CNHI News Service

Opinion

February 22, 2013

Obama's 'dimes of debt' keep piling up

. — Editor's Note: If you're not a weekly subscriber to Taylor Armerding's column, you can publish this one if you notify him at t.armerding@verizon.net

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President Obama ought to be getting "dimed" out by now.

That he isn’t is yet more testimony to the attention span of the American public – somewhat shy of a Sesame Street skit.

The president has called on the nation’s smallest coin -- the dime -- so many times to support his promises – both during his tenure and before it, when he was campaigning – that it should be starting to, uh, wear thin. That along with other phrases like “paying down our debt in a balanced way,” when the only thing even under consideration is slowing the growth of the debt, ought to be laugh lines by now.

Still, he won’t let it go. It’s become one of those verbal tics – you know, like automatically saying “the mess I inherited” every time anyone suggests that after four years, it might be time to stop blaming George W. Bush for everything that’s gone wrong and is still going wrong.

So, sure enough, it showed up in his recent State of the Union address, when he assured the tingling masses (well, probably at least MSNBC’s Chris Matthews) that $83.4 billion in proposed new spending on new “investments” wouldn’t make the bottom line of the brokest nation in history any worse.

“Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime,” he said.

Actually, the president is guaranteed to be technically correct. His proposals won’t increase the deficit by a single dime. They will increase it by billions of dimes, added to the trillions that he has already added.

It has become such an absurd mantra that the Republican National Committee finally couldn’t resist – it created an ad recently showing video of Obama making about a dozen of his “one, single dime” promises, and then dryly observed at the end that under Obama, the nation’s debt has increased by 58.6 trillion dimes.

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