In an interview this weekend, President Obama declared that we are out of money as a country.
SCULLY: You know the numbers, $1.7 trillion debt, a national deficit of $11 trillion. At what point do we run out of money?
OBAMA: Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we’ve made on health care so far. This is a consequence of the crisis that we’ve seen and in fact our failure to make some good decisions on health care over the last several decades.
So we’ve got a short-term problem, which is we had to spend a lot of money to salvage our financial system, we had to deal with the auto companies, a huge recession which drains tax revenue at the same time it’s putting more pressure on governments to provide unemployment insurance or make sure that food stamps are available for people who have been laid off.
So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don’t reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can’t get control of the deficit.
The next question to ask is if Obama really cares that we are out of money? He talks in this interview about fixing the problems of Medicare and Medicaid, but he is currently pushing a national health care policy. He blames our financial problems on the previous administration, but the hard fact is that the policies he is trying to implement will result in even more problems strikingly similar (if on a larger scale) to those brought about by Bush and so many of his predecessors.
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