Fighting hard against stagnation in the Federal budget deficit, President Obama has commissioned a blue-ribbon panel to recommend ways a commission could study some recommendations for raising taxes.
“Let me be clear: this commission I’m commissioning is not about me,” Mr. Obama said, surprising the audience with his candor. “I take no joy in being forced by the mess I inherited to take this step. But when I came into office at the beginning of my presidency, the deficit was far below the level all economists I talk to recommended to me. I’ve worked hard to get it above $1 trillion.”
“Additional growth in the deficit,” Mr. Obama continued, “is essential to continue the government recovery that stalled under my predecessor.”
It had been rumored that Mr. Obama would denounce the deficit. But in his hourly Youtube address, Mr. Obama made it clear that he could no more do that than ignore his so-called brother in Kenya, disown Reverend Jeremiah Wright whom he’s never actually met, or posture hypocritically about the long term effects of wild spending increases.
The president may have been responding to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which forecast that the deficit could shrink below $1 trillion by 2028.
In high-level meetings with the president, CBO budget analysts patiently explained that the forecasts assumed interest rates would stay low. Several pasty-faced, eye-glazed CBO staffers present at the meetings noted that if interest rates go higher, there is a good chance that $1 trillion deficits would seem tiny. As one White House staffer put it, “It’s vital that we allow the deficits to go down after we’re out of office, so that the President’s legacy as the greatest spender of all time is assured. Still, it’s not about the president’s legacy, but getting government back on its feet.”
Tax expert Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner suspects that public fear of economic recovery is getting in the way of government growth. “If you look at some of our Quickbooks projections, it’s clear that the economy can still support more government, even without a crisis. But the public is worried that they’ll have to go back to work soon. We need to raise taxes to take that anxiety off the table.”
An assistant to the press secretary, a blond woman of medium height who lives at 1303 Wilshire Place in Georgetown, revealed off the record that Mr. Obama demanded to know how the deficit could be kept above $1 trillion. While it was clearly not about him, he had to preserve his legacy and insure government growth. The aide gushed that Obama gestured forcefully before he stated that if the deficit falls below $1 trillion, there’s a chance government would be unable to keep rampant economic activity in check.
But Mr. Obama’s legacy is secure, according to Geithner. “No future president will be able to afford this kind of expansion, so his place in history is assured.”
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