"At what point do we run out of money?" President Obama was asked in May. "Well, we are out of money now," he replied. That was when he projected the deficit to be $7 trillion over the next 10 years. Now his administration admits the number likely will reach $9 trillion. We sure are out of money -- and the true deficit number probably is at least another $1 trillion bigger.
The Obama administration's $9 trillion estimate presumes that Congress will pass a carbon-cap bill and receive $640 billion in revenue from carbon taxes. The deficit estimate also assumes passage of legislation that would raise taxes on international businesses by $200 billion. But it is dubious whether either revenue bill will pass, as they both face opposition from some Democrats in the Senate.
The administration's predictions are based on the claim that there somehow will be many large spending cuts in the future. Quite unbelievably, the White House also claims that its proposed government health care will not introduce any new fiscal burdens.
Gone with the wind is Mr. Obama's campaign promise to cut the deficit by cutting government spending. As he said in the third debate, "What I've done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut."
It's rather ripe to recall that Mr. Obama was complaining that the George W. Bush administration was "living beyond our means" when deficits over President Bush's eight years totaled about $3 trillion. And those $3 trillion should not be blamed entirely on Mr. Bush or the Republicans because the largest deficits occurred during the years when the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate.
Divvied up, a $10 trillion deficit comes out to more than $33,000 for every man, woman and child in America. Not everyone pays federal income taxes; when counting only taxpayers, the federal deficit burden is $105,000 per household. This ransom is in addition to normal income taxes.
Eventually, tax rates will be raised to astronomical levels to fill in the deficit hole. Mr. Obama promised change. That's all Americans will have left in their pockets after his presidency.