Of course he believes that we have a spending problem, President Obama assured us, immediately before a State of the Union address in which he called for — you guessed it — more spending. Like Saint Augustine praying “Lord grant me chastity and continence . . . but not yet,” President Obama paid lip service to the idea of debt reduction but ruled out any real effort to reduce it.
In fact, the president claimed that a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes cut our deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, more than half of the sum that he believes is necessary to “stabilize” our debt. But, even setting aside the sad shift in target from balancing the budget to temporarily stabilizing the debt, the president’s version of events is fundamentally flawed.