001.
* Total expenditures by the U.S. Department of Education for all K-12 students have nearly doubled, in constant dollars, just since the 1980s, from $14.8 billion to $27.1 billion;, … but ….
* Reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have changed relatively little over that same period, despite the enormous increases in spending at the federal, state, and local levels. Last year, for example, some 68 percent of 4th graders still could not read at a proficient level.
On infrastructure spending .. are you telling me that $787 billion wasn’t enough? Since Barack Obama’s stimulus plan was enacted, there are 1.9 million fewer Americans working and our unemployment rate sits at 9.1%.
On investing in new technologies .. Barack Obama announced a new $500 million initiative “to join the federal government, universities and corporations and re-ignite American manufacturing with an emphasis on cutting-edge research and new technologies.” What happens when the government gets its money involved in specific industries? It crowds out the private sector and actually does more harm than good. Don’t believe me; believe this Harvard study, which looked at the effect of government stimulus spending over a 40-year period. The study essentially monitored companies within states that saw a targeted increase in federal funding. Here were the results:
In response, the average firm in the median state cut its employment growth rate by 3% to 13%, reduced capital expenditures by approximately 15% or $39 million, R&D expenditures by roughly 10% or $34 million and experienced a decline in sales. They also increased their dividend payouts by 13%, suggesting fewer investment opportunities. These results were even more pronounced for firms within industries targeted by the Federal spending and for firms that did not have overseas operations, and therefore were more exposed to the effects of the increase in Federal spending on their home state’s economy.
The hardest thing for Obama and the Democrats to realize is that they are not a part of the solution. Businesses do not want more government or its money .. they just want government to get the hell out of the way.
*Oh … so you noticed the asterisk, did you? I said that the second most important question facing this country might well be our national debt and the debate on raising the debt ceiling. What’s first? The most important crisis we face in America is that we have an electorate ignorant enough to put someone like Barack Obama in office in the first place. People are wondering if we can survive our debt crisis. I think it’s more important to ask whether or not we can survive these voters.