November, 18th 2009

Happy Wednesday! US public debt tops 12 trillion dollars for first time

– Liz Mair

Liberals will tell you this doesn't matter, that Obama had no choice but to to pursue fiscal policies that produced this and that it's all Bush's fault (to be fair, on the latter point, it is partly Bush's fault) but don't worry, it's all good and there's nothing to worry about.  And hope and change and "do you want the President to fail?" and stuff.  Decide for yourself.  I think it's, um, kind of a big deal, though.

The US public debt topped 12 trillion dollars for the first time in history, Treasury officials disclosed Tuesday, moving past a key barrier that raised hackles in Congress.

Treasury data showed Monday's outstanding debt at 12.031 trillion dollars, up from 11.999 trillion on Friday.

The ballooning debt reflects the massive deficit spending by the government in an effort to revive an ailing economy over more than one year.

The public debt topped 10 trillion dollars in September 2008.

Awesome.  Just... awesome.

Meanwhile, a bunch of people within the Democratic Party (not the White House or Bob Menendez, chair of the DSCC, mind you) are having a freak out about independent attrition.  But apparently some key Dems think it's really all down to "messaging."

Mounting evidence that independent voters have soured on the Democrats is prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed to halt the damage.

Following serious setbacks with independents in off-year elections earlier this month, White House officials attributed the defeats to local factors and said President Barack Obama sees no need to reposition his own image or the Democratic message.

Since then, however, a flurry of new polls makes clear that Democrats are facing deeper problems with independents—the swing voters who swung dramatically toward the party in 2006 and 2008 but who now are registering deep unease with the amount of spending and debt called for under Obama's agenda in an era of one-party rule in Washington.


Pat Waak, the chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, said the party had so far failed to convince independent voters of the steps it had taken to improve the economy.

“I think the economy is at the base of the tension,” she said. “Quite frankly, we’ve got to do a better job of messaging. There’s a lot of work to be done to get independents more comfortable with what we’re doing.”


Andrew Myers, who polled for Democrats in Virginia House of Delegates races this year, said his analysis of exit polls indicated that voters had come to see Democrats as a party of high spending — too willing to make a rush for the pocketbooks and unable to effectively articulate how their health care reform push benefited independents, many of whom already have insurance plans.

“This is what’s particularly heartbreaking: There is a real sense that no one in Congress is standing up for them,” said Myers. “It’s a real problem for messaging for us.”

I'm glad to see that some Democrats working in really key states that Republicans want to win back think it's all about the spinning and packaging, and not stuff like, um, the fact that we have more than $12 trillion in public debt and a big fat deficit (and that blame for an uptick in both seems to continually involve the word "stimulus," something that the White House and congressional Democrats own 100%).  Keep it up, guys.  There's actually half a chance that if you do, we might elect a Congress next year that will put a stop to the fiscally irresponsible rampage you all are on. [intro]


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