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Linda White's op-ed column on sequestration, and 'Katie.'
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By LINDA WHITE
I KNEW a couple a long time ago. Both professionals, they were living the good life: a big house, cars, boats, a club membership--the whole nine yards.
Then illness struck, and with it came loss of income. But old habits die hard, and my friends found themselves comforting themselves by buying things. Not huge things, but nice things. Surely, they thought, this downturn will soon be over.
But their losses continued and then multiplied. Bills went unpaid; mortgage payments fell behind. In a desperate attempt to keep the house, they began to sell their possessions: the vacation cottage, the "fun" car, the boat, the collectibles. But, alas, they could not keep up. Bankruptcy proceedings followed and soon they were corseted in a court-imposed, bare-minimum budget.
The United States is a lot like that couple. We've bought a lot of nice things recently. Two wars. Expensive entitlement programs. Free cell phones for poor people. Tax loopholes for the rich. Ethanol subsidies. A brand-new health benefit.
These quality-of-life enhancements glitter on the shelves of our beautiful house and give us bragging rights in the world community.
But we're almost $17 trillion in debt. And the burden of that is strangling us.
Call me simple. I don't get why President Obama and other Democrats refuse to understand the dangers of debt. George W. Bush should never have run up the nation's credit card like he did. But Obama has gone way beyond that. On the last day of the Bush administration, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. Today, it's approaching $17 trillion. And yet the spending continues.
I TOLD YOU SO
The latest trinket eyed by Obama is federally funded universal preschool, even though there's no evidence of a long-term benefit. Layer this on top of the president's disastrous health care reform program. I won't say "I told you so," but I told you so.
The Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare will cost more than expected--$1.3 trillion more over 10 years. (Surprise!) Some 5 million fewer people than the administration estimated will be covered. (Surprise!) At least 7 million will lose their employer-based health care coverage. (Surprise again!) So much for "if you like your plan, you can keep it."