On the Shreveport Time website, Andre Dean Benton reports…
“I attended the Bossier City VFW Post 5951 discussion of Veterans’ issues with Senator Mary Landrieu last week at 1315 North Gate Road, where she responded to a wide range of issues facing our American veterans from her talking points as well as from questions fielded from the audience. An older veteran stood up toward the middle of the meeting and expressed to her his deep sadness and concern with the massive and constantly growing American debt ($16.9 trillion today and $5.6 trillion in 2000) and the crippling cost to taxpayers to pay for the staggering interest on that debt….
I was stunned to then hear my Louisiana senator defend the massive U.S. debt saying: “That is not true, sir! We do not have an increasing national debt! For the past six to seven years we have been continuously driving that debt down and reducing it and it is NOT increasing.” She then went on to explain the federal costs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security as “non-negotiable mandates by law that cannot be changed” and explained that only a small portion of the federal budget was in discretionary spending, where she was working with others in the Senate to further reduce our nation’s debt….
“No one on her staff corrected her or offered a polite “update” for the audience, and the elderly gentleman speaking the question was a little rattled by her vigorous contradiction of his stated facts that he just mumbled something across the table from me about “Congress constantly raising the debt ceiling …” and then was respectfully silent. As he was asking and our senator was responding, I was Googling the US Treasury’s official home page on my iPhone and staring at the government published facts on the history and facts about the U.S. debt:
- $5.6 trillion in September 2000;
- $7.9 trillion in 2005;
- $13.5 trillion in 2010;and
- just a smidgen under $17 trillion as we reach the fiscal end of 2013;
- with the US debt rising at over $2.3 billion dollars every day now and no relief in sight.
“I think we were all too embarrassed for the senator and for her staff, and for the elderly gentleman who asked the question as none wanted to let the awkwardness go on any further, so we all just politely looked down at our feet and hoped the awkward moment would quickly come to an end. Eventually it did. I am confident that Sen. Landrieu’s staff and office would like to print an official correction, or explain that the senator had confused “national debt” with something about deficit spending or some other economic theory or data which she had errantly interjected into a clearly articulated discussion on the national debt.”
Sorry—no U.S. Senator is allowed to “confuse” the debt with the deficit, not once, not ever. That is per se rank incompetence. The debt should be foremost in all legislators’ minds, not to mention the President, but it is not. So invested in the confusion on the part of the public and the news media regarding the debt and the deficit are the Democrats in denial about the danger of unbalanced budgets and U.S, indebtedness that they are now fooling themselves. Yes, the annual budget deficit has been going down, but that still means the U.S. is running a deficit, which means that the debt is rising, as in getting bigger every day. Landrieu’s response is the response of someone unqualified and too irresponsible to be entrusted with the nation’s purse strings.
There is no excuse for this, which should frighten anyone who doesn’t believe that the U.S. can continue to ignore the nation’s fiscal realities forever.