Remember the old saying "If you can keep your head while all those around you have lost theirs - then you probably have misinterpreted the situation?" Well thats how I feel about this administration and its actions. The president as a candidate constantly berated the Bush administration for running up record deficits of $400 billion. Bush was irresponsible so said candidate Obama by increasing federal spending while cutting taxes. Never mind that tax receipts increased - it was just because that spending increased by more. So instead of getting fiscal responsibility, we are getting just the opposite - fiscal irresponsibility. The budget deficit is projected to increase by a factor of four to $2 trillion. The administration is saying that they had to do this because they didn't realize the depth of the mess that Bush had gotten us into. Only an Obama loyalist would believe such nonsense. The surge of spending on bailouts, on TARP II, on "stimulus" packages, on cars-for -clunkers, on the takeover of banks, the domestic automobile industry,of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the obscenity of AIG and on you-name -it had less to do with Bush than to do with an attempt to increase the federal government's reach in the economy. This reach is going to manifest itself in a projected budget deficit of $10 trillion over the next ten years. Yet this projection from CBO is a rosy scenario. It assumes dramatic increases in tax revenues that could only occur if all the Bush tax cuts lapse, if the dreaded alternative minimum tax is kept and if taxes are raised across the board. If these all do not occur then the deficit will be $2 billion more. Lest we have short memories, the electorate voted out the first President Bush for violating the "read my lips, no new taxes" pledge. The current president has also made a pledge of not raising the taxes in any form for those making $250,000 or less. He cannot possibly keep that promise. If he violates it, he will be shown the door. The only alternative is to see huge tax increases during a second Obama term - if he somehow gets re-elected. However, keep in mind. If he is re-elected and pushes through these tax increases, then all those out side of "safe" districts will be defeated. You would think that these vulnerable politicians in swing districts would know this and vote against "change".
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com