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A President Goes To Cooper Union

Thursday, April 22, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

President Obama chose The Cooper Union to deliver his latest stem-winder against Wall Street.

The last sitting president to speak at the Union? Bill Clinton in 1993.

Clinton delivered what was supposed to be a historic address on…the deficit!

President Obama ought to read President Clinton’s speech from 1993. In it, Clinton warned about an exploding federal debt which had gone from a mere $1 trillion to $4 trillion in just a dozen years. President Clinton then delivered these stern words:

We have to begin to reverse this process. And because Government has been at fault, first you should ask Government to change. So I have asked in Washington that we begin with significant spending cuts below the budget that was adopted last year to reduce the deficit and to free up resources for targeted investment in the future of our economy and of the young people here present in this hall.

We should look at every program for possible savings, including ones that Democrats have favored for a long time. And there should be no tax increase, not a dollar, without the spending cuts. That is the meaning of the budget resolution that was passed a few weeks ago in record time. It contains the largest deficit reduction proposals in history, over $500 billion in deficit reduction over a 5-year period with more than 200 very specific cuts in programs. Those were tough to make, but necessary in the face of a $4 trillion debt that will continue to grow until the deficit itself is reduced to zero.

That deficit is robbing us of our ability to invest in our future. More and more of our money just goes to pay interest on the debt. If we don’t change it, by the end of the decade over 20 cents on every dollar you pay in taxes will go just to service the debt. Now, that is also a redistribution of wealth away from middle class taxpayers to the upper income people who hold the debt, instead of to invest in the jobs and the education and the infrastructure of the future of New York and the rest of America.

In 1993 President Clinton also called for raising taxes, which President Obama already has done. It is Clinton’s advice on spending restraint that the current president really needs to read.

President Obama and the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are spending at levels that are shocking to anyone with even a passing knowledge of what past deficits looked like and what they do to economies. In 2007, the last pre-panic deficit was approximately $160 billion. It spiked of course in 2008, the year of the panic, and then went even higher in President Obama’s first year in office, the year of the one-time massive stimulus-that -wasn’t. Now —after the one-time TARP and the one-time “stimulus”– the deficit for the current year was projected by president Obama at $1.6 trillion dollars!

I am glad the White House staff sent the president to the Cooper Union today. I hope someone in the MSM notices what it was the last sitting president to speak there chose as his subject.

President Obama’s massive spending puts the country at risk of a fiscal stroke. Even Bill Clinto knew, nearly two decades ago, that trillions of dollars of national debt could not be sustained. Perhaps 42 could call 44, or at least send him a copy of these remarks?



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