That's just a drop in the bucket. This years deficit alone is $1,500,000,000,000.00, which is 4 times the entire amount, and more than 30 times as much. The entire federal budget was more than 85 times that amount. Mr. Obama in his first 2 years of governing has run up a debt of more than $3,000,000,000,000.00 alone. $40 billion dollars doesn't even amount to a "drop in the bucket." Charles Krauthammer calls it a "spillage error."
Last November's election saw record losses by the party that has added $5 trillion dollars to the debt in 4 years. Voter's gave the Democratic party's majority a well deserved spanking after they ran in 2006 and 2008 as a party of fiscal responsibility.
The November election sent a clear message to Washington: less government, less debt, less spending. President Obama certainly heard it, but judging from his State of the Union address, he doesn't believe a word of it. The people say they want cuts? Sure they do - in the abstract. But any party that actually dares carry them out will be punished severely. On that, Obama stakes his reelection.While the dream of alternative fuel sources is fresh, think about the Spanish disaster. They blew $800 million dollars (a huge amount to their stuggling economy that's about 1/20th the US') on a disasterous attempt to shore up it's "green economy." Then, there's the $6 billion ethonol stupidity that was supposed to reduce the cost of fuel and has only increased world wide food costs. Even Al Gore now admits that that was a mistake.
No other conclusion can be drawn from a speech that didn't even address the debt issue until 35 minutes in. And then what did he offer? A freeze on domestic discretionary spending that he himself admitted would affect a mere one-eighth of the budget...And of course, once again, there is the magic lure of a green economy created by the brilliance of Washington experts and politicians. This is to be our "Sputnik moment," when the fear of the foreigner spurs us to innovation and greatness of the kind that yielded NASA and the moon landing.
Apart from the irony of this appeal being made by the very president who has just killed NASA's manned space program, there is the fact that for three decades, since Jimmy Carter's synfuel fantasy, Washington has poured billions of taxpayer dollars down a rat hole in vain pursuit of economically competitive renewable energy.
He served up an insignificant spending cut, yet another (if more modest) stimulus, and a promise to fight any Republican attempt to significantly shrink the size of government.This president will fight any attempt by the GOP to actually cut spending in any significant amount. This will hurt the country profoundly. I can only hope that in 2012, he is defeated, but I'll not under estimate the ability of the GOP to FUBAR things up between now and then.
Indeed, he went beyond this. He tried to cast this more-of-the-same into a call to national greatness, citing two Michigan brothers who produce solar shingles as a stirring example of rising to the Sputnik moment.
"We do big things," Obama declared at the end of an address that was, on the contrary, the finest example of small-ball Clintonian minimalism since the days of school uniforms and midnight basketball.
From the moon landing to solar shingles. Is there a better example of American decline?