Obama says not to worry about deficits for a couple of years.

United States
November 17, 2008 7:02am CST
Obama said today that he is not going to worry about the national debt for a couple of years. He wants to focus on getting the ecomony back on track and that will mean spending more money and causing the deficit to go even higher. Do you agree with him?
3 people like this
8 responses
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
17 Nov 08
This analogy popped into my mind when I read your post. Let's say that the roof of my house has serious structural problems and will cave in soon. It's going to cost much more than I have to repair it because my credit cards are maxed out. Do I continue to pay my mortage and other bills as I always have in order to keep this house operational, ignoring the problem with the roof until I have the extra money, or do I take steps to get the roof repaired? That will mean taking out a loan and increasing my debt. Do I worry about that increase in my personal debt or do I worry about the roof caving in? This analogy doesn't exactly match the situation we're faced with today but it does address priorities. The U.S. is in a recession, Japan is in a recession...other world economies are struggling. Thousands of jobs are being lost every day and people need help...now, not later. Raising the national debt will not cause this country enter a full fledged Depression, making that the priority above economic recovery will.
2 people like this
• United States
17 Nov 08
I think you can take your analogy even further and make it more applicable, spalladino. Once you've decided that you have to increase your debt in order to maintain the structural integrity of your house and protect its value, you have another choice: make just the necessary repairs to shore up the roof and keep the rain out, or borrow a bit more to upgrade the roof and prepare it for further upgrading. For instance, invest in a roof that can later be fitted with solar panels - which will increase the energy efficiency of your home and save you money on energy costs in the future - and a solar hot water heater and a rainwater recovery system. Doing those things will cost you more right now and increase your debt, but the future savings and benefits are substantial. That's where we're at right now. We can spend nothing and let it all fall apart. We can borrow and spend the money on patching things up without making any changes and limp along for a while. Or we can borrow and target the borrowed money into projects that will pave the way for more productivity, more jobs and infrastructure that supports more growth.
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
17 Nov 08
Interesting analogy, but the mortgage still has to be paid regardless.
@spalladino (17924)
• United States
17 Nov 08
Good points Chameleonsdream. I rushed that response so I'm glad it didn't come out completely dumb because of something I hadn't had the time to think about first. I agree that there are many examples of new industry that can and should be developed, especially now when there is such a need and this country needs to focus on that as well as existing industry that is viable but needs a little bit of help. irishidid, that was one of the points I made in my repsonse. My mortgage, as well as my utility bills and such still need to be paid, which is why I would be unable to divert those funds to the roof and would need to borrow the money, increasing my personal debt, in order to repair it. The issue of the debt is not the priority in this example, the repairs to the roof take priority.
@irisheyes (4373)
• United States
18 Nov 08
I'll agree with the roof analogy since I think it is a very good one. I'd also like to add that this is not just Obama's thinking. It is also the thinking of almost every major economist whether conservative or liberal.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
17 Nov 08
It would seem to me that lowering the deficit would be part of getting the economy back on track. Obama is nothing but another "chicken in every pot" politician. A rubber chicken at that.
• United States
17 Nov 08
I thought that too. It would make sense to get back on solid ground as far as national debt is concerned. But it looks like he going to spend more. He said you have to sometimes spend money to make money. To me that is throwing good money after bad into a bottomless hole.
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
17 Nov 08
Spend money to make money. Oh that makes a lot of sense. Give money to people who don't pay taxes. Let's crunch the numbers and see if we can't come up with a different figure than zero. Obama, what a maroon.
@anniepa (27240)
• United States
17 Nov 08
How exactly are we going to lower the debt or the deficit the way the economy is now? I don't see how it would be possible without first spending money on our infrastructure. Annie
@xParanoiax (6998)
• United States
19 Nov 08
*chokes* He said what? When did he say that and where did he say it? OMFG! How the...how does he expect to...OMG! He really doesn't know the first thing about this crisis, does he? That national debt is the biggest ticking time bomb we have. If he doesn't work on a plan to execute ASAP...then we won't have much of an economy left! I don't know WHEN the debt will explode on us, completely obliterating global trade, but if it's not taken care of -- it's certain to happen. That is, if it doesn't destroy our currency first. We need to cut some government programs loose to strengthen some others and to give us spare cash to spend on parts of the economy that'll really need it...and that's another thing! We need to be able to judge when and how to act on parts of the economy going sour. All this disorganization and mismanagement may get us quicker than the national debt does. Goddess bless it...it's all interconnected. You can't just address one part and expect it all to get better.
• United States
19 Nov 08
*sigh* To further clarify: He can't just ignore it. He doesn't have to solve it immediately, but he needs a concentrated plan because it's all interconnected. He CAN'T just ignore it for a couple years, he needs to be aware and plan accordingly...take steps.
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
17 Nov 08
Richard Cheney said the same thing and was ripped to shreds by the media and Democrats. Note to Obama deficits does affect the economy. Deficits create inflation, which is one reason the economy was strong during the 90's. So higher deficits will create higher prices from inflation.
• United States
18 Nov 08
yep, that was my thought too.
@piasabird (1737)
• United States
17 Nov 08
I had heard him say during his campaign that he wasn't worried about paying down the debt. Funny but I heard an awful lot of Democrats crying and ranting and raving about how Bush ran up the deficit and how we're dumping all of this debt on our children. But now we get this guy in office and he isn't worried about it at all it seems. Sounds like a double standard.
• United States
18 Nov 08
yep he is just going to digg the whole deeper and your children and mine will be paying for it.
@jonesy123 (3950)
• United States
17 Nov 08
He knew it when he was running for President. People pointed it out numerous times during the race. Yet people believed him that the deficit will be reduced, that we won't borrow any more money, blah, blah, blah. Hook, line, and sinker. Wasn't the national debt one of his primary concerns during his race??? Anyhow, of course he can't officially worry about the national debt and has to work to get the economy back on track. Frankly, there is nothing much he can do about it, not even about the economy. He is unable to reduce the debt because we have no money to do that. With so many people unemployed and business being bad for companies, many even closing down... there is less revenue coming in and more in unemployment/welfare/etc needs to be paid out. Yet, proclaiming that one doesn't worry about the national debt is meant to be reassuring to us that everything is going to be alright... just trust him, lol. If the debt is increased... don't worry, we'll take care of it later... He is a smooth talker, knows what to say, and people will simply believe him. After all, he is already campaigning for his re-election;) That said, neither candidate could have been able to do much as President in the next couple of years. Yes, the focus has to be to stop the downward spiral of the economy and build it back up. Yet not even the top economists have a solution (it just looks good if one sits surrounded by them brainstorming ideas, lol). In a way it's just a struggling attempt not to go further down and not to hit rock bottom with a big splash but somehow on our feet. And we are not there yet. Everything else is just sitting by and wait and see. Much like watching an accident about to happen and you can't stop it but you can try to soften the impact somehow and help those who got injured/survived it.
• United States
18 Nov 08
Yep you are right. But balancing our deficit would help with inflation. THe more they print meaningless money off the more our dollar is deminished. Which means we pay more for everything.
@newtondak (3950)
• United States
17 Nov 08
This is certainly different than what he was saying during the campaign!